Roughly occurring at the same time as the more well-known and more celebrated French Nouvelle Vague (or New Wave), another group of frequently collaborative film-makers were grouped together under the moniker "Rive Gauche," named after Paris' artsy side. These film-makers (Agnès Varda, Chris Marker, Jean Cayrol, Henri Colpi, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet,) applied to film the concepts which defined the Nouveau Romain in contemporaneous literature. Duras and Robbe-Grillet were also writers and associated with the literary movement in which experimental authors sought to create a new style with each work. Together, they produced an amazing body of film which remains largely overshadowed by the much more popular New Wave, though no less interesting or significant.
Because of the film-makers' approach to art and their being French, as well as contemporaries of the New Wave, they're often lumped in with them even though the New Wave, while radically experimental, was more stylistically consistent due its focus on the director as the film's author. Ironically, the New Wave view served to encourage the personal and recognizable authorial nature of film, whereas members of the Rive Gauche often sought to depersonalize their works in an attempt to defy expectations, placing them in polar opposition in this regard.
Alain Resnais began making films in the 1940s. He is best known for his films Nuit Et Brouiilard (1955), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and L'Anee Derniere a Marienbad (1961).
Nuit Et Brouillard stands alone in cinematic history in its depiction of the Jewish Holocaust. Resnais avoided the familiar black and white stock-footage for most of the film and instead presented tranquil scenes of the by-then abandoned concentration camps in color, with flowers growing through the cracks and sun beams shining on the desolate remains. Compare, for example, Nuit Et Brouiilard to a cinematically conservative film like Schindler's List. Spielberg chose to film in black and white (both literally and morally), with big name actors and with action unfolding in a familiarly un-ending winter that makes the events seem cliche and safely remote.
With a heavy attack of electric guitar (a la Hendrix) the band grooved into the first song on the album "Dragonfly Pie." The band was on from the start, seemingly commanded by Janet Weiss’ super tight style on the house drum kit, “the best borrowed kit I’ve ever used,” she commented. However, throughout the performance, all eyes looked to Malkmus for cues.
There had been a bit of equipment talk prior to starting – Malkmus pointed out that his guitar was plugged into the amp Jack White of the White Stripes was notorious for using. “Let’s see what we can do!” He even joked, “can we pass on the store credit and keep some of this equipment?”
What if RoboCop and Kindergarten Cop were fused into one movie character? What would the result be? The above make-believe trailer, in which YouTuber Grecofabulous mashes up elements from both movies, giving an inkling as to what such a melding of those two Hollywood cop characters might yield.
And with Hollywood and sequels and spinoffs (think Alien vs Predator, aka AVP) anything imaginable is possible, especially when the tease of box-office success is not far off. The above trailer also reminds me of how engaging Robocop, the culturally critical, futuristic action flick, made in 1987 and starring Peter Weller, is. It reminds me that I must watch it again.
But I am also reminded of just how ridiculously funny (in a so-bad-it's-good way) Kindergarten Cop is - a movie that I already own since I bought it used on VHS for a few dollars years ago at Amoeba. One of the great things about the 1990 "comedy" that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as John Kimble, is that it is just chock-a-block with Arnold soundbites that were so popular as samples a few years back with soundboard prank-callers ("Who is your daddy and what does he do?" "I'm a cop, you idiot!" "Shut Up!" "Stop it!" etc. etc.) as evidenced in the clip below.
But perhaps more surreal than all of this Hollywood make-believe is the reality - something that I personally choose to block out of my mind at times - that this guy (Arnold) is the current Governor of California. Yikes! To me this fact is even more surreal than a Kindergarten Robocop movie!