La chambre verte

I was annoyed that it starting raining again while I was doing my laundry.  I went out grocery shopping, and then returned to watch Truffaut’s “The Green Room,” the only Truffaut film that I had never seen before.  It had Truffaut himself as the star, playing a man named Julien, who was emotionally devastated by the death of his wife.  He does everything he can to keep her memory alive, to a point where he separates himself from humanity.  He goes to some extreme behavior, like hiring a sculptor to create a wax figure that resembles his wife.  Meanwhile, he forms an unusual connection with a young woman named Cecilia.  The story takes place ten years after the end of World War I.  The film is based on the Henry James stories “The Altar of the Dead,” “The Beast in the Jungle,” and “The Way It Came.”  I could relate to Julien because I am constantly thinking about who is alive and who is dead.  The obsession in this movie brought to my mind “The Story of Adele H.”  Julien is hurt and offended by all sorts of things that people do.  I can sympathize with that, too.  I would say that Truffaut’s acting performance wasn’t not the greatest, and I wondered how a journalist working for a small publication could have the money to do the things that he did.  Nathalie Baye was in “Day for Night” and “The Man Who Loved Women.”  I thought that Julien was a strange journalist, since his personal bias shows up in his work, and he neglected to learn anything about Cecilia.  He doesn’t even know what color her eyes are.  There is a child named Georges, who is deaf and mute, and his presence reminded me of “The Wild Child.”  The subject matter of the film was too morbid for movie audiences, and the film was a financial failure.  I found it rather interesting and sometimes quite moving, although I was left with all sorts of questions.  Why did Julien think that this shrine with the candles was some kind of permanent memorial?  It seems that the church could have cleaned out the place after some time had passed.  How much time did it take to light those candles?  The maintenance of that place would have meant that he was devoting the rest of his life to it.  He didn’t consider that the shrine would have an end to it, probably with the eventual death of Cecilia.  Even the Pioneer Cabin Tree, the sequoia that was supposed to be 1,000 years old, came to an end recently.  Well, I found “The Green Room” quite fascinating, if flawed, so it’s too bad that hardly anyone saw it.  I appreciate how brave it was to make a film that dealt with death.  The main character was so immersed with thoughts of dead people that he stopped living.  He described a couple who died a few days apart, which reminded me of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.  It’s a movie that I wouldn’t mind seeing a few times more.  Truffaut made only four more films after this one: “Love on the Run,” “The Last Metro,” “The Woman Next Door,” and “Confidentially Yours.”  As I watched the film, I looked for close-up shots of Truffaut so that I could sit in front of the television set and take a photo of myself as if I were in the film with him.  It made me think of seeing “The Wizard of Oz” again so that I could take a photo of myself with Judy Garland.  I was preoccupied with all these thoughts, so I completely forgot about the football game between Clemson and Alabama.  I also got a message from the A’s about a season ticket holder gathering, but I reacted too late and was shut out of that, which irritated me greatly.  I watched Match Game and had my chocolate protein shake.  I wondered if this rain was going to end soon.  I thought about that Ray Bradbury story with the never-ending rain.  Some of the people who died on January 11 include Francis Scott Key (1843), Thomas Hardy (1928), Edna Purviance (1958), Jack Soo (1979), Pappy Boyington (1988), Spalding Gray (2004), Carl Karcher (2008), and Anita Ekberg (2015).  Today is a birthday for Amanda Peet (45) and Naomi Judd (71).

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