Friday, December 12, 2008

The Story of Adele H.

The Story of Adele H. is an engaging film, one which is much less dense and abstractly intellectualized as most of the films we have viewed are, and was enjoyable and easily moving in this sense. It is, as well, the fictional recreation of an actual person and actual events, which Truffaut did not attempt to skew in any way. It therefore dons the ever-affecting element of reality (that is, interesting reality). And in this sense, and in a cinematic sense, the film itself felt distant from New Wave tendencies. It was a character study more than it seemed to be a study of film itself, or the practice in experimentation and the evolution of the cinema. It was nonetheless quite well done, and interesting in its approach to its subject matter. Adele’s tormented past and current obsession are effectively juxtaposed through vague yet revealing dream sequences and moments of utter lonesomeness and pitiful and spiteful displays of affection. The obsession becomes something which seems to replace the misery of her past, a thing to which she can attach herself and move away, both physically and emotionally, from the death of her sister. When, Lt. Pinson rejects her, it throws her more deeply into her past and ultimately results in another obsession from which she never truly frees herself. In the end, she is so far gone that the sight of Lt. Pinson, who is now following her, is nothing to her—she appears as though she is sleepwalking (though not literally, of course) and shows him no regard, as if he were invisible; it was never him to begin with that she was obsessed with, rather, it was the idea of some kind of escape.

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