La baie des anges

I watched CBS Sunday Morning and the segments about Elton John’s photograph collection and Warren Beatty.  I went out to see “Moonlight” again.  I appreciated some of the very good acting in it, although I thought the last part was slowing in getting to where it was going.  Having a main character who doesn’t talk very much makes for some limitations in the movie.  I watched the 49ers and Cardinals on television but fell asleep.  I watched Jacques Demy’s “Bay of Angels” on DVD.  It was quite a contrast with his musicals with its characters addicted to gambling.  It made me think of movies like “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” along with James Caan’s “The Gambler.”  Roulette seems like a game that is awfully tough for winning.  The first shot looked impressive, with the camera fixed on Jeanne Moreau and moving away quickly.  It was apparent that the camera was on a car.  I could see the tracks that the tires made, which distracted from the illusion.  Jeanne Moreau was Jacqueline, the woman whose life is in a bad situation.  It was alarming to watch her reckless behavior, throwing money away and rationalizing her actions.  The emotions go from highs to lows, and I wondered how well Demy knew this subject matter from personal experience.  Claude Mann is the young man who crosses paths with her.  At first he is rather cautious about the gambling, but Jacqueline certainly is a poisonous influence.  It was when she insisted on going back to the roulette table after the two had won a lot that I could see that she was in bad shape.  I find it hard to see how you can go on any kind of extended winning streak at roulette.  It just seems to hard to win.  I thought this was a powerful movie.  My respect for Demy and his work grew quite a bit with this film.  Jeanne Moreau was on a good roll with “Jules and Jim” and “Bay of Angels.”  I would say that the ending is quite abrupt and not too convincing.  I was reminded of an old movie with Warren Beatty and Elizabeth Taylor.  There was too much lying and compulsive behavior for it all to end where it did.  The warning was that gamblers always lose everything.  Jacqueline was one of Jeanne Moreau’s best roles.  I can only really remember her in “Jules and Jim” and “Elevator to the Gallows.”  After seeing “Bay of Angels,” I have a greater respect for Jacques Demy’s work.  He accomplished more than I previously thought he did with his career.  I like how this movie runs only 84 minutes, not wasting time and going through a wide range of emotions.  This movie was released a decade before “The Gambler,” so Demy should be given credit for being ahead of his time.  I can’t say I liked this movie more than the Technicolor musicals “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Young Girls of Rochefort.”  The images of the roulette wheels and the chips got to be repetitive.  The downs of gambling get to be numbing.  One of the moments I’ll always remember is Jackie wanting to have a strawberry ice cream, and then noting that it doesn’t taste very good.  Her desire to feel certain things is dangerous and sad.  “Bay of Angels” was a good movie, however, and something you have to see if you have an interest in French film.  Agnes Varda shows up in the special features.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN and heard a lot of Elvis Presley songs during the hour.  I liked hearing “The Wonder of You” again.  I couldn’t stand the thought of watching Donald Trump on 60 Minutes.  I watched the Columbo episode on Me TV, which was “A Deadly State of Mind” with George Hamilton and Lesley Ann Warren.  I heard that the Seahawks managed a win over the Patriots.  I had the radio on to the sports station, but I certainly did not want to hear any more about the election.  People who are protesting the results want to vent their frustrations.  I wouldn’t call that stupid.  I look back on Obama saying that he had faith that the American people would do the sensible thing and not allow someone like Trump to become president.  Well, he shouldn’t have had any faith at all and gone out there and done something.  The Republican Party did not implode after Trump’s nomination.  The people who thought that would happen had no sense of the real world.  Some of the people who died on November 14 include Gottfried Leibniz (1716), Booker T. Washington (1915), Tony Richardson (1991), Jack Finney (1995), and Eddie Bracken (2002).  Today is a birthday for Yanni (62) and Prince Charles (68).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 14, the original Broadway production of “Oliver!” ended in 1964 after 774 performances.  In 1970, the “Osmonds” album, featuring “One Bad Apple,” was released.  In 1990, record producer Frank Farian revealed the truth about Milli Vanilli.  In 1997, “The Lion King” set a Broadway record with $2.7 million in daily ticket sales.

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