Frame By Frame: Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
UNL Film Studies professor Wheeler Winston Dixon recommends one of his all-time favorite films.
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- [00:00:13.014]I'm Wheeler Winston Dixon, James Ryan professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
- [00:00:17.081]and this is Frame By Frame. And I want to speak about one of my favorite films of all time.
- [00:00:22.043]When people ask me what is my favorite film, I always say there are 250 in my Top Ten. How can I choose?
- [00:00:29.069]But if forced to choose, I would pick "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne" by Robert Bresson from 1945, with a script by Jean Cocteau.
- [00:00:38.030]It is a French Resistance film. It was made in France, under the Vichy government, which was controlled by the Nazis.
- [00:00:45.017]Robert Bresson went on to make a series of brilliant films like "Pickpocket" and "Four Nights of a Dreamer"... all employing non-actors.
- [00:00:53.036]This is his last film with actors. But it tells the story of a young woman who's been forced into prostitution by economic circumstances and her mother aids and abets this.
- [00:01:05.018]Until Maria Cassarass, the great actress, comes along and bails them out, but with many strings attached.
- [00:01:13.019]And it's a metaphor for what happens when you give up your freedom, and you give up the responsibility for your own life...
- [00:01:19.004]you let somebody else take charge... They're not going to work in your best interests.
- [00:01:23.008]And it's an extremely dark, deep, romantic and beautiful film. And I don't want to spoil it by telling you the rest of the plot.
- [00:01:41.020]Fortunately, although it was lost for nearly 40 years and completely unavailable...
- [00:01:46.080]I screened it in film classes in the 1970s, and then there was a long space when I couldn't get ahold of it...
- [00:01:50.061]Now it's on DVD. You can easily rent it.
- [00:01:54.021]I absolutely, earnestly recommend that you see this film, which is one of the most beautiful, evocative, important, and deep films of all time...
- [00:02:03.015]with a real message for viewers today: you have to be responsible for yourself...
- [00:02:07.086]and you have to have the courage of your convictions...
- [00:02:10.046]and when circumstances conspire against you, you must fight.
- [00:02:14.033]This is the message of "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne," one of the greatest works of the French Resistance cinema,
- [00:02:20.017]and I think, one of the greatest films of all time.
- [00:02:23.061]I'm Wheeler Winston Dixon, and this is Frame By Frame.
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