Archive: The Sunday Paper

Bande à Part (1964)

Greetings. This hibernating, humble editor of your Sunday Paper re-emerges from wintry sleet for Spring equinox. In this bardo between seasons, we bring you Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 gem Bande à Part (Band of Outsiders). In Godard's words, this New Wave film is "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka".Of contradicting states, Bande à Part is at once melancholic yet unpredictably flippant; of deep personal darkness yet shared glee. Here lies the beauty of this film. Is life not the dance of two polar opposites, and yet their mutual existence at once? Of decisions and indecisions, the to-be's and not-to-be's? Winter, and Spring, play on. (Meanwhile, we also have a bit of Tango in store for you; scroll down for the Spotify playlist). MUSIC THAT COMPELS ONE, OR...
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L'Homme de Rio (1964)

Over here at the Drawing Room, good architecture delights as much as fine cinema. This week we share you the stylish L'Homme de Rio (That Man From Rio, 1964), directed by Philippe de Broca , starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac. With a hero in pastiche of a French James Bond, the film's city-trotting script was directly inspired by Hergé's The Adventures of Tin Tin, which subsequently inspired the Indiana Jones saga. (Spielberg admitted!)Most notable is the film's wide-spanning frames, set upon architect Oscar Niemeyer's futurist city Brasília. The UNESCO city was still being built during filming in 1962, creating an "accidental" and opportune film set of eerie alienation and surrealist aesthetic.Should this film delight, we have a little selection...
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Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)

Jacques Demy directed The Young Girls of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles de Rochefort) (1967) with pomp, song, and love story in seeming imitation of Hollywood MGM musicals. From the opening scene, the film unfurls into outrageously sherbet-colored and saccharine visuals in a French garrison town. For this style, Demy was dismissed among his New Wave contemporaries as lightweight and superficial. However, over here in this dusty corner that is the Drawing Room, we find Demy misunderstood.Consider how twin protagonists Delphine and Solange's remarks are mixed (played excellently by Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac). In scenes of dance and song, they appear lighthearted: "We are a pair of carefree young things, who love catchy tunes, silly puns and repartee..." Yet, in dialogue they...
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Amadeus (1984)

Hello. We are delighted to note we are adding books to our little Drawing Room, among our constellation of cinema and song that intrigues.  New titles will be added slowly. We are taking title suggestions as well—what is your favorite book to tuck into on a Sunday evening?  This brings us to this week's movie, Amadeus (1984), on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The film was directed by Miloš Forman and written by Peter Shaffer, to remarkable critical and commercial acclaim. It was decorated with 40 awards, including eight Oscars. Yet if that sounds impressive, consider this: "At the age of three [Mozart] started picking out tunes on the piano. His ear was so delicate that loud sounds would make him physically ill.  And it was not only delicate, but perfect in pitch. At...
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Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Around this time of Autumn, we may begin to notice the sun waning earlier in the evening. With that, the much contested opener to Marcel Proust's In Remembrance of Lost Time (1913) comes to this writer's mind (out of aspiration perhaps): "For a long time I used to go to bed early." A literary masterpiece, the protagonist flickers non-linearly between past and present, studying memory and its involuntary fictionalization. When Alain Resnais showed his first feature Hiroshima Mon Amour in 1959, it received instant acclaim at Cannes and the Academy Awards. It was celebrated for its Proustian, temporally fragmented narrative that conflated present time and memory— the first to do so in cinema.  Resnais was originally commissioned to make a documentary about...
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The PP Mobler 501 Chair (1949)

Good evening. Tomorrow's Monday brings us fair weather in New York, but looms a bit heavier than usual. After much anticipation, we have the first debate of the 2016 American presidential election. There is almost as much excitement as the first televised debate in 1960, between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Notice quietly behind the scenes sits Hans J. Wegner's PP Mobler 501 chair (1949), also known as the Round One, the Debate Chair, Kennedy Chair, and eventually, The Chair.  The PP501 has since spurred many reinterpretations since then. We are particularly fond of Naoto Fukasawa's Hiroshima Chair (2008) for Maruni, which is photographed above with our 5-ply merino Kennedy Sweater. DOCUMENTARIES THAT ARE OF SPLENDID DESIGN2003 My Architect: A Son’s Journey 2005 Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe2005 Sketches of...
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Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

When twenty-six year old Louis Malle directed his "Elevator to the Gallows" (1958), he may not have been aware his film would, in time, hold significant historical weight. First, it had set precedent for French New Wave cinema, ancillary to the greats such as Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960). Second, with its full, eight-piece jazz score performed by Miles Davis, "Elevator" had been the leavening agent to the rise of jazz scores, a dependable accomplice in Noir cinema to tense scenes of suspense, high-speed chases, and pointed guns and gazes alike. Overall, a smokey, suspenseful, and Noir-cool piece of film poetry. Should you be in New York this week, the Film Forum is showing a new restoration of "Elevator to the Gallows" until Thursday, September 22nd.  Below, take a look at our suggestions for documentaries about music. DOCUMENTARIES...
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400 Blows (1959)

Mid-Autumn: turtlenecks, classrooms, and falling leaves. Ah, where do we begin the season? Perhaps none are more apt than scenes from François Truffaut's masterpiece "Les Quatre Cents Coups," or, "400 Blows" (1959). It opens with traveling and dissolving shots of gritty, romantic Parisien streets (a cinematic technique uncommon at the time), creating nuances of the new and the wistful that this season brings along. After watching this spectacular instance of the French New Wave, don't forget to take a look at the "Hitchcock/ Truffaut" (2015) documentary as well. DOCUMENTARIES THAT ARE OUT OF THE BOX1975 Grey Gardens 2013 When I Walk2014 Art & Craft 2014 Advanced Style 2014 Beats of Antonov2014 Dance for Me 2015 Ballerina’s Tale2015 Hitchcock/ Truffaut2015 Tea Time
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Out of Africa (1937)

It is mid-holiday-weekend; time seems still, summer yawns into fall. You may choose to lay supine with a book, film, good company... or more likely, a digital device (alas). While we cannot offer much assistance with the latter two, we have suggestions for the former pair, together, with our compilation of Movies Based On Material from Books. A little over a century ago in 1913, Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke moved to Kenya, then called British East Africa, to start her life on a coffee plantation. Her deliberations on her seventeen years of African colonial life—and the last vestiges of the British imperial century—were published in her memoir, Out of Africa (1937). In 1985, Sydney Pollack took this rich literature as source to direct his Oscars-decorated film Out of Africa (1985), with...
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Grey Gardens (1975)

This Labor Day, as you may lay in East Hampton among white clapboard houses and cold drinks, let us take a few steps further along the coast—and a half century backwards into time—to visit Grey Gardens, at 3 West End Road. At this address you will find a derelict, crumbling, fourteen-room estate, overrun with hoarded accoutrements and feral cats. To your surprise, you discover it belongs to two relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Edith and Edie Beale.  The mother-daughter duo have fallen from aristocracy into destitution for reasons unknown. Despite their abject squalor, the eccentric pair are debonair, obstinate, radiant with outlandish costumes and outsized personalities. Their repudiation notably captured the attention of documentarians Albert and David Maysles (1975). Further adaptations come from playwright Doug Wright (2006), movie director Michael Sucksy and actress Drew Barrymore (2009), and comedians Fred Armisen and Bill Hader (2015). The Beales sold their estate...
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