Last week, I lamented the fact that Toronto repertory houses can no longer count on audiences to support great movies for week-long runs, as evidenced by the Bloor's three-day booking of a new print of Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre Sa Vie.[rssbreak]
I'm singing the same tune this week, as the Bloor welcomes a restored 35mm print of François Truffaut's magnificent Jules Et Jim (pictured above)... from Tuesday through Thursday. That's it. Three shows and out.
This is very sad. In my perfect world, Jules Et Jim would always be screening somewhere, ready to be discovered by each new generation - you know, the same way The Sorrow And The Pity was always waiting for Alvy Singer and his dates in Annie Hall. But the world is not perfect, and we must take what we can get; in this case, it's a Tuesday double-bill with Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
But any chance to see a lustrous new presentation of Jules Et Jim is something to be celebrated, and it's not the only outright classic of the French New Wave to be screening in town this week.
Tonight, Cinematheque Ontario launches "Memory/Montage/Modernism", a month-long Alain Resnais retrospective, with four works from his contemporary Alain Robbe-Grillet thrown in for good measure. I'm oversimplifying; check out James Quandt's monograph at the Cinematheque site for the more comprehensive view.
Resnais' films are screened even less frequently than Jules Et Jim, and not as easily found on DVD; seriously, good luck trying to find Last Year At Marienbad at your local Blockbuster. (Although nothing's been announced at this point, the new print opening Cinematheque's series tonight at 7 pm - and repeats next Thursday at 9 pm - is widely expected to serve as the basis for an eventual Criterion special edition.)
Also screening this week are Hiroshima, Mon Amour (Saturday, 9 pm) and Muriel (Monday, 7 pm), the latter accompanied by the short documentary Statues Also Die. They're all essential elements of the French New Wave, and if you can still get tickets, you really, really should.