This assessment is centred on the close analysis

This appraisal is centered on the close analysis of a cartridge holder from one of the three movies:

Delicatessen ( Jeunet and Caro, 1991 )

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Good Bye Lenin! ( Leander Hausmann 1999 )

The Apartment/L’Appartement ( Gilles Mimouni, 1995 )

Gilles Mimouni’s movie ‘L’Appartement’ tells the narrative of Max ( Vincent Cassel ) , a handsome, smart and successful man of affairs who has decided to settle down and get married his employer’s sister. In the opening scene of the movie a Jewelry maker shows Max three rings, but he decides to wait until returning from a concern trip to Japan to do his choice. However, during a meeting in a Parisian cafe , prior to his departure, Max overhears a familiar voice in a phone booth following to him. The voice he hears is that of his lost true love, Lisa, who disappeared without a hint during their relationship. Max suddenly postpones his trip and follows her. His unsolved feelings dictate Max’s ideas and actions throughout the film’s narrative. Hiding in her flat Max delaies and Lisa returns. Through a cleft in the closet Max watches as the distraught adult female stands by an unfastened window and prepares to leap. In salvaging her life Max realises that she is non Lisa, it is a different miss who resembles his lost love. Moved by the woman’s weakness, and his ain letdown, Max joins her with a drink and so spends the dark with her. The unsolved memories of Lisa shortly return to him, and determined to happen her, in a turn, Max discovers that Lisa’s lover’s married woman has late died in leery fortunes. With the assistance of an old friend, a shoe shop proprietor named Lucien ( Jean-Philippe Ecoffey ) Max finally traces Lisa, but their reunion is rapidly prevented by the intercession of his new and troubled lover Alice ( Romane Bohringer ) , who is determined Max shall ne’er run into Lisa once more. Susan Hayward argues, ‘the adult female in Paris of French film ( and here I speak of the younger adult female ) has in great portion fallen into two sets of representations. She finds herself as the ‘deviant’ ( enchantress, prostitute, fallen adult female, prevaricator, darnel, liquidator ) … or she is represented as in hurt ( self-destructive ) .’ [ 1 ] ‘The Apartment’ portrays both such representations.

The subject of dichotomy, the divided ego, confusion and ultimately indecisiveness is explored and represented in every filmic component of ‘The Apartment’ . What is, what was and what might be is the cardinal focal point of the movie as the narrative interweaves past and present, exchanging between Max and his relationships with the two adult females, and covering a five twelvemonth period.

As the movie beginnings the audience is presented with Max as he is in the present twenty-four hours, a self-assured and successful adult male contently jesting with his secretary and gushing off around the universe. The camera tracks Max’s advancement as he rushes from the office to a concern meeting with his Nipponese client before himself go forthing for Tokyo. The tracking shooting is an effectual agencies of set uping point of view and individuality within topographic point as the audience ‘tracks’ in the footfalls of the supporter. Gallic film works ‘mostly within a ‘realist’ model: frequently shot on location, they offer open and latent portrayals of Gallic life and society. [ 2 ] The political orientation of pragmatism, which is frequently cited as the cardinal discriminator between European film and Hollywood, is indispensable in Mimouni’s constitution of individuality. Max represents the immature and precocious male who becomes entangled by the world of feelings of disaffection and indecisiveness. Max’s defeat becomes the viewing audiences own as the audience watches minutes in which Max and Lisa could so easy have met but, by destiny or by Alice’s intercession, do non.

The selected movie cartridge holder, the gap 10 proceedingss of the movie, presents a cardinal minute in ‘Le Appartement’ . The camera tracks Max as he descends the stairss to the cafe , pushes the doors and walks over to the tabular array. Seated, the camera pans back to the door as his fiance besides enters and walks over to fall in them. When the topic of matrimony is brought up Max rapidly excuses himself. He overhears his ex-lover speaking on the telephone in a phone booth situated following to the lavatory. The scene exemplifies the manner in which, ‘film moving is every bit much a merchandise of camera angles, camera motions, illuming, redacting, and music as it is of the actor’s voice and body.’ [ 3 ] A fisheye shooting shows the silhouette of a adult female in a glass door phone booth at the terminal of a ruddy corridor, which is lit by a line of lamps. Max appears in the corridor and walks towards the camera, positioned at the glass door. Knocking, a adult female replies. The camera zooms in on the glass. “I have to see you every bit shortly as possible.” A medium shooting shows Max in the lavatory air-drying his custodies. The camera pulls back from the mirror in which reflects Max drying his custodies and whips around, so tilts upwards to a blowhole in the wall, whizzing in to a close-up. “I am go forthing you” , Lisa voice reverberations, “I saw it in the paper. I don’t believe it was an accident.” The camera motion efficaciously captures Max’s freak out as he hears the long-lost voice of his lover.

Mimouni uses the close-up and medium close-up extensively throughout the movie. ‘Close-ups are frequently dramatic disclosures of what is truly go oning under the surface of appearances.’ [ 4 ] The viewer interprets Max’s emotions by the attending that is drawn to his eyes in the close-up. The camera zooms into a close-up of Max as he recognises the voice, “Lisa? ” he says stunned. A whip-pan from Max to the lavatory door as the sound of Lisa’s places can be heard as she leaves captures the urgency of the minute as Max runs to the door and finds himself looking up the corridor at Lisa’s red places on the measure as she disappears. Max opens the door and tallies in slow-motion after her. The camera pulls off from him. A fisheye low-shot comically gaining controls Max’s position from the last measure as he peers over and sees Lisa autumn over, allow out a call with her legs in the air, stand up, and so disappear from sight. The low-angle shooting, with the measure positioned at the underside of the frame, once more serves the intent of the witness seeing through Max’s eyes.

In 1996, the Gallic critic Ginette Vincendeau definedCinema du expressionas a Gallic movies with a ‘high investing in non-naturalistic, self-aware aesthetics, notably intense colorss and illuming effects. Their dramatic ( studio-based ) and technically superbmise en sceneis normally put to the service of romantic plots.’ [ 5 ] ‘The Appartement” has features of this tradition, notably in the ‘toilet’ scene. Shot in high definition coloring material, lighting is reflected on glass and mirrors, multiple visible radiation beginnings – lamps, strip visible radiations in the lavatory sequence. The mosaic bright ruddy walls with jaggy heavy white lines serve to underscore Max’s intense heightened emotion. The significance of the minute for Max is emphasised as his behavior becomes exaggerated when he enters the phone booth and odors Lisa’s aroma, shuting his eyes and touching the telephone which she has touched. The usage of slow-motion as Lisa leaves and Max follows captures the dreamlike feel of the unexpected brush, as does the poignant threading orchestra soundtrack which starts as Max returns down the corridor disorientated and bewildered.

Mimouni’s screenplay efficaciously entwines the past and present, as he ‘flirts and teases the spectator with alterations in clip and scenes that form a maze of deception’ . [ 6 ] This evokes the audience’s apprehension of Max’s province of head as he becomes embroiled by his ain uncertainness and indecisiveness. As he retraces his manner down the corridor, in incredulity that he has seen Lisa one time more, a passage dissolves Max back into the clip when he foremost caught sight of Lisa on the telecasting set in the studio where he was working. The camera tracks to a close-up of Max, dressed casually with his unkempt long hair tied back, as he walks towards the telecasting screens. The camera follows his point-of-view as Max watches the face of the dark haired adult female with ruddy lip rouge and frock, easy whizzing in onto the telecasting screen. An utmost close-up draws upon the oral cavity and so a big dark oculus as Max becomes fixated. The spectator is drawn into Max’s universe, his psychological province, by his subjective position point.

European film is traditionally defined as in resistance to commercial mainstream Hollywood, the movies offer the witness a different cinematic experience which is non governed by a large budget, particular effects, mass distribution and exhibition. The movies are a merchandise of a personal vision, a individualized pragmatism ; an geographic expedition of the medium as opposed to a signifier of profitable societal pattern.Jeunefilm was the name given to the ‘new’ New Wave of immature Gallic film makers from the 1990s, ‘whose work reminds us both of the ‘legacy of the New Wave in modern-day Gallic film and of the desire to travel beyond the bequests of the cinematic past’ . [ 7 ] Film makers like Mathieu Kassovitz ( La Haine, 1995 ) and Jean-Piere Jeunet, ( The City of Lost Children, 1995 and Amelie 2001 ) , and Michel Gondry ( Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, 2004 ) offered a “new realism” [ 8 ] , which explored psychological provinces with the geographic expedition and experimentation of mainstream cinematic techniques. ‘L’Appartement’ exemplifies such a movie with its disconnected narrative, low-budget production, location shot, and subjective perceptual experience of both onscreen character and audience.


Bela Baleisz, ‘Theory of the Film’in ( explosive detection systems ) Leo Braudy /Marshall Cohen,Film Theory and Criticism( Oxford University Press ) , 1999.

Susan Hayward and Ginette Vincendeau,Gallic Film: Text and Contexts. ( Routledge ) , 2000.

Susan Hayward,The City as Narrative: Corporeal Paris in Contemporary French Cinema ( 1950s-1990sin Myrto Konstantarakos,Spaces in European Cinema( Routledge ) , 2000.

Will Higbee/ Susan Hayward,Gallic National Cinema( Routledge ) , 2005.

Alex Hughes and James S Williams,Gender and Gallic Cinema( Berg ) , 2001.

Paul Mcdonald.Film Acting, inThe Oxford Guide to Film Surveies( explosive detection systems ) John Hill/ Pamela Church Gibson ( Oxford University Press ) , 1998.

Ginette Vincendeau. Gallic Film Guide: La Haine. ( I.B.Tauris & A ; Co.Ltd ) , 2005.


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