and I changed my vote. This gave me an appreciation of Pialat I didn't have before. We Won’t Grow Old Together
(1972)★ ★ ★ – Good
Why do relationships gone sour take so long to end? Pialat explores this incredibly painful time with fascinating accuracy. The man (Jean Yanne) has turned angry and apologetic, an abusive control-freak one moment and a sad puppy the next. The woman (Marlène Jobert) finds his behavior less forgivable, but slowly over time. She’s at the stage where she can say she doesn’t love him, but can’t walk completely away because there were some good times once. A large chunk of the film focuses on the couple’s interactions, cutting out the moments of outside advice between encounters, which makes their scenes more intense. Really skillfully handled, though upsetting to watch in places for obvious reasons. (So glad I’m married.) The Mouth Agape
(1974)★ ★ ★ – Okay
Unflinching look at a person slowly dying while those around her care as much as they are able to. Husband, son and daughter-in-law continue their own flawed existence while the inevitable draws closer every day. Reminded me of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days where every banal event is intensified much like a fight scene in slow motion because of what’s at the center of everyone’s mind. It creates its own sense of being out of time and place, while death is always there to point out a person’s insignificance. A mundane conversation about flowers is crushing under these circumstances. (My mixed rating is because much as I can admire this technique, it’s so dramatically inert it only works for me intellectually.)Loulou
(1980)★ ★ ½
The acting by Isabelle Huppert and Gèrard Depardieu is outstanding, able to get me to believe any and all irrational behavior and decisions, but the story has too many “movie” elements to resonate for me like the previous two. Outside dramatic forces are more extreme and suddenly life-changing. It’s as if Pialat is covering too long of a period of time and has to skip over details to present the highlights.Under the Sun of Satan
There’s something Bergman to this. Not because it’s about a priest who is looking for proof of God while encountering Satan (literally at one point) and all his works, but because the script is sparse with characters talking for long periods of time at whomever is around. While Bergman’s dialogue is full of ideas that keep you engaged, here it’s a lot of emotion. Conveyed in elevated poetry, the characters never involve, so unlike Bergman I don’t feel the questions are being put back on me.