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May 15, 2020

This week we talk French Melville—no, not Jean-Pierre, but two temperamentally polar 1999 films by French auteurs based on works by Herman: Claire Denis's Beau Travail and Leos Carax's Pola X, based respectively on Billy Budd, Sailor and Pierre, or the Ambiguities. We ask such questions as: Why fascist aesthetics? Why opera-scored Tai Chi? Why incest? Why unsimulated sex? These are just the kinds of questions that come up when you're dealing with adaptations of classic American literature of the 19th century.


Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:          Melvillian Loomings

0h 14m 31s:          Beau Travail (1999; dir: Claire Denis)

0h 33m 26s:          Pola X (1999; dir: Leos Carax)



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Theme Music:

“What’s Yr Take on Cassavetes?” – Le Tigre