>>>>>>>>>AND NOW…FOR SOMETHING SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT…
This is a cultural commentary that a french speaking friend of mine sent me…hopefully it will helpl understanding a little more>>>>Zazie dans le métro
“To read Queneau’s novel in French, and then in English, one sees how difficult its English translator Barbara Wright’s job was, and then to appreciate at least how hard it was for Malle to translate Zazie into film, another language altogether. The book is linguistically subversive, especially in the way it attacks “official” French, so that all its neologisms and curses make no sense, yet somehow do. The Keystone Kops & 3 Stooges slapstick is perfectly sensible if the viewer realizes the film is seen through Zazie’s eyes and fantasies–and Zazie is a benign enfant terrible of considerable imagination and endless charm. It’s a wonderful movie, a satire of the bourgeoisie as well as of the power that adults, in their inanity, wield over innocence. Richard Lester used Malle’s conventions to great effect in his films a few years later, particularly those starring The Beatles. “Zazie” is inspired anarchy, and an absolute pleasure in an often disappointing grown-up world.
Zazie dans le Metro is a pretty amazing film, even more amazing that it’s far less known than the films made by the French New Wave directors around the same time. Louis Malle wasn’t officially in the New Wave but this film fits right in with what they were doing. It’s a satire of French society painted like a children’s book. It has a firm grasp on the absurd (this film HAD to be an influence on Richard Lester, director of A Hard Day’s Night). It uses jump cuts much more skillfully than Breathless, released only a few months before Zazie and gets credit for “inventing” that technique. In short, Zazie dans le Metro is an unsung masterpiece that would make part of an excellent satirical triple feature with Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and Godard’s Weekend.
Wild and wonderful, not to be missed. The section filmed at the Eiffel Tower is outstanding. Laugh out loud funny. I will agree with those who say the final 20 minutes are not as fun and do not make a good conclusion.”
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