French Film 1171 Quiz 3

Terms in this set (68)

- This film is based on the real life magazine editor, Jean-Dominique Bauby (editor of Elle magazine), who suffered a stroke when he was only in his 40s and he developed 'locked in syndrome'.
- This film comes across as something not dissimilar to French New Wave movies.
- Through the assistance of a speech therapist, Helen, who teaches him how to choose frequently used letters by blinking with his one eye, Bauby begins to learn how best to cope with his predicament. He eventually uses this skill to dictate his memoirs.
- The film never feels paralyzed.
- Even in the claustrophobic opening scenes, when we exclusively are given a first-person perspective from the paralyzed body of Jean-Do, the camera is shaky to fully let the audience experience Jean's feelings when he is laid up in hospital unable to communicate.
- However, the audience are unsettled by almost the breaking of the fourth wall. Because we can hear his thoughts, but the doctors and specialists are unable to.
- And when the film starts to pick up the story of Jean-Do writing and imagining his life the cinematography really breaks loose. Cameras hang upside down as they film cars passing by, colors pop of the screen, ballet dancers fly through hospital corridors, we get a bee-eye-perspective as we fly over flowers, etcetera.
- If there is one thing this film is not, it's static.
- Giving us insight into Bauby's mind, Schnabel proves that the body is merely a shell that is no match for the brain's ability to continually create imagery and evoke memories. Though he is unable to move, Bauby is essentially the same man he always was. His eye gazes upon the female form with the same virility of an able bodied man.
- Utilizing flashbacks to provide glimpses into Bauby's life prior to the incident, including his complex relationships with his father and the mother of his children (Céline Desmoulins), the latter of whom stands by his side in his time of need, Schnabel crafts an image of the man who is not a victim, but rather a strong survivor.
- The end of the movie: his book is published to universal critical acclaim, but he dies of pneumonia soon after.
- Key themes in film: (1) disability and dealing with the cards you've been dealt; (2) strength of mind
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