Monsieur Chariot

Monsieur Chariot
That Dazzling and Luminous California Metropolis known as The City Of The Angels, USA
June 08
Offering Discreet Tutelage in the Metropolitan Arts to Inquiring Gentlepersons of Variously Misguided Social Persuasions


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2011 9:00AM

Les Netfliques recherchés*

Rate: 39 Flag
 * Required Netflix!


• The Finical Filmgoer •


Goodbye Again (1961)

Available via Netfliques instant streaming, Goodbye Again (1961) is directed by Anatole Litvak and adapted from the best-selling novel by Françoise Sagan, entitled  Aimez-vous Brahms?

The film surprised me with its sophistication; but then, any European film having to do with human relationships always seems to be at least 40 years in advance of American cinematic sensibilities, do they not? Ingrid Bergman portrays a successful, middle-aged interior designer with a shop in Paris, who is involved in a long and stagnant affair with transportation businessman Yves Montand. Completely and singularly in love, she overlooks his philandering "business trips" where he seduces and beds young, adventurous and fashionable girls. Theirs is a relationship that is mutually satisfying only to the extent that both parties are willing to lie, and to accept lies.

Bergman lands a job decorating the home of a wealthy American woman, and meets her spoiled son (Anthony Perkins), a lawyer in his 20s, who falls instantly in love with her. Resistant at first, disappointments with Montand eventually lead her to give in to Perkins' exuberant courtship, while his blunt,  jejune questions open a light onto some of the more obvious self-delusions she has required to maintain her relationship with recalcitrant Montand.

Unlike today's cougars, who appear to fall effortlessly into relationships with younger men, Bergman does not take easily to Perkins' youthful attitudes and behaviors. There is a wonderful scene in which we watch Bergman's face as she lies in bed in semi-darkness, listening to her naked young lover fumbling about the kitchen, babbling enthusiastically and incoherently about food, music, love and his mother. Bergman's face captures the patience, boredom, indulgence and exasperation of a mature person forced to take an immature person more seriously than they deserve.

The story is set in fashionable bars, restaurants, apartments and homes, giving us an inside look at the playgrounds of the sophisticated in 1960s Paris. A spectacularly soignee Diahann Carroll appears in a small scene as a sequin-sheathed chanteuse. Litvak employs a significant circular style, beginning and ending at the same place. Goodbye Again is an unexpectedly subtle examination of doomed, impossible relationships.


Antichrist (2009)

In Lars von Trier's controversial  Antichrist (2009), a therapist (Willem Dafoe) and his academic wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) flee to a cabin in the woods, where they hope to mend emotional wounds after the (horrifically depicted) death of their infant son.

The story examines distinctly "adult" horror themes: the slow descent of a loved one into madness, the impotence of therapy against some forms of mental illness, a trusted person's explosion into violence, and the manner in which the natural world can exhibit a ghoulish, hyper-inflated menace when one is depressed and vulnerable.

becomes increasingly surreal as the protagonists dive headlong into insanity, fear, violence and despair. Not the fun ride we've come to expect from horror films aimed at teens, but quite effective if you've the stomach for the deep, psychic shake-up invoked by a glimpse into the void. Available for instant streaming via Netfliques.


The Big Lebowski (1998)

Eliciting cries of astonishment from intimates, I'd never seen The Big Lebowski (1998) — and so finally scrunched into my threadbare yellow brocade wingback for a screening. The story involves an LA stoner called The Dude (Jeff Bridges), a man "in whom casualness runs deep", and his bowling compatriots — a paranoid, proto-Jewish vet (John Goodman framed by the most execrable pair of yellow aviators), and a former surfer (surprisingly youthful Steve Buscemi).

The Dude becomes embroiled in a mistaken-identity situation when a couple of thugs, assuming him to be a wealthy Pasadena bigwig also called Lebowski, trash his apartment and urinate on his rug. Seeking restitution for the rug ("it really pulled the room together"), The Dude locates The "Big" Lebowski, who hires him to track down his "cocksucking" trophy wife (Tara Reid), who's been kidnapped by said thugs.

Along the way, The Dude suffers numerous indignities at the hands of a hilarious collection of characters, including Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lebowski's sycophantic assistant, Julianne Moore as his estranged, feminist/vaginal artist daughter, John Turturro as a sexually predatory bowling competitor and Ben Gazarra as a sinister porn impressario.

Add a cabal of wimpy, loserish assassins called The Nihilists, David Thewlis as a cackling culture-vulture and Sam Elliot as a hokey narrator and you've got the kind of Coen Brothers milieu which renders plot insignificant. The film also boasts a great soundtrack with several hallucinatory dream sequences.

If you're a fan of any of these actors, you'll want to catch them in this all-stops-out sendup of LA's most risible stereotypes. Be sure to have a White Russian and a cigarette spéciale at the ready. Available for instant streaming via Netfliques.


Smash His Camera (2010)

If you lived through the 70s/80s/Jackie O/Studio 54 era, believe me, you're in for a treat.

An HBO documentary currently streamable via Netfliques, Smash His Camera (2010) is about infamous, American paparazzo Ron Galella and his controversial, stalkerish, privacy-smashing photographs of the eras most celebrated people. The doc is exceptionally well-constructed and tonally intriguing, with commentators weighing in on all sides of the debate regarding Galella's emergent position in photographic history — exacerbated by his recent inclusion in the collection at MoMA.

Galella, his wife and his contemporaries in photography, photojournalism, art, media, law and entertainment are wittily interviewed about his work, style, controversy and legal wrangling with the likes of Jackie O and Marlon Brando, to fascinating effect. An engrossing study of a dubitable character, embellished with numerous riveting, immortalizing images and anecdotes.


Finical Filmgoer Reviews:

Salt (2010)

Angels and Insects (1995)

Secret Ceremony (1968)

To Each His Own (1946)

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

The Children (2008)

Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960)

They Came Back (2004)

Ma mère (2004)

The Staircase (2004)

Mimic (1997)

The Golden Bowl (2000)

Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Edge of Darkness (2010)

Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)

It's Complicated (2009)

 Goodbye Again (1961)

Antichrist (2009)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Smash His Camera (2010)

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You had me at the title. Everything from your pen (I assume you use a pen) is so elegant.

You've got an eclectic list.II will begin to hunt these down. My sister and I watch movies together on my medium-grand flat screen television. We visit the supermarket dollar movie machines, but for the more arcane flicks, she drives to the remaining Blockbuster about eight miles away.

Thanks for this.
Monsieur! Oui on #3.
great piece, monsieur. i've missed your writing, you know. and thanks for the list that reminds me of some ('far from the madding crowd') movies i've loved and will revisit and a few i've never heard of. netflix is fabulous, as are you.
Wow, I can't believe the time you took to post all of this for us. Thank you so much. I definitely am intrigued by some of the films.
Chic alors! Une poste a mon préféré. I am trying to picture you in your boxers, unshaven, propped up on a filthy couch with an open container of Bud, scratching your man parts and watching the Big Lebowski. Pas possible.
greenheron. Mon dieu. Perish the thought.
I am not sure I can see the Triers film. I saw Breaking the Waves, and still remember the nausea I carried for days after watching her descent into depravity and violence. As a Dane, I like to keep up on Danish film, but I get torn with the whole Dogma movement. It is almost as contrived as it insists it rejects. We have The Kingdom in cue, I haven't seen it yet, as well as a few other Spanish horror films (set with orphanages and ill children). I did see Pan's Labyrinth though it was similarly hard to watch and I live with the images for a long time. Surprisingly, I haven't seen a lot of Ingrid Bergman films.

Have you seen the Green Porn that Isabella has done? It's quite amusing.
My dear Mlle Stern ~ warmest compliments to you and your lovely sister!

My dear M. Colman ~ In my review of It's Complicated I state: "The most intelligent and accomplished actress of our generation is suddenly rendered so giggly, ditzy, loopy and flustery she seemed like a feeble-minded idiot." Which begs the question: why see it twice?

My dear Mme Riordan ~ Persons of a sensitive nature enjoy overlapping tastes, do they not?

My dear Mlle Forte ~ Your elegant appearance in my cloistral apartments always lends the literary tone to the proceedings.

My dear Mme K ~ at your service my dear Lady!

My dear Mlle Greenheron ~ Compose yourself dearest Lady!

My dear Mme Riordan ~ Persons of a sensitive nature enjoy similar reservations, do they not?
Streaming Netfliques is like le craque cocaine. I have dutifully taken notes on the ones I have not seen. I had a funny encounter with a bartender friend who saw "Antichrist" and did not like it. I asked him if he had read anything about it. "Nope" So you went on the title alone? "Yeah - oh, I see what you're saying."
I really enjoy the BBC series and the documentaries. And "Spartacus". and...well, I should make my own list! But I look forward to viewing many of your picks!
We just bumped on the left - Active Commenter Feed.

This need quality slow read - Actors like You get a`EP.

Wonderful. You spend quality time and no burp 7-Up.

Models deserve more money - fun times and great Value.

I bet You agree Actresses/Actors on Stage deserve Respect.

Let's be valued not for hairy legs, chubby breast, or bold head?

Curly hair. No hair. WE can get a Add Tattooed to Foreheads.

Gator Aide?
ER Number.
Call 9-11 EP.
Tease. Rats?
I glad for EP!
Gentleman ay.
M. Chariot, I have missed your elegant prose in these corners, for you are the one who usually lifts me from my lowbrow genre predilections!

Believe it or not, I haven't seen Antichrist, and have no desire to as it may even be too much for my horror-business eyes. However, Mrs. Chillerpop and I last night took in a wonderful documentary about New York Times styles page photographer Bill Cunningham. I think you'd love it. And your description of "Smash His Camera" makes it sound like Ron Galella is the evil, demonic dark twin of the absolutely lovely Bill Cunningham. Perhaps a blog post topic is in order!


Please write more, M. Chariot!!!
My dear Mlle Bowl ~ I am most sympathetic to your reservations about Lars von Trier: an acquired taste, to be sure. Breaking the Waves is one of my least favorite films. Ah yes, I have encountered Mlle Rosselini's Green Porn series — I believe it was here on OS? Charming! Charming!

My dear Mlle aim ~ Ah yes, Netfliques: the addiction that dare not speak its name! Thank you for weighing in on the phenom!

My dear M. James ~ The do becomes a carousal when the Whirly-gig Gent appears! Thank you for infusing the mundanity of my movie-viewings with your discreet poeticisms!

My dear M. Chillerpop ~ Always a pleasure to run into a fellow horroriste! And thank you for the recommendation on Cunningham. Will most definitely take a peek!
Very cool reviews, always good to know of some films I have yet to see. Well done!
Rated for many reasons, including the comprehensive tags. It is always great to enjoy your unique perspective and taste, whether based on life or film.
Goodbye Again sounds delicious! How wonderful to see you here this morning! Great post! I have yet to use Netflix! I am so behind the times! These reviews have inspired me to dig deeper and find some of these older classics. Thanks!
Thank you , thank you for that tip to "Goodbye Again" - it's at the top of my queue for this weekend - I would never have known of it without you.
Monsieur, your taste is, as always, impeccable, and your research on behalf of OS film watchers is a fine example of public service. While I've seen two of these four films, you make me want to see them all - soon.
My dear Mlle Shiela ~ Your lovely presence is always a boon to the proceedings. Mercí!

My dear Mme Lane ~ M. Chariot is nothing if not comprehensive!

My dear Mlle Cathy ~ Delicieux indeed!

My dear M. Meandre ~ "Hello, Again" old chap!

My dearest Mlle Roddick ~ Alas, which two of the four films is the question that hangs, trembling in the air!
What a treat! A cinephile of the first order to help me navigate the vast resource that is netflix. I'm headed there now. Oh, and I just saw the Great Lebowski for the first time a few months ago myself...classic Coen.
I thought you might be getting ready to pinch one out due to the recent flurry of comment activity. Excellent as always. Thankfully the OS server was not in crawl mode and I was able to easily refer to all the links in your post in a timely manner, which I am sure will serve to delight those who are not already M. Chariot devotees.
DAMN Monsieur! You are wearing the cat's pajamas.

Your reviews are incomparable, your graphics divine, and I yearn to be scrunched up next to you and your chair with a classic drink and some caramel covered popcorn, watching any one of these bits with you. As long as green heron is wrong in her imaginary assumptions. Mon Dieu! as Kathy suggests. Say it ain't so Mnsr.
I too enjoyed "Smash his Camera" - particularly after reading "I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby: A Colorful History of Tabloids and Their Cultural Impact" by Bill Sloan.
My dear Mlle Russell ~ As I have said to close personal famous friends many times, "Paparazzi are the bane of the poised." Why must I always look so fat in the tabloids?

My dear Mlle Bluestocking ~ My Netfliques is your Netfliques, cherí!

My dear M. Whirlwind ~ The infrequency of my pinched posts explains why they are hard and polished as diamonds! Thank you for indulging my link fixation!

My dear Mlle Abby ~ May I suggest we share White Russians and a cigarette spéciale? Regardless, I can assure you I shall be impeccably dressed.

My dear M. Tawl ~ I am most pleased to hear that you have seen the Galella doc, and I shall investigate your recommended tome!
The answer may have potential as a title for a fifth film - Goodbye Again, The Big Lebowski
In any event, this at least answers the trembling question (and so very few of my questions tremble).
Vat iz you call this netfix?
Monsieur Chariot,
I had seen Aimez-vous Brahms? in my native language in that title. Years later when I saw it's title on PBS as "Goodbye Again"
it took me a second to make the connection. Watching it after so many years brought back not only nostalgia but also woke up little memories tucked away in my cerebral curves. Thank you for including it in your review.
I watched "Antichrist" about a month or so ago, and thought it was one of the ugliest films I've ever watched. Viewer beware! I'm intrigued by your review of "Smash his Camera", and I actually remember that photo of Jackie O when it was first published back in the 1970's.
My dearest Mlle Roddick ~ Mercí beaucoup ma cher!

My dear M. Willie ~ I believe Netfliques premieres in Antwerp in 2012.

My dear Mlle FusunA ~ And such lovely cerebral curves they are, my dear Mlle!

My dear M. Procopius ~ And would you not agree with my description of Antichrist as "adult horror"? No cheesy thrills here. We're talking real horror, sir! And now, let us take a pause to allow that image of Jackie O to cleanse the palate.
I just joined after many years of putting it off. First thing I looked for was Spider's Strategem by Bernardo Bertolucci. They don't have it--couldn't believe it.

I found a VHS copy on amazon for $45.
My dear M. Chapman ~ It is very likely that the film has not been issued on DVD? My favorite Bertolucci films are The Sheltering Sky, The Last Emperor and 1900 (all of which are available).
Bonjour Monsieur,

Upon your splendid recommendation I will be sure to catch the first two movies which I've never seen. The picture accompanying the Antichrist has me most enthralled.

The Big Lebowski I've seen a number of times and its characters always amuse, John Goodman as much as the Dude. Smash This Camera is a compelling documentary and positions celebrity photography and the photographer in a whole new light. Galella's inclusion at the MOMA raises some questions as well.

Great reviews here. Merci.
It's always a treat when Monsieur posts something.

I'm into old movies these days, so Goodbye Again is definitely on my list to watch.

I, too, was having a hard time imagining you watching The Big Lebowski, but then after scrolling down to see that you've also reviewed Twilight, I finally understood: you suffer through all manner of movies so that we don't have to.
Monsieur! Ceci est un ajout élégant et très nécessaire à la couverture ... je vous remercie beaucoup pour ce texte....xox
My dear Mlle Sumac ~ Please do be cautious re Antichrist - it is not a film for the gentlewoman of delicate disposition!

My dear M. Neilpaul ~ Exclusivity is the gentleman's middle name!

My dear Mme Kern ~ Anything to protect fine ladies from cinema's harsher offerings!

My dear Mlle Sneed ~ Open Salon's soignee videographer brings that touch of celebrity to my lackluster entertainment!
Another great set of MC movie reviews!

I recently got one of the little Apple TV devices, and so I can now watch Netflix instant play movies on my TV. So I especially appreciate this list.

In addition, I have all of your other movie recommendations queued up in my Netflix queue, at least those that are available, in anticipation of a Monsieur Chariot film festival. With the addition of these I believe I am now ready to begin the festivities.
Monsieur C: Since my DVD player is on the blink, these recommendations could not have come at a better time as streaming Netflix is the best way for me to watch movies on my tiny but useable Dell computer.

I will say again publically what I said to you via email. I truly believe that you should collect your amazingly well-writtten film suggestions and review, with your photos and other visuals together and make it into a book, sent first off to all the Art House cinemas and sold at Brentano's --I think there are a few left, one in Manhattan.

You are a great not good writer of films and your fans here would all buy it too. I love that this came into my inbox here the MOMENT I wanted to go to Netflix streaming but feared I would not know what to choose.

That said, I have been on an Argintian sp? roll, especially the films of Norma Aleandro. In addition to "The Official Story"--she is just tremendous in a new film (think it is also on Netflix streaming as is the prior one) called "Cleopatra" which is a road story, in which two women, one very young, Aleandro about 71-72 play so well, and the music, incroyable. Thank you Thank you, Mlle Wendy
My dear M. Colman ~ There are "womenfolk" in your domicile? For some inexplicable reason I expected you were a bachelor — or at least a divorcée, like myself. No wonder you're watching It's Complicated twice! Tut-tut!

My dear M. Jimmishima ~ Welcome to the wonderful world of instant streaming! I'm preparing my speech for the Chariot Film Festival this very evening! How very vivifying!

My dear Mlle Stewart ~ I have one of your KMart Shower Curtains, the frosted one with the white dots. My very favorite — lovely my dear, quite lovely indeed!

My dearest Mlle Wendy ~ You are too kind my dear Wend-O, too kind indeed! You must write about your Argentinian roll! I need a new headtrip, and you're just the one to supply it!
I adore Ingrid Bergman.
Hurray! Another wonderful post from Monsieur Chariot! Wonderful list. I have seen many, but not all of these, so I have a few lovelies to add to my 'must see list.' I adore Perfume - absolutely amazing cinematography. And have you ever seen the BBC version of Far From The Madding Crowd? If they have it on netflix, I highly recommend it! :-)
M.C: just finished "Shmash His Camera"--Gallella is quite the character, not much like his earlier persona. He appealed to me, to my surprise, his humor, his love, his amazing work ethic, and yes I found him a worker not a stalker.

I noticed that there are many GREAT documentaries I have missed. But I'll follow most of your list first. NOT being falsely flattering about how I see you manifesting and soon. How many essays do you have here? Each is, just see how many and how fine the comments.
Thinking of you more often than before you left TT, glad you are posting here! WO

Your reviews are dishier than the films. Truffles, sherry and silk kimonos for screening at my house! An OS Film Festival?

Might I suggest the HBO version of "Mildred Pierce?" Hard to beat Miss Crawford (save the wire coat hangers) but Miss Winslet is tres bon!!
Fascinating indeed! I, too, am shocked that such an erudite gentleman as yourself had never seen "The Big Lebowski". I will be looking for a way to see "Goodbye Again" - since le Netfliques is not available here. :-(
My dear Mlle Marcelleqb ~ I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Bergman at the premiere of Murder On The Orient Express in Antwerp, with mother. Lovely person indeed.

My dear Mlle Veltman ~ You melodious greeting warms the heart! I was not aware of a BBC version of Madding Crowd, my dear: investigation post haste!

My dear Mlle Wend-O ~ I share several of your sentiments regarding M. Galella, but his eerie comment that he considered Jackie O to be his "girlfriend" at the time shifted my sympathy negatively. The poor woman was beleaguered by continual intrusions on her privacy. Alas, Galella's triumph led the way to the disrespectful, boundary-trashing travesty of prurience we see reflected in today's tabloid journalism.

My dear Mlle Crows ~ Oh dear, your film festival sounds like the kind of swanky affair to which I have become precariously accustomed. Re HBO, I have recently disconnected my cable to protest all the "reality" television now available, which I consider cheap and uninteresting. I am now entirely reliant on Netfliques, iTunes and podcasts for my media, and don't expect the HBO version of Mildred Pierce to be available on DVD until next year — an unfortunate downside of my principled rejection of contemporary television.

My dear Mlle Salzberg ~ I'm certain Goodbye Again is available on DVD somewhere! Definitely worth seeing by anyone interested in complex sexual mores!

My dear M. Colman ~ Then allow me to recommend you place Goodbye Again at the top of you Netfliques queue for a significantly estrogen-neutralizing effect on the household!
thank you so much, monsieur. i attempted to convince my friend to stream Goodbye Again last night, but she wanted something lighter, so we did Father's Little Dividend with Liz Taylor.
My dear Mlle Fery ~ Thank you for weighing in! Like your friend, I too wanted to watch a film as tribute to the passing of the great Elizabeth Taylor. I chose The V.I.P.s (1963).
Mon cher, I watched Antichrist last night. Mon dieu! Perhaps the devil and not god did create this world. If so, how fitting for porn stars to help tell that story. As for me, I haven't covered my face and peaked out between my fingers so many times since the witch started jumping out unexpectedly on the road to Oz. Now on to Smash His Camera, for a change in pace.
Yes Mlle Roddick, I too found Antichrist to be quite the trial. What I found most disturbing was the headlong dive into the kinds of things which the average adult only skirts (by comparison, anyway): depression, futility, madness and violence.

I believe you will find Smash to supply more of the glamour, charm and wit to which gentlepersons such as yourself have become more accustomed. Would love to hear your perceptions.
Merci for recommending the delightfully entertaining Smash His Camera. I've always sided with those who regard Galella as slime, so I was a tad annoyed to find myself admiring his best photographs. Hearing Liz Smith - whom I respect and have known (tangentially) since before we were, well, since before she was famous - give him a good natured pat on the back was reassuring, particularly in view of your own impeccable taste. Still, it would be hell to have him on one's trail. I wonder if he ever pestered Liz Smith - or Monsieur?
Frankly my dear Mlle Roddick, MC was bedeviled by the Galella doc, as it underlined my perception that in order to break through the numbing trance that is modern culture, the artist is required to to exhibit some kind of mental illness: via obsessive, compulsive — or worse — behaviors. That which we now call Art appears to spring only from a driven, insane, unbalanced or megalomaniacal condition — whether natural or induced.

I find the ramifications of this particular equation not a little disturbing.
Mon cher Monsieur, I agree with all you say. I sympathized with Brando socking Galella, although I am a pacifist. G's photos, at best, revealed the subjects, despite his seedy tactics. And I relished the weirdness of the man and his wife.

I did not watch the film as seriously as you did. I sought and found an antidote to the brilliant, somewhat undisciplined, and disturbing Antichrist. Your use of "bedeviled," however, connects the films. I saw the devil at work in (and beyond) the Galella universe. Today, although artists continue to create, the demands of marketing can be so distasteful and tawdry that too many significant voices are not heard.

I am reminded of a letter I read in an Italian course in college. Leonardo was begging a potential patron to give him the commission for a horse statue. I still recall vividly my nausea at the smarmy groveling of an artist I worshiped.
My dear Mademoiselle ~ Your comments are very thoughtful indeed. Although I do not consider myself a good photographer, particularly when it comes to the human subject, I have seen excellent photographers at work in my role as an art director. One thing I have noticed about the art is the impact of the photographer's personality on the subject: whether genuine or simulated, an attitude of worshipfulness seems key to getting a stranger to reveal the unguarded expression to the camera. Despite his dogged stalking and other questionable tactics, Galella does seem to have worshiped his subjects, or at the very least managed an atmosphere of worshipfulness on the street.

Oh and by the way, for some reason Liz Smith's melting blandishments made me wince.
Your observation rings so true that I am smiling broadly - recalling that my modeling career lasted for less than a week because the only photos in which I looked as was expected were taken by a photographer who kissed me before each shot. There weren't enough fashion photographers with his particular skill. But he fit your description.

I understand wincing at Liz Smith. Her comments were evidently given in exchange for an interview and photographs. I winced when Google led me to that info.
Simply wonderful, as per your usual, wonderful self.

And helpful, since I love the instant feature on Netflix. Last weekend, I indulged in Dog Day Afternoon. (Ah, when Pacino was just a good, vulnerable actor and not just a blowhard!) Smash his Camera sounds like my next choice.
My dear Mlle Mann ~ Thanks for digging deep for a pre-blowhard Pacino film: it couldn't have been an easy excavation. Have added it to my queue! I am very interested in your perceptions of Smash.
I just finished Smash his camera. Terrific film...played like an entertaining history lesson on tabloid journalism. I had no idea who this guy Ron Gallela (a charismatic charmer and celebrity in his won right) was or how much he contributed to the zeitgeist of celebrity cultlure, past and present. I waited to hear about his take on the role of the Paparazzi in the death of Princess Di. They didn't go there. That would have been interesting.

The filmakers managed to present such a compelling image of this man that I'm still not sure where I stand on the right/wrong questions surrounding his body of work, which is considerable and extremely valuable. When I think of him harassing Jackie and her children the way he did, I shudder, but then he's such an affable guy...tough call. Thanks for the recommend. Now on to Goodbye Again.
I meant to say...in his own right.
My dear Mlle Bluestocking ~ Thanks so much for weighing in on Smash. I share several of your impressions. You are clearly too young to remember Galella during his heyday, but he was in the news frequently, mainly in reference to all the litigation surrounding him. Although age has bestowed a mellowing of the personality, he was quite the blunt instrument in his time, utterly relentless. This was America's first exposure to celebrity photojournalism as a form of harassment, as we watched him exhausting Jackie O and others with his plague of incessant intrusions on their every last shred of privacy. What made Jackie's plight so much more disturbing was that she was no mere fame-seeking starlet; she'd been the First Lady after all, had endured enormous tragedy in her service to the American people, and was — or so we naively thought at the time — deserving of some respect, deference... a little peace?

Bullheaded, coarsely refusing to recognize boundaries of common decency, Galella pursued her mercilessly, bulldozing through every legal obstacle she raised — leading the way to today's unrestrained celebrity feeding frenzy.
Fabulous reviews! I would especially like to see "Goodbye Again." I love the popcorn graphic at the end!! Now I have to go and rent some movies......
Wow. Your commentary was so compelling that I had to rent the film. You are very talented and I look forward to reading more of your posts!
First of all, now that the initial Gallela charm has worn off and I've given it more thought, I realize I was too easy on him. Though he may have mellowed with age, the fact remains that he caused tremendous anxiety to people...diminishing their quality of life. Yes, he was and is an a**.

Goodbye again was a real treat. I was particularly impressed with the nuanced screenplay and performances. Oh, and Paris has never been more charming. Anthony Perkins is not one of my favorites, but he handled this complicated part well. Is edgy portrayal kept me guessing...was he psychotic or just an exhuberant eccentric?

Ingrid Bergman on the other hand is near the top of my all time favorite list. She was captivating as ever, taking us along on her journey of recognition and resignation. On the night she first took her young lover and heard him prattling on in the distance, she knew and I knew the choice she would eventually make. I am of that age myself and could relate to her experience. With two imperfect options before her she made the best choice all things considered. The ending was anything but typical tie-it-up-in-a-bow tidy and therefore resembled the real world much more so than most Hollywood fare then and now.

Thanks again for the recommendation. On to Antichrist.
My dear Mlle Lindau and Mlle Pace ~ I am so very happy to discover a few more film fans. I sincerely hope you will find the time to share your impressions about any of the above recommendations!

My dear Mlle Bluestocking ~ Thanks so much for submitting your intriguing perceptions about Goodbye, again. I do adore hearing from one so articulate! When I saw where Bergman ended up, I found it depressing: despite all her wriggling to freedom, her straining for alternatives, I felt she landed in a worse place than where she started. At least at the beginning of the story, she had options. By the full-circle ending, the only option was divorce.

But your commentary offers a somewhat more sad-eyed, philosophical lens on the proceedings. Was Bergman's fate her "best choice"? Was it "real world"? I wonder if there is a place between tie-it-up-in-a-bow-tidy and resigned that may have made for a better life? Perhaps her resignation reflected the best possible option for a mature woman at the beginning of the 1960s, before the sexual revolution, before the beginning of modern feminism?
Such a terrific list--and descriptions of the list items. rated
Antichrist...now that was dark. I've never been so completely gobsmacked by a film...that I can recall. I will let my thoughts marinate a bit and come back.
Goodbye Again was absolutely divine!

I can't believe I'd never heard of it. I am a huge Ingrid Bergman fan, so how did I miss this gem?

The ending was heart-wrenching as well as clever.

Merci, mon bon monsieur!
I cannot tell you how delighted I am that several of you have taken the time to see the films and share your perceptions. Thank you!
Two years later and I am still waiting on commentary from several unnamed persons!
"any European film having to do with human relationships always seems to be at least 40 years in advance of American cinematic sensibilities, do they not?"

Yes--and we never catch up.