Guess Who's Coming To The '68 Comeback Special

Over at Shadowplay, David Cairns has one of the best of the lot, Days of Matthew, in our '68 Comeback Special. He does a truly awesome job summing up its cumulative effect and few missteps, which is handy because if I'd gotten it I would have compared it to one of my favourite films ever, Philippe Grandrieux's Un Lac, and called it a day. Grandrieux has never, to my knowledge, acknowledged the comparison, and there are enough elements that keep it from being a straight-up remake, but Days of Matthew does haunt Un Lac's simple story of a family, including a troubled brother with a dependency on his sister, living in a cabin on a wooded island that supports a logging community. Grandrieux and director Witold Leszczyński both use the story as ways of imparting their definition of cinema at their purest, each edit and close-up a window into their celluloid souls. Leszczyński died in 2007, right around the time Grandrieux would have been deciding to make the movie, so I like to think that even if he wasn't consciously paying homage to the great polish director, that some phantom took the form of coincidence and forced Grandrieux to tell this story when he did, just like all those terrible Hollywood ghost movies. Anyway, David's appraisal is nice indeed, and makes for a better read than my borderline-Buddhist musings, and he ties it quite nicely into the British new wave! Also worth pointing out that he's been telling the story of his and Paul Duane's fabulous, poetic documentary Natan over at Mostly Film.

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