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01/23/2019

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Maybe when that Criterion channel gets started.

AMDG

This reminds me that have two Netflix DVDs in a drawer that have been there for months. I can only watch them when Bill isn't here, because he won't be interested. I completely forgot I had them. I think I better cancel DVDs.

AMDG

Wow. I've wondered how long I would have to keep a disk for Netflix to start complaining. Indefinitely, I guess.

Earlier today I watched an interview with the director of Sundays and Cybele that's on the DVD. Made me want to watch it again but it's really too soon, so I'll be looking for it on the Criterion Channel too.

There's an interview with the actress who played the little girl up at YouTube. It has a couple of clips of her and the man in the film (starting around the 4:40 point) that make me feel pretty uncomfortable.

Yes, and without watching that video I can think of two scenes that would make you say that. But the director insists that in his mind it is a pure and innocent relationship. In fact as he explains it the innocence is an essential aspect of the story.

There's an interview with the actress, maybe the same one you link to, on the DVD, which I'm going to watch before I send it back.

I watched the interview. The scenes I was thinking of were not in it. If you thought those scenes were discomfiting, you'd really object to the ones I mean. The director justifies one of them in the interview with him. The other isn't mentioned. There's also an interview with Hardy Kruger, who plays the amnesiac. He talks at length about how the purity of the relationship was what made him want to make the film. It was about to be abandoned for lack of financing but Kruger's American connections (he was in Hatari with John Wayne) helped them find the money.

So...I don't know...I prefer to believe them but there are those few things that make you wonder.

Oh, gosh, don't even want to think about scenes even more discomfiting. There's an interesting essay on the movie at the Criterion website that says seeing the relationship as "innocent and natural" was "a perspective critics at the time endorsed nearly unanimously, writing of the 'pure' love of the protagonists. (In fact, that term was bandied about so often that it begins to sound like denial.)"

I admit I am a little uneasy about it, especially the one scene I'm thinking of. But the fact is that the relationship does remain non-sexual in the direct physical sense. There is a male-female thing that's often very apparent in relations between little boys and women and between little girls and men. It's different, or at least is often different, from relationships between children and adults of the same sex. And that's certainly very present in this one. It's "sexual" in the sense that it has to do with the male-female polarity, but it's not erotic.

The essay is interesting and I guess I agree with at least 70-80% of it. But this quote from Francois Giroud: "The slightest word pronounced by the little girl betrays a possessive, castrating will—visible even more clearly in the mistress." That's grotesque. The mistress is warm and generous. She's initially very suspicious but is won over when she spies on Pierre and the girl romping around in the park, even though the relationship represents a diminution (at best) of her importance to Pierre.

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