Grandeur and decay ... plunges us into activity of production company Albatros, a small hive where casting of a feature film is organized while boss, Jean Almereyda, is struggling with dubious creditors. The character, whose name was also that of Jean Vigo (anarchist activist, far of Vigo had renamed Miguel Almereyda) is played by Jean-Pierre Mocky, a filmmaker who, like Godard, built his own production system as an island of resistance Autonomous.Funeral Prayer
A beautiful moustache overlooks drawing of his mouth, Jean-Pierre Léaud, renowned for needs of film Gaspard Bazin, is looking for actors to pass tests. The wife of Almereyda, Eurydice, would like to become an actress, and force her way to Bazin. Accounting manages pay slips, worries about se bundles of notes with which producer would like to pay wages. The candidates parade in front of camera of Carol, chief operator played by Caroline Champetier who also signs image of film – and has just supervised restoration.
Shot in premises of JLG Films, production company of Jean-Luc Godard, with actors chosen among technicians who usually remain behind camera, and also of "unemployed of dole", film bares mechanics of cinema, grub Prosaic who presides over this ambiguous alliance of art and Industry, to sing a form of funeral prayer. "The all power of television," chants intertitles, while voice of Leonard Cohen envelops us with his infinite sadness. Almereyda, he sees death everywhere. While his peers – Beauregard, Braunberger, Rassam ... – are all "fallen into field of honour", his contemporaries are like "already dead". As Godard himself said, in a tasty little scene that brings m toger: "France is filthy." People don't wash ir ideas. »A playful, pop, inventive form
Bearer of a melancholy harbinger of future history (s) of cinema, Grandeur and decay ... adopts a playful, pop, inventive form, Franco-Swiss filmmaker experimenting with possibilities of video and small screen with vigor and freedom which He has only secret – same ones who will guide him in his exploration of 3d, thirty years later, for a farewell to language. The biting letter he sent to artistic director of TF1 of time who wanted to insert advertising breaks in film (transcribed in film's press kit) testifies to jubilation with which he took on task. From an artistic point of view, I regret that TF1 will not be able to insert more advertising screens in course of this work which deserves it, which would be perfectly in relation to subject. We can tell you several passages where insertion of a publicity screen would be very useful, eir to conceal outraged play of actor, or a weakness of cutting or lighting. (...) Of course, it will be necessary to choose from a common agreement advertising screens intended to be inserted during diffusion, and for ir good, and for that of " Bitter bearer". »Godard invented a new form of Cinégénie – should it be said "teleengineering"?
With texture and colors of video, with games of overprinting, melting, clip graphics that it allows, Godard invented a new form of Cinégénie – should it be said "teleengineering"? Under a certain light, face of Eurydice reminds girl of Pearl, of Vermeer (very beautiful Marie Valera, never seen in cinema since). At Bazin, he reminds of silent actresses like Dita Parla. While or actors recite fragments of a poem by Faulkner in disorder by passing under poster of this totem of cinematic modernity that is L'Avventura, of Antonioni, this beauty returned from dead inspires him a desire to Classicism: He asks him to read poem in his continuity. Like Orpheus snatching his fiancée from underworld, Bazin, as Spellbound, looked back. and precipitated his own loss.
French Film by Jean-Luc Godard (1986). With Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Marie Valera (1 h 32). On Web: www.capricci.fr/grandeur-decadence-petit-commerce-cinema-1986-424.html and Www.les-bookmakers.com/films/grandeur-et-decadence-dun-petit-commerce-de-cinema