My Gleanings

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Rosselini chides Godard regarding Antonioni

This is quoted directly from The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini by Tag Gallagher (page 553).

Note: Jean Grualt is a screenwriter who collaborated with Rossellini (Vanina Vanini, La Prise du puovoir par Louis XIV), Jean-Luc Godard (Les Carabiniers), Rivette (Paris Belongs to Us) and most notably François Truffaut (Jules and Jim, The Wild Child, Two English Women, The Story of Adele H)

Roberto, however, never saw Les Carabiniers, nor any other Godard film, with the exception of Vivre sa vie and then onlyl at [Jean] Grualt's insistence. By 1960, watching films bored him, with rare exceptions such as 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, Fahrenheit 451 and anything by Renoir. "He came out furious [from Vivre sa vie] and dragged me aside to ball me out for having made him waste his time.," recounts Grualt. Next day, we saw each other again, Jean-Luc and I, at The Raphael. Jean-Luc was to drive Roberto to Orly and I was to pay his hotel bill which was quite exorbitant (in the months ahead it took me all the pain in the world to get reimbursed). On the way to the airport, he maintained a silence heavy with menace. Suddenly, he barked, in a voice prophetically low-pitched, like Cassandra announcing the fall of Troy or Isaiah threatening an impious people with the greatest of evils: "Jean-Luc, tu es au bord de l'antonionisme!" [Jean-Luc, you're bordering on Antonionism!"] The result was such that poor Godard lost control of the car for a second and nearly made us join the scenery."

(Godard remained curiously quiet on the subject of Antonioni until 1964 when he put Red Desert on his ten-best list. Truffaut, always loyal to Roberto, was still damning Antonioni in the 1970s, and in specifically Rossellian terms....)

page 553

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