Sorry, Jeff. I don't have much to say about The Lower Depths. I liked it enough. It's a strong film, but one that I can't seem to feel strongly about. I agree with you about the friendship angle. I agree that there's some class commentary going on. I won't argue about Renoir being one of the first great directors in film history. I will simply say that there is some sort of flaw in me in that I can't get into his LitFic style. I feel like I'm reading some great fat Modernist novel when I'm watching one of his films. The truth is, though, that I'd rather be reading something a bit pulpier. What interests me most is what happens at the center of or in the margins of genre fiction. Big ideas and/or strong characters. Poor people rising above their situation is fine and all, but there's something lacking in The Lower Depths. What's the point of The Lower Depths? Being poor sucks, but laying in the grass is really nice sometimes? Sure. I get that. I enjoyed all that. But, so what?
[I may seem to sound negative about this film, but I did enjoy it at least as much as The Blue Angel and do think that it's a fine film. I guess I'm just itching to watch another Western. Destry Rides Again, here I come!!!]
Brandon, Jeff, Lisa:'
You guys need to see Midnight in Paris. I'm either completely right or I'm a terribly grumpy old man. That's a false choice. I'm definitely completely right AND a terribly grumpy old man. I'd still like to know what you guys think!