High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women - pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Mme Tellier taking her girls (whores) to the country for attending her niece's communion - pleasure and purity. And lastly, Jean the painter falling in love with his model - pleasure and death.
The commonest features of fictional brothels tend to fall either on the side of eloquence and class or poverty and brutality; domesticity and mundanity are rarely depicted. It's such a rare idea in cinema, or at least the cinema I am familiar with, that I was completely caught off guard by the idea of a brothel going on vacation. Honestly, even the idea of a single employee thereof having time off struck me as odd, but having the entire brothel holiday together struck me as uniquely quaint. It simply was not in my narrative vocabulary. I understand that in places where such things are legal, vacations and sick days and whatnot are probably required by law, but I never gave…
After a very brief respite in order to gather some thoughts and allow the recollections of this film to simmer in my mind, I've come to the conclusion that this is my favorite by Max Ophuls. Not only that but I also hold the opinion that it is in Le Plaisir that his cinematic prowess in visual language comes to a pinnacle. It is truly a film that transcends the medium as a work of art while also greatly influencing said medium in tremendous ways.
Take for instance of how Paul Thomas Anderson has cited Ophuls as being among his most vital inspirations in his own career. With that said, look at this visual example of when you can literally…
The previous four Ophul's I'd seen all made 100 best list so I was expecting great things here and got them without ever quite feeling I needed to go throw anything off that list to make way for it.
On the face of it it's a triptych of stories but one of them is four times as long as the others and totally dominates emotionally. A tale of a brothel full of prostitutes going to the country to watch a girls first communion makes the most of it's collision of worldliness and innocence and is as you would expect beautifully shot. Icons like Danielle Darieux and Jean Gabin add to the weight of the sequence and Ophuls manages the hard…
The New Years Resolutions - Film #38
Ophüls roaming camera dances with the profound, constantly forcing us look past the gorgeous surfaces in which he provides to understand the deep-seated melancholy at their core. Every single story here explores the ways in which love, youth and joy can leave us feeling trapped; happiness is always just out of reach in Ophüls artificial world, and despite his characters best efforts, their tragedy feels fated.
Wonderfully observed filmmaking, and much, much better than A Letter From an Unknown Woman.
The charm and grace of Ophüls's cinema can be seen and felt in every frame of Le Plaisir, a film so full of majestic and somehow yet understated camera work and great performances from so many legends of the French cinema. I especially would like to mention that wonderful scene at the church, a touching moment that reminded me of Cabiria's visit to the local shrine where she seeks the Madonna's intercession.
Wonderfully nostalgic look at a sophisticated civilisation long gone, a technical masterclass in its dizzying roving camera and an aesthetically beautiful film with some hard and profound emotional truths - in other words, Ophuls gonna Ophuls. Where this film does falter, however, is in its bungling of the anthology film format - the fact that the first story gets 15 minutes, the second an hour and the last 15 minutes already speaks volumes, and there's a feeling of unbalancedness throughout - the latter section feels rushed, and the middle bloated and occasionally lagging. All have moments of brilliance in them, but the first section on its own merits is like a 5 star short film, absolutely brilliant and very affecting - the following material only occasionally gets close to that level again, but overall it's a pretty great but uneven package.
Le Plaisir (Max Ophüls, 1952) 8/10
Three stories (by Guy de Maupassant) about the quirks of human nature, about man's vanity and about pleasure being an important part of life. The seemingly ordinary plots are enhanced through the magic of Ophül's lightness of touch, his fluid use of the long take with the camera creeping up and down huge staircases and mansions and in and around the characters as if lightly eavesdropping in on conversations. The first story concerns an old man who wishes to continue living the life of a young man, the second takes in a group of whores visiting the countryside and the third is a dark tale about unrequited love and regret. The film's sumptuous production values along with an outstanding cast of great french stars - Madeleine Renaud, Jean Gabin, Claude Dauphin, Gaby Morlay, Danielle Darrieux, Daniel Gelin, Simone Simon, Pierre Brasseur - enhance the rather conventional stories.
El placer es el verdadero sentido de la vida. Reímos, comemos, bebemos, follamos, amamos, leemos, escuchamos música y, por supuesto, vemos películas porque nos inspira placer. Todo Öphuls es placer en estado puro, y esta obra maestra trata de ahondar en esa maravillosa sensación. Como escenas tan potentes como la frenética danza del anciano que se entrega al baile como si no hubiera un mañana (y probablemente no lo haya) o la alegre aparición de las prostitutas en las ventanas del burdel, esta epifánica película demuestra por qué Öphuls es probablemente, el mejor director de la historia.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"Happiness is not a joyful thing."
While I wouldn't call this picture essential Ophuls, the above quote is a nice summation of the director's outlook on life and love.
Includes Purr Blur.
I can't believe Simone Simon was in her early 40's
We're presented three stories about pleasure: one about a man hiding his age behind a mask, a tale of what happens when the madame of a whorehouse takes her girls to the country to attending her niece's communion and the reaction of the men who think it's closed down for good, and a painter and the model that falls for him.
This is as great as I remember. Ophüls' visual style is unparalleled. He was always able to combine lush visuals and settings with the characters that inhabit them better than anyone else.
The first tale is short and sweet with influences of Poe. It's a story about pleasure and youth, or age, if you'd rather. The reveal is great…
English title is "House of Pleasure". This is Max Ophuls' adaptation of three short stories by Guy du Maupassant. The first one is about a masked young man who goes to a dance. The second one is about a popular brothel who closes for a day so they could go attend one of their niece's first communion in the countryside. The third one is about a troubled love affair between a young artist and his model. The two short segments that bookend the rather long second segment which comprises majority of the film are not quite as great as the "main" segment but despite that this is an overall strong work from Max Ophuls. It is often funny and oddly…
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