film: Truffaut: Jules et Jim (1962)

Jules et Jim. It’s too great for me to speak of. When I first saw it I was sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a desk in a basement. I thought “what’s so great about this film–there’s nothing special about it.” Perhaps you cannot recognize greatness in anything until you’ve witnessed the vastness of mediocrity surrounding it, which sometimes takes years. Perhaps that is why it took me so many years before I was struck by the genius of Lord of the Flies after being repeatedly unimpressed by Orwell’s work. I should have been impressed long before–but something finally struck me. Same with this–I think I needed to see many more films–i wonder that beauty and greatness are what we are born to expect as the norm–as babies it is all beauty and greatness we experience, and why should it be any different, why should we not continually be amazed by life? So amazing things are dull, naturally. But when life finally grows duller than that–then we can look at amazing works of art and see how they rise to our infant expectations of beauty and the sublime. Jules et Jim did it this time–I wanted to see it all, over and again, I wanted to be part of the film–of the filmmaking–of the cameras and the words and characters. It’s a beautiful film–when you can appreciate timing and movement space–which I did not before, and perhaps I do not to the extent I should now–it is a great wonder. I love it.

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