Hiroshima Mon Amour

Mom: “They are in their teens and eloped. She was found and brought back home; tried commiting suicide. Ultimately, her folks had to relieve her. Now she lives with him, away from their folks.” I scoff. Teenage love!

Couple of weeks ago I watched Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima Mon Amour”, and memory floods of my love when back in my teens. Pop forced me not to talk to her and scoffed, “Teenage love!”

As much Resnais’ film is a love story on the outset, its about the acts of forgetting and remembering. “Memory beyond consolation, memory of shadows and stones.” Beyond the need to empathize, to remember. The struggle to understand why we need to remember. “Why deny the existence of the need to remember?” The struggle to remember. “And yet, I forget!” And we forget. And yet, “We have to stay away from all troubled thoughts in life, else we’d suffocate to death!” Where does one find the balance? How can one stay afloat with the memories and not drown in the eddy of forgetfulness?

The film is also a statement against war. Against means to war. Sufferings of war don’t end at the battlefield, nor do they end when the signs of war have vanished. War lives forever within every being, within their forgetting memories, varying only in degree, affecting their lifes unexpectedly.

When she (Emmanuel Riva) falls for a japanese man (Eiji Okada) while shooting for a film on location in japan, memories of her first “impossible” love to a german soldier in france, during the wee end of WWII, returns to haunt her. The locals murder the german soldier and make her a scapegoat of unpatriotism rendering an apparent true love impossible. Now a married mom, her unexpected emotion of love, which started as a one-nighter, to this married japanese man seems doomed too as she needs to board a flight the next day back to france, to her family. Both know that it is impossible, but want to hold on and see each other. If apart, both know they will gradually and inevitably forget one another, however hard they try to hold. As the film gradually reveals, we find that this affair has taken over, unintentionally, as a form of catharsis for her, but ultimately falls short of a┬ácomplete catharsis, as questions abound for which answers fall short. This review puts it well: “…two people hopelessly separated, not by their marital status or culture, but by the burden of their memories.”

The film flows like a poem, a concise poem, poetic in verse and image.

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Sessions for Robert J – Eric Clapton

 

If you love these blues, play ’em as you wish” – Michael Bloomfield

Eric Clapton’s continued foray into playing covers of blues legend Robert Johnson continues with this DVD. And, this baby’s “not in vain!” Interspersed with his views on RJ, his guitar talks majority of the way with scrumptious licks. And thats all thats needed! Hit that 12-bar now!

Below is the setlist on the DVD.

Session 1 – Electric

Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar), Doyle bramhall II (slide guitar), Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Billy Preston (Hammond organ), Chris Stainton (piano). Recorded at Hook End Manor, Checkendon, England on 03/15/2004

  • kind hearted woman
  • they’re red hot
  • hell hound on my trail
  • sweet home chicago
  • when you got a good friend

Session 2 – Electric

Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar), Doyle bramhall II (slide guitar), Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Billy Preston (Hammond Organ), Chris Stainton (keyboards). Recorded at Studios at Las Colinas, Irving, TX on 06/02/2004

  • milkcow’s calf blues
  • judgement day
  • stop breaking down blues
  • little queen of spades
  • traveling riverside blues

Session 3 – Acoustic

Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar), Doyle bramhall II (slide guitar). Recorded at 508 Park Avenue, Dallas, TX on 06/03/2004

  • terraplane blues
  • hellhound on the trail
  • me and the devil blues
  • from four until late
  • love in vain

Session 4 – Acoustic

Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar). Recorded at Hotel Casa Del Mar, Santa Monica, CA on 08/14/04

  • ramblin’ on my mind
  • stones in my passway
  • love in vain

My favorites as in order: Session 4, Session 3, Session 1, Session 2

Session 4 has Clapton all by himself with his six-string. And, he is soulful as can get.

Session 3 has Clapton, with Doyle Bramhall-II on the slide, belting them out, tugging the strings of your heart all along.

Session 1 is electric in a big-band format, as is Session 2, but I like RJ covers being played on acoustic, partly due to adhere to the way RJ played, but more importantly because blues is sad music with a heart. And all that chorus with instruments jangling in a band format somehow makes me feel like the true feel of RJ’s blues gets lost. But, hey, “play ’em as you please.” These sessions are good, no, make it HOT, and this is just me and my nitpicking reservations.

Tidbits:

  • 508 Park Avenue, the location for Session 3 recording, was one of the 2 places where RJ had recorded the last 2 of his 6 or 7 sessions during 1936.

My Night at Maud’s

My Night at Maud’s is my first of Erik Rohmer. Few perceptions on this movie can be found at Dual Lens and Senses of Cinema. Dual Lens has revealing comments on the unique characteristics of this film. While Senses of Cinema provides additional depth in its commentary with fine references.

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