Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Instead of completing the enormous unit plan assignment due tonight in Curricular Methods class, I'm watching post-apocalyptic French cinema. The Time of the Wolf is a strange entry in the post-apocalyptic genre; it's subtle, quiet, and beautifully shot. Imagine Day of the Dead without zombies, or Children of Men with rampant pregnancies, or On the Beach without "Waltzing Matilda," or Lord of the Flies without the conch, or The Road without roving bands of cannibals.

Of course post-apocalyptic books and films don't need monsters to be tense and troubling. Humans can be rather wretched to each other under the best of circumstances, and when the thin veneer of law and order vanishes, they can be downright despicable. Especially in France.

The Time of the Wolf is almost too subtle for its own good. Without a powerfully redemptive scene for a particularly loathesome character, it might have failed. But I give it a thumbs up. Isabelle Huppert stars, after all, in her least sexy role since The Piano Teacher, which was also directed by Michael Haneke.

Godard's Le Weekend is still my favorite post-apocalyptic French film. The Hermes handbag scene kills me every time.

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