Lift to the scaffold #2
OK, after my initial rambling I managed to track down a DVD copy of Ascenseur pour l’échafaud, in Volume 1 of the Louis Malle Collection. This also includes Le feu follet, Les amants and Zazie dans le Métro. I watched Ascenseur pour l’échafaud tonight.
First thing that surprised me was how little Miles Davis there was. There was a huge amount of silence. Maybe it was my imagination but there seemed to be far more silence than Miles. No continuous wall of background music, just bits of Miles with miles in between.
Second thing – which didn’t really surprise me once I’d given it a moment’s thought – was how silly the story is. I don’t mean stupid. I mean as far as overt genre is concerned it should probably be described as a kind of ‘thriller’. But the logistics are those of a deadpan comedy of errors. The result is beautifully edgy and unsentimental.
No doubt it has a few technical flaws. But I’m a sucker for the style, the country and the period. I shall watch it again.
© Chris Lawrence 2009.