The Art of Cinema #39


Bonjour Tristesse
(Otto Preminger; 1958)

2 comments:

swac said...

I have to confess, I haven't actually seen this...I guess the presence of Jean Seberg makes it worth a watch. Anyone have any thoughts on the film?

Tom Sutpen said...

I love the film, but I'm something of a Preminger fanatic so perhaps I don't see it as objectively as others night. It's probably his most curdled look at family relations and the absolute impossibility of love (not a common theme in late-1950s American filmmaking.

Word of advice to anyone reading this, though: Don't ever watch "Bonjour Tristesse" . . . or any other widescreen Preminger . . . in a format other than its full aspect ratio. I grew up watching awful Pan'n'Scan prints of Preminger's 'Scope masterpieces (I'm not counting "Skidoo" and "Hurry, Sundown" and his other late-career catastrophes, for those playing along at home) on television and I don't know of another filmmaker whose work suffers as severly as his in the full-screen mode. He used the entire frame and he used it prodigiously. A Preminger composition was deliberate, and not seeing it as he intended it really ruins the experience.