Movie #193 From One Film to Another
(201-, France, d. Claude Lelouch)
Lelouch got me thinking early on in the film. In this autobiographical documentary, renowned art filmmaker Claude Lelouch recounts an experience he had in his teens “behind the Iron Curtain”. Observing the production of a Soviet film, he asked himself the question, “Who is the primary actor in a film? Is it the person or is it the camera?”. He came to his own theory that it was the camera, and to be honest, it’s a theory that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. I won’t go into the specifics of my own thoughts, but the point is that Lelouch began to view films differently and shoot them differently. This documentary basically follows the professional career of Lelouch from his teens to the present day. Directing countless films, we watch as Lelouch makes various decisions on set and narrate his own psychological states during the making. Though not as dense as I would have hoped it would be – especially for someone with his resume – From One Film to Another is interesting… enough: It kept the large audience’s attention the whole time. I find it difficult to write about this film too deeply particularly because it is not as profound or even thought-provoking as I would have hoped it would be. But the best thing about the film was that single nugget it provided me – the filmmaker. If the camera is the main actor, then what are the implications? Should the camera move according to the story? Does it, too, experience an arc? So, on a personal note, I loved the film. Though I think any casual viewer would try to look for more interesting forms of entertainment.