Tag Archives: Funny Face

José Arroyo in conversation with Julia Scrive-Loyer

DSC09709.jpeg

Julia Scrive-Loyer is a young filmmaker, publisher and critic from Bordeaux who graduated from the EICTV film school in Cuba and currently resides in the Dominican Republic. I´ve been wanting to talk to Julia ever since I saw her beautiful new magazine, Simulacro. Its first issues is entirely devoted to the recently deceased Stanley Donen and it´s a joy to behold. Those of you who can´t speak Spanish won´t be able to read it, though its visual beauty will be evident to all. You can see it here.

If you understand English, however, you will be able to follow this conversation, which ranges from an earlier zine she published called Les oranges bleues, to ways that a younger generation is struggling to articulate and express the intersection of individual and social concerns; to the tensions inherent in balancing originality and sincerity. We do talk about Donen´s work: how Charade (1963) has a perfect script, how Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) couldn´t be made today; the infinite number of delights Funny Face (1957) offers, and the generosity inherent in those who focus their energies on transparently conveying what utopia would feel like and inciting joy.

simulacro.jpeg

Like with the very best conversations, one is surprised by the unexpected and memorable anecdote —  here relating to a workshop with Abbas Kiorastami — and one also learns: in talking about her love of cowboys and westerns, Julia tells me how a cowboy is constantly moving through landscape and how that movement is an emotional one. Nostalgia also comes from movement: if you don´t leave somewhere, even mentally, there´s no nostalgia and there´s no longing. A cowboy is movement in every way. A cowboy´s companions are the wind and the horse. I´ve been teaching for a long time, and Julia expresses this better and with more feeling than I´m able to muster. The podcast can be listed to here:

 

The first of a series of conversations with young artists and intellectuals from Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

José Arroyo

Popularie (Régis Roinsard, France, 2012)

pop2

If you like Almodóvar circa Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the ‘Think Pink’ number in Funny Face, 1950s clothes, cha-cha music, the look of Doris Day/ Rock Hudson movies, or ironic romances laced with a dash of camp, you’re likely to find Populaire charming .

It’s a relief to see a pretty romantic comedy that doesn’t assume its audience is moronic. However, this is a film where the heroine’s idea of romance and adventure is to simply find Mr. Right; so the sexual politics of the film can at times seem as retro as its chic. It might be best to approach Populaire with the same amused, affectionate and ironic sense of wonder with which the film itself presents its characters and its world.

That said, Populaire  is a sustained achievement in that most difficult of elements to get right – tone: light, buoyant, gurgling with glamour but morally girdled. The effect is as if Samantha from Bewitched had twinkled her little nose at Don Draper, squeezed all the sourness out of him, and found him a princess who could type.

Romain Duris and Déborah François play the couple as if the only thing blocking their waft towards a billowy nest of love is their  (gentle) butting of heads. The typing contest, filmed like a gunfight at the ok corral if the ok corral were a gleaming art deco hall, is a joy. The whole lovely confection is directed  with great precision and crack timing by Régis Roinsard.

José Arroyo

pop1