L’aveu

I was sleepy and not anxious to go back to work on a Monday morning. A trash bin outside the building was overflowing, and there was a pizza box on the ground and a plastic bag nearby. I was glad to be done with my shift and return home. I had a late lunch and listened to “The Art of McCartney” as I did my laundry. I liked the tracks by Bob Dylan, Heart, and KISS. I watched the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “The Confession” by Costa-Gavras. Watching it again, it was one of his best films, along with “Z” and “Missing.” It shows a story of a Communist Party official in Czechoslovakia enduring an interrogation in the time of Stalin. The process was frightening in its closeness to religious conversion. Yves Montand is Gérard, the unfortunate man enduring this process. The relentless breaking of the will reminded me of “1984.” Gérard looked healthy in the beginning, but it looked like he lost thirty pounds as time went on. He looked bony, certainly. If this was just a political movie, it wouldn’t have been so interesting. What was so compelling about this story was the attempt to strip away all the dignity and humanity of the individuals. I wouldn’t want to commit a crime and be subjected to anything close to this torture. I thought of Amanda Knox and her imprisonment in Italy. I would like to think that I am a strong person, but if I was deprived of sleep and had water doused on me constantly, I might break quickly. Yves Montand turned in a good performance in the way he’s strong at first but is numb and a shell of himself at the end. The courtroom scene at the end was very powerful. There was one funny moment which only made everything seem more horrific. Costa-Gavras gained so much attention as the result of “Z,” and this film was an impressive building of his artistic reputation, although it wasn’t as well-liked as “Z.” This was the third time I’ve seen “The Confession,” and this time I felt the strengths of the film more than ever. It feels focused and effective. It took me years to find a copy of this movie before I got it on DVD a few years ago. This Criterion Collection looks immaculate and the clarity of it added much more than I expected. You wouldn’t think that high definition could give a movie like this more impact, but the grimy interiors and the facial expressions really made me feel what was going on. Simone Signoret is the wife who doesn’t know what’s going on with her husband. Her position reminded me of the Sissy Spacek character in “Missing.” I would have liked to have seen more scenes with Signoret and the family. A couple of those scenes feel rather predictable. The story of “The Confession” is disturbing because you have to question how people in authority decide what the truth is and try to convince the rest of us of the reality of it. I would question everything that Hillary Clinton would say, but then I would have equally severe doubts about Donald Trump or any Republican. The only Costa-Gavras film I ever saw in a theatre during its original release was “Missing.” That was a memorable movie, and thinking about it made me wish that I could see similar films that are equally dramatic and meaningful. I don’t know if any of today’s directors can handle political issue without seeming crazy. Nobody knows how to argue a point. In 1982, besides “Missing,” I also saw “Gandhi,” “Tootsie,” “Sophie’s Choice,” and “The Verdict,” which were all better than almost all the movies I’ve seen this year. I watched a couple of the special features, including a seven-minute segment of an interview with Yves Montand. This disc made me wish that more movies could be released in Criterion Collection editions. I would like to see “Strohfeuer” and “Confidences pour confidences” on Blu-ray someday. I have so many memories from the 1980s that can’t be matched today. Whatever happened to good foreign language films? The movie made me want to sleep. I couldn’t stand the thought of staying up for Stephen Colbert and another of his political guests. James Corden had Julianne Moore for one of his guests. I’ll always like her in “The Big Lebowski.” I haven’t been able to watch The Twilight Zone late at night in recent months. Night Gallery is so inferior. I would like to see The Outer Limits come back. I want to see The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd again. The Warriors played a preseason game in San Jose. The fans seem awfully confident that the Warriors can repeat as champions. It doesn’t seem like such an easy task to me. Billy Beane got a promotion or gave himself a promotion, but the news reporters say he’s going to do the same job with a different title. After this horrendous season, he didn’t really deserve a promotion. It looked like the Seattle Seahawks got away with one last night. The referees again blew a call. Detroit Lions fans must be furious this morning. Governor Brown signed a right-to-die bill. He seems to fear a painful death. I would, too. I’m impressed with the Raspberries fans on Facebook, posting photos from 1973 and giving us a good look at what they were like in their best days. Some of the people who died on October 6 include Nelson Riddle (1985), Bette Davis (1989), Denholm Elliott (1992), Ted Bessell (1996), and Richard Farnsworth (2000). Today is a birthday for Elisabeth Shue (52) and Britt Ekland (72). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 6, the opening of “The Jazz Singer” began the age of talking movies in 1927. In 1960, “Spartacus” had its premiere at the DeMille Theatre in New York City. In 1961, the ABC television show “The Hathaways,” starring Peggy Cass, Jack Weston, and three chimpanzees, made its debut. In 1969, a George Harrison song, “Something,” became the A-side of a Beatles single for the first time. In 1980, the Bee Gees filed a mismanagement lawsuit for $200 million against Robert Stigwood and RSO Records. In 1988, “Dear John,” starring Judd Hirsch, had its premiere on NBC. In 1989, Bette Davis died in France of cancer at age 81. In 1996, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were married.

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