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New Meetup: The Green Room

From: John
Sent on: Sunday, October 24, 2010 1:45 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Boston International/Arthouse Movie Meetup Group!

What: The Green Room

When: Sunday, November 21,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Paramount Center at Emerson College
559 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111

The Green Room

Directed by Fran?ois Truffaut with Fran?ois Truffaut, Nathalie Baye, Jean Dast?

Screenwriter Jay Cocks in Person

A two-time Oscar nominee (Gangs of New York, The Age of Innocence), Cocks is teaching an intensive writing seminar this semester, and has chosen to discuss The Green Room with the Bright Family Screening Room audience.

1978, France. This, for me, is a kind of lost film, and I wanted to find it again. In 1978, The Green Room opened tentatively and, it turned out, very briefly, then vanished. It can?t have lasted in theaters here for even a few weeks, and it disappeared even from home video, which is remarkable considering it is the work of Fran?ois Truffaut, the most popular?you could also almost say ?beloved??of all the French New Wave filmmakers.

I didn?t manage to see it until a few years later, when a friend recommended it and I managed to find a muddy tape. It was, for me, a revelation, a remarkable and intimate testament about love and loss and obsession. This will be a rare opportunity to see it the way it was meant to be seen, and to share a journey into the shadowy parts of a great artist?s spirit. - Jay Cocks

From The New Yorker:
?The Green Room,? from 1978. (Truffaut died in 1984, at the age of fifty-two.) It?s a period piece, set in provincial France in 1928, starring Truffaut himself as Julien Davenne, a journalist (specializing in obituaries) who, having lost most of his friends to the First World War (in which he, too, fought) and his young bride to disease, devotes his life to the commemoration of the dead.

It?s serendipitous that the first of the movie?s two screenings will be tomorrow, the same day as the opening of Clint Eastwood?s ?Hereafter,? another movie about the dead, which overlaps with Truffaut?s film in surprising ways.

Davenne?s ?green room? is the one that he maintains as a shrine to his late wife; the crucial turn of the movie is Davenne?s purchase, from the local diocese, of an abandoned chapel, which he turns into his private altar for his own dead?an altar that is maintained without the approval (other than mercenary) of the clergy and utterly apart from Catholic (or other) liturgy. Exactly as in Eastwood?s film, the doctrines of organized religion do nothing to satisfy the needs of the living in regard to the dead?namely, to make contact with them. In Truffaut?s film, the powers of Davenne?s literary imagination are devoted entirely, and vainly, to his powers of memory, which are perpetually sustained by his own rituals of devotion in the quasi-theatrical stages of his own devising.

Unlike Eastwood, Truffaut doesn?t allow for any further crossing of the line: there is no medium or clairvoyant to effect a willed connection with the dead, and Davenne doesn?t seek any; the gap between his once-teased reason and his desire is the cause of his downfall. Whereas Eastwood, who has no inhibition about such matters, seeks to overcome the barrier between the putatively rational realm of the material and the ostensibly fictive one of the spirit?a truly ambitious project, and one that, for all its redemptively humanist consolations, must have been hard for him to put over with a straight face. And this straight face?the calm sobriety of his style?is an all-the-more-impressive setting for his easygoing metaphysical audacity.

From the New York Times:
Among other things, "The Green Room," which opens today at the Sutton Theater, reminds us of the profound darkness that seems to exist just beyond the lighted area of all Truffaut films ? the comedies such as "Stolen Kisses" and "Day for Night" as well as "Jules and Jim" and "The Wild Child."

"The Green Room" is not a movie you'll easily forget. It is a most demanding, original work and one must meet it on its own terms, without expectations of casual pleasures.

As this will be our first event at the Paramount Center's state-of-the-art Bright Family Screening Room, it would be a good idea to purchase advanced tickets. The Green Room Tickets

As this is a Sunday evening with discussion to follow, we'll meetup for a bite and a beer at a place close to the theater around 5:30. Chinatown? If you have any suggestions, please include them in your RSVP and I'll update the meetup with the exact location as we get close to the event.

See you at the movies,


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