Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Just in Time

Most of what I like about Before Sunset the film will be apparent to anyone who sees it, and the additional layers of reward are so tied up in subjective personal associations that it would be terrible exhibitionism to articulate them. It’s pretty clear, though, that the much-maligned Antoine Doinel conclusion Love on the Run was a looming influence on Before Sunset. To begin with, we have as a protagonist a young father whose marriage hasn’t worked out as planned, and who’s written a novel about the French girl he just can’t get over. But that’s only scraping the surface of Doinelalia: is that the courtyard from Bed and Board, still populated with neighborhood kooks?

Anyway, I’m helpless against the urge to re-watch the Doinel films, immediately, and last night I rented Masculin Feminin, with a Doinel-like character played by Leaud (at one point, he refers to himself as “Doinele”). It also comes to mind that I haven’t seen The Mother and the Whore in several years.

In the meantime, here’s a fantastic piece about Leaud and the continuing resonance of Antoine Doinel.