This is my comment in MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE’s blog:
Thanks to your suggestions about Regina Spektor and Summer in the City, I have listened to the album BEGIN TO HOPE (2006), and like the songs ON THE RADIO and APRES MOI very much. I think ON THE RADIO is very catchy, and I like her voice in APRES MOI.
Seeing Ruiz and Greenaway films together is one thing I would like to do, too. In my opinion, Ruiz, Greenaway, and Robbe-Grillet films can be grouped together in a way, because they are:
1.Like a kind of games, or mind games.
1.1 SNAKES AND LADDERS (1980, Raoul Ruiz)
Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote in http://www.rouge.com.au/ that this film is “a Borgesian metaphysical fantasy whose hero progressively discovers that France is a life-size board game (devoted to Snakes and Ladders or ‘The Goose’s Game’) – one has to deal with tatty special effects of Edward D. Wood Jr calibre, along with the brilliant conceits and two separate off-screen narrators, male and female.”
Note: While France becomes a board game in SNAKES AND LADDERS, the map of Paris is also represented like a board game in LE PONT DU NORD (1982, Jacques Rivette).
1.2 DROWNING BY NUMBERS (1988, Peter Greenaway)
1.3 N TOOK THE DICE (1971, Alain Robbe-Grillet)
I have heard that this film is made by breaking up EDEN AND AFTER into various fragments, and put the fragments together again in a new order of scenes. The scene order of this film is determined by the dice throwing of a new narrator.
If you like films in this group, two other films I recommend are LES CREATURES (1966, Agnes Varda, A+), in which islanders are turned into pawns in a chess game, and YOU BET YOUR LIFE (2005, Antonin Svoboda, Austria, A+), in which the act of dice throwing seems to determine a man’s fate.
2.Deeply influenced by paintings.
Magritte seems to influence both Ruiz and Robbe-Grillet.
3.Deeply influenced by literature.
3.1 LA BELLE CAPTIVE has a character who said he met Marcel Proust last night in a theatre.
5.Present characters as if they are objects, or pawns in games. Somehow, they seem to be the opposite of films by John Cassavetes, Eric Rohmer, or Caveh Zahedi, because the latter group excels in presenting characters as real human beings. I think both groups are great in their own ways. I have heard that Walerian Borowczyk also tends to present characters as if they are objects, too.
I haven’t seen HYPOTHESES OF A STOLEN PAINTING. I have seen only four films by Ruiz so far. They are A PLACE AMONG THE LIVING, THAT DAY, TIME REGAINED, and SHATTERED IMAGE. I think I like THAT DAY the most. TIME REGAINED might be the best, but I feel closer to THAT DAY.
I haven’t read EMMA, but I had to read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in 1994, when I took 19th Century British Novels course. I had to read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, VANITY FAIR and TESS OF D’URBERVILLES in the course at that time. I have to admit that I like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE the least, but I like watching films adapted from Austen from time to time. I haven’t seen PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (2005, Joe Wright), though. I like EMMA (1996, Douglas McGrath, A-), but I prefer CLUELESS (1995, Amy Heckerling, A+), which is also adapted from Austen’s EMMA.