Les enfants du paradis

I spent most of my day grading papers.  I lectured until I was too tired to continue and headed home.  I went browsing through the record store and bought used copies of CDs by Conor Oberst and Nick Cave.  I bought a super beef burrito from Gordo Taqueria, and I sat down to watch “Children of Paradise,” the French film classic from 1945.  I must have first seen it around 1981.  I thought it looked very good in its Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition.  At least it was better than I expected.  I don’t think I could ever see how Garance could be the object of so much attention from so many different men.  Baptiste suffered a lot, and never seemed to grow up.  I got tired of hearing how marvelous an artist he was.  It reminded me of the days when everyone said how hilarious Robin Williams was.  The bits that Baptiste did on the stage was quite amusing, though.  I kept thinking about what a fool Nathalie was for wasting her affection on Baptiste.  The movie runs just over three hours, and it is impressive to see how much inspiration went into all of it.  I felt that there was a stretch during the last half hour that felt a bit slow, but it’s one of the remarkable French films of all time.  Do people still have the love for this movie that they had thirty-five years ago?  It’s hard for me to tell what people think nowadays.  It was good to see this film again, and to know that it was still as great as I remembered it a long time ago.  My youthful judgment wasn’t all bad after all.  Some of the people who died on February 25 include Mark Rothko (1970), Tennessee Williams (1983), James Coco (1987), Haing S. Ngor (1996), and Darren McGavin (2006).  Today is a birthday for Rashida Jones (41), Sean Astin (46), and Tea Leoni (46).

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