In the town of Thiers, summer of 1976, teachers and parents give their children skills, love, and attention. A teacher has his first child, a single mother hopes to meet Mr. Right, another ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at... See full summary »
Antoine Doinel is now more than thirty. He divorces from Christine. He is a proofreader, and is in love with Sabine, a record seller. Colette, his teenager love, is now a lawyer. She buys ... See full summary »
Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »
A French little town, at the end of the twenties. Julien Davenne is a journalist whose wife Julie died a decade ago. He gathered in the green room all Julie's objects. When a fire destroys ... See full summary »
Stanislas Previne is a young sociologist, preparing a thesis on criminal women. He meets in prison Camille Bliss to interview her. Camille is accused to have murdered her lover Arthur and ... See full summary »
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.
Bertrand Morane's burial is attended by all the women the forty-year-old engineer loved. We then flash back to Bertrand's life and love affairs, told by himself while writing an autobiographical novel. A film about romantic relationships, the need to charm, and the literary creation.Written by
Yepok and Brian McInnis
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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There even were pills to keep you happy. This is not very romantic but I find this funny, the thought that love stories with an unhappy ending can be healed using chemicals.
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Another good film by Truffaut (as with DW Griffith, Leni Riefenstahl) in the sense of a good watch, but why does it seem so gloomy and weighted down--at times even like a horror film.
Is it because Bertrand Morane is a solitary? Or because he draws us into a world (through his low key, partly sympathetic rendering) that is somehow upsetting and/or even detestable? Is it because the view here is hothouse psychological? A kind of Freudian mind drama in which a mother-son dyad subsumes everything outside itself to its own ends? (see "Alfie" for a social view of a similar womanizer) Is it because of the extent to which this fantasy is carried out---that it finally seems deranged, and sick, as if the product of a puerile mind in an adult? Or is it all the concealment techniques used to paint Bertrand as so exceptional a male that he might even find acceptance on an all-female island?
I think all of the above count but for my part the real source of gloom is the absence of women in "The Man Who Loved Women." No matter the angle, the multiplicity of women (one arguable exception) are singularly available to Bertrand Morane. They are inspected (their entry into his world and our screens), pursued, consumed, and disposed of--all to their immense delight. This is their invisibility Oh yeah, they have their fleeting stories, but these are invariably subsumed by Bertrand's script, which is all about pleasure, appetite, and some trumped up memory of a delinquent promiscuous mother.
But the big lie in all this and what Bertrand is most convinced of is that women want and need sex--and specifically from him. This availability is so patently confirmed as to be pornographic. Each step of his lovers' butterfly-like life span with him is not only accepted, but savored and yearned for. It's as if his sexualizing puppy-love has incapacitated them, cutting them off from both their own minds, and their own worlds. No way they're drawn to him for social reasons (this is not "Alfie")---but an irressistable urge which speaks for the social power (cleverly hidden by Truffaut) behind his very personal power trip. And accounts for Bertrand's capacity to transform live, often tall, world-aware women into fun sex toys.
The real convincer in this schema of availability, though, is Genevieve, the editor publisher. You expect her to be the point woman for exposure, given her position and her inside view of Bertrand's story, but no--she is the ultimate patsy. She not only loves his refreshingly honest take on his use of women---which she convinces herself is so modern, and contains a tendency toward equality, but converts five resistant male co-publishers to her view. Which makes it just a matter of time--she's lucky to be leggy-- before she expresses wimpish longings for the said Bertrand Morane and jumps into bed with him. And her love, like that of all his others, will soon become eternal and confer a kind of sainthood on the late Bertrand. If this seems astonishing than her role in the burial scene confirms it to be nakedly true. Surrounded by dozens of Saint Bertrand's lovers, she supplies the voice over as each woman approaches to toss dirt on his coffin. She touts each as an example of Bertrand's diverse taste for women... like shy, myopic, gentle, passionate, orphanish, funny, and so forth, ad nauseam as if even greater holiness might be bestowed on a male who has slept with Asians, Blacks, Latinas, Russians, and Native Islanders. Anyway, a "fitting" end indeed to a man who classified all women as either "kittens" or "fillies."
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