Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!
Jules et Jim (1962) wasn’t my first film by François Truffaut, but it might as well have been: while I saw The Last Metro (1980) earlier, it didn’t fully register that this was a film directed by Truffaut, one of the founders of the French nouvelle vague, and I only remembered The Wild Child (1970) very, well, vaguely. In fact, I was more aware of Truffaut in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
Watching The Duke of Burgundy was a pleasure, albeit an unexpected one: for one thing, I didn’t expect an all-female film depicting a sado-masochistic relationship between two lepidopterologists to be so relatable, for another I didn’t expect to laugh out loud at a sly yet strangely sweet joke concerning urophilia. Berberian Sound Studio, the previous film by director-writer Peter Strickland, intrigued and unsettled me in equal measure, but at the same time it didn’t much engage me emotionally. In spite of a typically strong performance by Toby Jones, it struck me primarily as an exercise in style, atmosphere and genre – and one, at that, whose intended audience didn’t really include me, as my knowledge of Giallo is slight.