La Grande Illusion

Jean Gabin in "La Grande Illusion"

It happened again tonight. As I was tearing up watching Jean Renoir’s great 1937 anti-war film La Grande Illusion at the Cinematheque, I was thinking that I should have told everyone I know to come and see it. John didn’t need my help–the crowd was big enough. I just felt sad that some people who may have loved this classic and moving film were missing it. You have one more chance: Sunday, October 7th, at 4:00 pm.

From now on, I’m going to let people know. I’m going to devote my blog, every Monday or Tuesday, to a look ahead at movies coming both to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque to offer my reflections and recommendations. This will serve a bunch of purposes, most of them selfish. First, it will force me to look ahead at John’s schedules; like lots of other people, I forget to check out what he’s showing and sometimes miss good movies. Of course, he often tells me what he’s showing. I’m just not always listening. And, yes, I also get the weekly emails. Sue me.

If I’m writing about the movies, I’ll have to plan ahead. And maybe John’s audience will be increased by a small increment.

Second, I’ll be sharing my recommendations with friends and acquaintances. Lest this seem egotistical, it happens that some people appreciate my take on John’s movies. My tastes are more mainstream, and I’m less, let us say, expansively enthusiastic about his selections than he is. For the record, I rarely cozy up to truly avant-garde films and usually avoid violent ones. Science fiction doesn’t thrill me; neither does anime, though I make exceptions. I’ll feel very happy if some people, because of my advice, see some good movies they would otherwise have missed.

Lastly, there’s the pleasure and the practical purpose of writing the blog, which I always enjoy but often neglect. The discipline of a weekly deadline may be motivating. And the underlying purpose of the blog is blatantly promotional, i.e., for me, not John’s movies. Writers have blogs to promote their writing. Accumulating readers is the goal. Feel free to spread the link around. Comment at the blog itself, if you choose to, whether you liked or hated a movie.

And if you borrow a film I recommend from Netflix instead of seeing it at the Museum or Cinematheque, I hope you enjoy it, but you don’t need to let me know.

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1 Response to La Grande Illusion

  1. Jewel Moulthrop says:

    Kathy, So glad you’re doing this. I welcome your take on John’s selections, though I can’t think of a selection of John’s that I disliked . . . so far. A word of caution: the film you rent from Netflix may not the same version John shows at CMA or the Cinematheque. Better to see it at these venues than renting from anywhere!

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