La boulangère de Monceau, La carrière de Suzanne

I saw the sports highlights of the A’s in Detroit. A grand slam was the big hit. I went out to do some grocery shopping. Some crazed fool out on the street yelled at people, and I saw one young girl rushing away from her, crying. When I got home, I decided to watch some of the Eric Rohmer DVD box set I bought a while ago. The first film was “The Bakery Girl of Monceau,” which was 22 minutes long, but it felt like it had a lot in it. The main character was a law student played by Barbet Schroeder. He has his eye on a pretty blonde named Sylvie. Right after he talks with her for the first time, she disappears. Walking the streets trying to run into her again, the young man begins to frequent a bakery, where he turns his attention to the girl behind the counter, who is named Jacqueline. There is a contrast in classes between the two women. Barbet thinks the bakery girl is interested in him, but he’s holding out for Sylvie. He buys single cookies at first, but then he later stuff his face full of sweets. I was surprised that he didn’t gain a ton of weight. The whole thing made me think of “The Heartbreak Kid.” The men in Rohmer’s early films show their youth in the way they deal with and talk about women. They seem to be the biggest jerks you can imagine. They go into such detail in discussing their actions that you know they have to be young. Older people just don’t have that kind of energy. I wondered if any of those cookies, tarts, or pastries tasted any good. I thought they didn’t look too appetizing, especially in black and white. Jacqueline had some ambition, and she wasn’t going to stick with her bakery job for much longer. She might have the most promising future of the three principals. One good quality of the film was its presentation of Paris. It told us a lot about that area of the city. The disc included a short film called “Presentation, or Charlotte and Her Steak.” Another special feature was a conversation between Barbet Schroeder and Eric Rohmer filmed in April 2006. It was pretty interesting, but I fell asleep during much of it. One person they talked about was Nestor Almendros. He was characterized as absent-minded but brilliant. Rohmer said that he preferred watching movies on DVD to going to the theatre. The second film was “Suzanne’s Career,” and it seemed like an expansion of “The Bakery Girl of Monceau.” We had the same comparisons between two young women, one supposedly more desirable than the other. We have another student. The two friends are Bertrand and Guillaume. They don’t seem to be very good friends because one is always angry and envious of the other, and there is no trust. Guillaume is the friend that you get stuck with. You complain about him and vow to never talk with him again. Guillaume takes advantage of Suzanne. This film ran 55 minutes and had some of the feeling of “Jules and Jim.” The second disc features another short film called “Nadja in Paris.” It was modest, but I liked it. It felt like a travel film rather than an actual feature. I still liked it, however. Eric Rohmer’s last film was released in 2007. He died at age 89 on January 11, 2010. I remember that Gene Hackman’s character in “Night Moves” was critical of Rohmer. The only one of his films I saw in its original release in a movie theatre was “Pauline at the Beach.” Barbet Schroeder is still alive, and he is 73. Bertrand Tavernier is still alive, too, and he is 74. I read through the new issue of the East Bay Express. It had a good review of “Love & Mercy.” I may have to make the time to see it this weekend. I am also interested in seeing “When Marnie Was There.” At work, I had soreness in my left hand. I had a pretty good day of work, but I got a notice that a financial advisor would be telephoning me next week. It involves a lot of money, and it has to be handled the right way. I feel that I do have an advantage over the people I work with. I still have the potential to be pretty wealthy in the future. I’m not doomed to doing the same work until I die. I got a message from a former student who wanted to become my TA for the fall semester. When I got home, I watched a bit of “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round.” I didn’t know that Rose Marie was in it. If out budget allowed for it, I would like for it to happen. The next movie was “Escape From New York.” Kurt Russell certainly was not a good actor. When he acts like a tough guy, I simply don’t believe him. I wasn’t used to seeing Lee Van Cleef in anything besides “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” I would say that I miss Ernest Borgnine. The computer graphics weren’t too good, and the music on the soundtrack was irritating. I would say that my favorite John Carpenter movie is “The Thing.” I wonder why Sigourney Weaver rather than Adrienne Barbeau went on to become the Queen of Science Fiction. She was in “Swamp Thing.” James Cameron reached levels that John Carpenter never did. Jimmy Kimmel had Jennifer Connelly and Judd Apatow as guests. Those commercials with Marlo Thomas made me wonder what she did to her face. Her skin looks tight. Did she really have plastic surgery before her television show? Some of the people who died on June 4 include Serge Koussevitzky (1951), Charles Vidor (1959), Dorothy Gish (1968), and John Wooden (2010). Today is a birthday for Angelina Jolie (40), Michelle Phillips (71), and Bruce Dern (79). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 4, “Mrs. Miniver,” starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, was released in 1942. In 1982, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” was released. Also in 1982, “Hanky Panky,” starring Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner, was released.

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