By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall February 19, 2009 at 6:29AM
Posters. Again. I know.
Let's talk real estate. My home office is my little sanctuary in our small apartment. Back when I had a roommate (before I got married), this was my bedroom and office and everything space. Once I got engaged and my roommate moved to a new place (thanks to my dear friend P for letting me keep the apartment!), this room became a guest room and the lair from which I send thousands of e-mails, screen thousands of films and write dozens of blog posts. Now that I have a son, the home office/guest room is going to become his bedroom; this summer I will be losing my sanctuary, and with it, the ample wall space that houses my collection of French film posters. Well, he deserves his own room, obviously. But I still dream of leaving these posters up anyway and having the boy grow up in the glow of these images of films he's never seen, wondering who these faces are, what stories these movies must hold. That has to be better than painting some Disney shit on the walls or taping up unframed posters of some crap NBA players. Right?
Well, there's not a chance in hell that will happen, but a dad can dream.
In the meantime, the desk is staying put and posters abound. This US poster for Claire Denis' Beau Travail sits directly over my desk, reminding me both of her greatness and to always try to do "good work". Of course, the title is ironic in relation to the story of the film, but I like that too; I can revel in the literal meaning while my subconscious remembers what actually happened to Gregoire Colin's character Gilles Sentain. And, if I may say just one thing about this film; best final scene ever. EVER. Denis Lavant's solo dance at the disco is one for the ages... That shot will never leave my brain. This photograph on the other hand... I was in a rush, what can I say?
Claire Denis' new film 35 Shots Of Rum is playing at Rendezvous with French Film and (I assume) COL*COA and then, in the grand tradition of ridiculous foreign sales agents and their insane approach to American grassroots marketing, it won't play again until someone buys it for distribution in America. So, run don't walk to catch it... it is a wonderful movie.