Tonight is the last official night of the Belcourt's "50 Years of Janus Films" series, with Jason Shawhan introducing the wonderful French epic Children of Paradise
at 7 p.m. I'll be sorry to see it go. I got to watch spectacular prints of some movies I'd always wanted to see (Mizoguchi's Sansho the Bailiff
, Varda's Cleo from 5 to 7
) and to reacquaint myself with old favorites (Renoir's The Rules of the Game
, Ophuls's The Earrings of Madame de...
Among the many people I noticed returning throughout the series, two faces stuck out: Jasmine Rich, 12, and her 8-year-old sister Grace Gilmore. Accompanied by their mother, Beth Gilmore, an artist and Watkins student who runs the Twist Art Gallery, the girls turned up at everything from Luis Bunuel's Viridiana
to Kon Ichikawa's grim war drama Fires on the Plain
. "It was something we could all do together," Beth Gilmore said. By last week, the girls had seen at least 10 of the films in the series, and more at a supplementary series screened by local film collector Tom Wills.
watching two foreign films a week when you were in third or even seventh grade? I wasn't. (Channel 8 only showed one a week in the 1970s.) So I was curious: what did the girls see in the movies?
"They're just like different cultures we don't get to see," Jasmine said. "We get to hear how they talk too."
The girls and their mother sat down at Bongo Java last week to talk about the movies they saw. Jasmine, who had her paintings and collages shown at an Untitled show, sat browsing Club Penguin on her laptop. Grace, with an ice-cream-cone stamp on her hand, filled her sketchbook with drawings of cat people and responded to questions that didn't interest her with a sharp, "Meow." Mom Beth moderated. Some of their thoughts:The Rules of the Game
(Jean Renoir, 1939)
Jasmine: I loved The Rules of the Game
. The French ones seemed more cheerful even when they had sad endings, and the Japanese ones seemed sad even when they had a happy ending.
Grace: It reminded me of Itchy & Scratchy, because they chased each other around. (Explaining to adult listener who Itchy & Scratchy are) The Simpsons
Jasmine: That's not a movie!
Grace: Duh!The Cranes Are Flying
(Mikhail Kalatazov, 1957)
Grace: I loved The Cranes Are Flying
Jasmine: I liked the part where [the main character] got really mad at that guy for taking her squirrel...
Grace: Because that's what he called her...
Jasmine: "Squirrel!"Fires on the Plain
(Kon Ichikawa, 1959)
Grace: That's the one where they killed the dog. They killed the innocent dog!The Spirit of the Beehive
(Victor Erice, 1973)
Jasmine: I loved Spirit of the Beehive
Grace: I loved Spirit of the Beehive
Jasmine: Don't copy me! (Nods to sister) I would have played a trick on her just like the girl did in the movie with her sister.
Adult Listener: You mean when she pretends to be dead?
Beth: What about when the girl takes food to the homeless man hiding in the house?
Grace: That was generous.
Jasmine: It wasn't safe, but it was good