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Le septième juré (1962) FotW #310

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Cocoa
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Le septième juré (1962) FotW #310

#1

Post by Cocoa » December 8th, 2019, 6:17 pm

Film of the Week #310: Le septième juré (1962)

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Summary:
In a moment of madness a respectable pharmacist
Potential SpoilerShow
kills a young woman who is sun-bathing by a lake.
Unable to take in what he has done, he flees from the scene of the crime and behaves as if nothing has happened.

#491 on 500<400, with 52 checks.
Nominated by 72aicm, Cocoa, joachimt, and xianjiro.
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From the 500<400 resultsShow
#491(NEW) Le septième juré (1962)
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Directed by: Georges Lautner
(258.1 Pts, 4 Votes) , Top 1–10–50: 0–1–3
History: 4911754106118462340NA←NA
ICheckMovies: 48 Checks , 5 Favourites , 1 Official list
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Cinephage (2)
Gordon_Gekko (19)
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Smoover (NA)

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72aicm
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#2

Post by 72aicm » December 8th, 2019, 8:58 pm

Watched it last month. The opening scene was superb.
A strong 8/10.

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#3

Post by filmbantha » December 10th, 2019, 9:30 pm

This was excellent. I got the impression that I was watching something pretty special just a few minutes in and it didn't disappoint. A gripping storyline and some sublime camerawork - watch out for a spellbinding reflective shot as the protagonist gazes into a glass. I hit the favourite button and will add to my 500<400 noms for next year.

Four of my last five favourites have been French films, I think I need to take this into consideration when prioritising films from my watchlist.

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#4

Post by xianjiro » December 11th, 2019, 8:59 am

Found this one a bit troubling - and not in an entirely good way. First off we have a bucolic opening sequence with an equally bucolic rendition of Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Summer concerto. Then, off camera, is an argument. Were not meant to find firm footing here. Why?

Initially I found being in the protagonist's POV annoying if for no other reason than I found it somewhat hard to accept him doing what what he was doing. But clearly that was needed to set up the rest of the film, for better or worse, and I got over it so to speak.

But then there's a shot where he's mulling over what he's done and his recollections of a woman. Wasn't it the morning after? And yet the trees above the characters are devoid of foliage. Summer isn't summer? Or is this about mood? The lack of something?

Found the trial interesting, as is often the case, less for what actually happens and more for seeing something quite different than what we expect in a trial in the US. While there are mechanisms for jurors to ask questions, it's nothing like is portrayed in this film. Very fascinating. (And I'm inclined to accept the film's veracity: didn't get the feeling of Hollywood mendacity here.)

But it's the third act that pacts the punches and holds a few. I'm still not sure what to think. First thought was that ours is not the only time to struggle with "what is truth?" Clearly. But there seemed to be something more than just the facts as presented, something the filmmaker(s) wanted to say, about truth, in France a mere two decades after, when French citizens and their German neighbors were living with what they had done, what they had accepted, what they had hid, what they denied. Or as Shakespeare put it more eloquently:
Out damned spot! Out I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

Macbeth, Act V, Scene 1
Beautifully shot, as I read on another box cover years ago, "in glorious black and white." This choice, while possibly financial, seems to add a starkness and creates opportunities like the aforementioned reflection in a drink glass. The artistry is omnipresent and worthy of respect. Acting and design all work well, but there's just something about the story that doesn't entirely sit right with me after a first viewing. Gave it 8 out of 10.

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#5

Post by joachimt » December 12th, 2019, 8:30 pm

I understand the problems sol has with the pov of this movie. I too was wondering at first if we were supposed to sympathize with him or something like that. His action was presented as some kind of accident or at least his thoughts made it seem like that. It felt a bit unreal. On the other hand I do suppose things like this can happen and than it's an interesting question how someone deals with it in his head. I never sympathized with him, but I thought it was interesting to follow his doubts and troubles. The result was a black comedy to me, especially the way things went in the final part of the movie.

We all agree this is beautifully shot, do we? I especially loved the way perspective was used to give depths to the shots.

9/10
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#6

Post by xianjiro » December 12th, 2019, 11:40 pm

Yes, beautifully shot, but, um, I don't see any posts by sol.

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#7

Post by weirdboy » December 13th, 2019, 3:26 am

I loved the photography in this, and agree that the opening sequence was brilliant. However for me the pacing was a little inconsistent--long meandering conversations in bars, for example, that did not reinforce the narrative in a Chokovian sense. Despite this I liked the psychological aspects and the way the director used the church bells to highlight the unraveling of Duval's mental stability.

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#8

Post by joachimt » December 13th, 2019, 5:45 am

xianjiro wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 11:40 pm
Yes, beautifully shot, but, um, I don't see any posts by sol.
Whoops, I meant you. :unsure:
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#9

Post by blocho » December 14th, 2019, 11:18 pm

I'm planning to watch this today or tomorrow, but I noticed that the file I got from 72aicm is 104 minutes, and imdb lists the movie as 90 minutes. That seems like more of a discrepancy than a slightly different frame rate can explain. Any ideas?

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#10

Post by xianjiro » December 15th, 2019, 1:42 am

no, but I watched the file shared by 72aicm

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#11

Post by 72aicm » December 15th, 2019, 3:00 am

blocho wrote:
December 14th, 2019, 11:18 pm
I'm planning to watch this today or tomorrow, but I noticed that the file I got from 72aicm is 104 minutes, and imdb lists the movie as 90 minutes. That seems like more of a discrepancy than a slightly different frame rate can explain. Any ideas?
Dunno, but the blu-ray is 104 min long. Took a look and the shortest version I could find on the web was 100m. A slightly tighter edit would’ve improved the film imo, but I guess the IMDb’s runtime is wrong.
(I have no idea how long the cinema release was though.)

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#12

Post by blocho » December 15th, 2019, 4:27 pm

I felt a bit disappointed. The plot (a killer is placed on the jury for the man who is wrongfully accused of his crime) is something straight out of American noir, and it feels somewhat akin to The Big Clock. The movie depends entirely on the character of the pharmacist, and we're privileged with an interior monologue that helps us to understand him. And that is where things went awry. For all its fine qualities, this movie didn't deliver a convincing portrait of the protagonist.

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