728 Sundays and Cybèle

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swo17
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728 Sundays and Cybèle

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:43 pm

Sundays and Cybèle

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In this provocative Academy Award winner from French director Serge Bourgignon, a psychologically damaged war veteran and a neglected child begin a startlingly intimate friendship—one that ultimately ignites the suspicion and anger of his friends and neighbors in suburban Paris. Bourguignon's film makes thoughtful, humane drama out of potentially incendiary subject matter, and with the help of the sensitive cinematography of Henri Decaë and a delicate score by Maurice Jarre, Sundays and Cybèle becomes a stirring contemplation of an alliance between two troubled souls.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interviews with director Serge Bourguignon and actor Patricia Gozzi
Le sourire (1960), Bourguignon's Palme d'Or–winning short documentary
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Ginette Vincendeau

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domino harvey
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybele

#2 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:53 pm

Suzukifan wrote:Only saw this one on its general release in the late 60's and it has stuck with me for some time. The director turned into something of a one hit wonder and the film is pretty much forgotten now, I imagine.

Has anyone ever heard it mentioned for restoration.
feihong wrote:Saw this movie on video years ago and was entranced. It really is excellent, and it's a shame I've never heard it mentioned for revivals or restoration or DVD release. Count me among the fans who wants to see it released!
Michael Kerpan wrote:It's been almost 40 years since I last encountered this. I remember it as having been quite good.
Hopefully board superfan Dylan stops in to give some effusive praise about this one. Same actress as Rapture, for those who enjoyed her work there

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Antares
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#3 Post by Antares » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:16 pm

Of course, I bought the region 2 version a few months back because I got tired of waiting for Criterion to release it. ](*,)

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#4 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:42 pm

I saw this back in 1968 or 1969 (on 16mm). My recollection is generally positive. ;~}

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feihong
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#5 Post by feihong » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:22 am

This is my mother's favorite movie, and I've watched it with her on numerous occasions. I like it far better than Rapture, though it definitely trades on similar sympathies. The girl is very delicate and precious, and Hardy Kruger is exceptionally sensitive and damaged in the film (this is really the Hardy Kruger movie, where he is given the broadest range in which to demonstrate his particularly subtle method of fleshing out a character--no other movie Hardy Kruger starred in tests him in this way, or obtains the same results from him).

Things I remember vividly from the film...the screaming of aircraft in Kruger's war flashbacks...the lovely quiet and the open spaces of park and film alike when Kruger walks with the girl...and especially the way the townspeople misunderstand the friendship between Kruger and the girl--this last point is what moved my mother most of all about the film; that immutable gulf of understanding between an established culture and its damaged and vulnerable outsiders.

For years my mother thought of the picture as a New Wave film--due to the time in which it was released. And there are a lot of similarities between the film and some of the moodiest, most finely-measured of the French New Wave movies--I would think here of The 400 Blows, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and maybe The Soft Skin. As I recall the film, it is very sensitive, and delicate with the relationship between the girl and Hardy Kruger. But the more abrupt stylization of some scenes (especially the war flashbacks) seems pretty opportunistic. What I remember most from my last viewing of it was that it seemed not at all married to any new wave aesthetic, and that the melodrama was just a tiny bit sensational. The central relationship was very well-wrought, but the tone of the film as a whole fluctuated somewhat awkwardly (I thought the same of Rapture, to be honest). It made the achievements in tone and tonal shift amongst the new wave films seem all the greater. But it does remain in my mind as a very essential film about the need for sympathy and the gulf of understanding between a society and its marginal members.

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Jeff
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#6 Post by Jeff » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:49 am

It's a great film, and the Criterion release is cause for celebration. The only previous U.S. home release was a pan-and-scan VHS with yellow subtitles. This is surely a Crisp-y clean new restoration from Sony. It's a gorgeous 2.35 black and white film shot by Henri Decaë. What more do you need to know?

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Charles
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#7 Post by Charles » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:35 pm

I never knew the film till a couple of years ago when someone advised me to not waste another moment before ordering the Region 2 DVD -- which I did, and it has been a prized item since. This is supremely great news.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#8 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:47 pm


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salad
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#9 Post by salad » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:15 pm

Did this movie inspire the Stereolab song (RIP Mary)?

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barryconvex
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#10 Post by barryconvex » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:14 pm

no, that was all klaus dinger's idea...

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Mr Sausage
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Sundays and Cybèle (Serge Bourguignon, 1962)

#11 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:46 pm

DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, September 14th AT 6:30 AM.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.




***PM me if you have any suggestions for additions or just general concerns and questions.***

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Drucker
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Re: Sundays and Cybèle (Serge Bourguignon, 1962)

#12 Post by Drucker » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:39 pm

There are films that don't treat outsiders, and those who don't fit in, well. Pierre is someone who doesn't belong. He certainly couldn't cut it in the military. While his peers and girlfriend expect him to be normal, grow-up, get married, and "start a real life together" (his girlfriend Madeline's words), this seems to be beyond his capacity. Ultimately, if a film character doesn't belong anymore, than he or she will have to cease to be. This train of thought has been on my mind lately, as I watched Lawrence of Arabia in 70MM a few weeks ago, and have been trying to concoct an essay with this mindset. But I think it applies to Sundays and Cybele as well.

Ultimately, it seems to me this film is about childhood, and all of that entails. We have one character perpetually stuck there. Pierre has neither the innocence of childhood nor the authority of adulthood. Behind him is Madeline, someone who fosters his personality, and though she patiently wants him to recuperate from the scars he has borne, she enables it as well, treating Pierre more like a child than an adult. Cybele, on the other hand, is forced to grow up faster than anyone reasonably should have to. She's never given the opportunity to believe in the fairy tale that mommy and daddy love each other, and they made her.

Cybele and Pierre are indeed kindred spirits. Both of them are looking for a guardian. Both of them have been nearly abandoned. WIthout Cybele's orphanage and without Pierre's Madeline, who would be taking care of these two souls? Their friendship is beautiful and innocent. So if the film treats Pierre more sympathetically than perhaps he deserves, is it because, ultimately he doesn't belong, and ultimately he will die?

Pierre is an introvert, and nervous as many children are. From the outset, Pierre's childlike-ness is on display. Telling a man abandoning his daughter that "she mustn't cry" Pierre doesn't know his own strength, and he assaults an actual child in the park. He can't control irrational jealousy, like the kind he feels towards the horseback rider. But Pierre understands he isn't a child. He knows he's "no good at anything anymore", and knows there is a past he can't remember. And if Pierre's tragedy is that he can't remember, Cybele's is that she can't forget. Her childhood and memories are flooded with parents fighting and arguing, often over whose responsibility it is to look after her.

But perhaps the most childlike thing about Pierre is his stubbornness. And again, like in other films (Mean Streets is another one that comes to mind), if he can't fit in, he won't get to live at all. Pierre and Cybele both seem to be victims of circumstance. And the society that can't accept their friendship has to make sense of something. It sure seems unlikely that the police are telling the truth at the end. By saying Cybele's life was threatened, they make Pierre's narrative more acceptable, and make it fit in better.

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Drucker
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Re: Sundays and Cybèle (Serge Bourguignon, 1962)

#13 Post by Drucker » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:25 am

Bump.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Sundays and Cybèle (Serge Bourguignon, 1962)

#14 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:22 pm

Drucker -- maybe your post was so good that it left the rest of us with nothing worthwhile to add. Great job (for real)!

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Antarctica
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#15 Post by Antarctica » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:44 am

I appreciate Drucker's thoughtful writing on the story. I think the film is about lonely, hurt outsiders. Regarding Pierre and Cybèle's relationship, one Amazon reviewer said a theme is "don't dirty something beautiful."

This film is also beautiful through its visuals. The reflection in the water scenes are gorgeous and iconic. Another memorable scene was when Pierre and Cybèle walk down the street with the camera high above them at the level of the weathervane.
SpoilerShow
Also, another great scene is when they both listen to the tree after stabbing it with the sorcerer's dagger It's a strange image, but moving how happy they are.
Overall, a beautiful and haunting film.

Jillian Tamaki package design: http://blog.jilliantamaki.com/2015/03/s ... -cybele-2/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Trees
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#16 Post by Trees » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:22 pm

This is indeed a beautiful little film about love between two stranded, vulnerable souls. At the core of the film is a sweet relationship that is fun, endearing, and engaging to watch. I really had no idea where the story was going, aside from
SpoilerShow
the unfortunately too predictable ending. Just once can't they live happily ever after??
Some of the camera work is hokey and gimmicky, but certain of those gimmicks, like the above-mentioned upside-down water-reflection shot, worked well. Some of the sound design is poor, but these are fairly minor gripes in an otherwise gorgeous film about love, comfort and estrangement. I recommend it.

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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#17 Post by bottled spider » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:40 am

Watched this for the youth list project a couple weeks ago, but neglected to comment. Since it's been bumped...

I didn't much like it, despite initially being taken with its style. Rather than forwarding the entirely reasonable proposition that a grown man could have a platonic friendship with a twelve-year old girl, the movie proposes an intense romantic infatuation that is somehow innocent of any sexual feelings. If the viewer can go along with that premise, then there's nothing creepy about the relationship, whereas a viewer who keeps thinking "yeah, but in real life..." may find the movie less palatable. For myself, I didn't so much find it creepy as just... icky. The two of them were both icky individually, and together they synergistically generated more than the sum of their combined yuckiness.

The movie draws the wrong moral. Pierre's friends had a clear ethical imperative to intervene the moment they learned of the relationship, to protect him from accusations of paedophilia, and more importantly to protect the minor in case there was indeed something harmful in the relationship. All that they knew for a fact was that he had been misrepresenting himself as the girl's father to have access to her, which might of itself be criminal, while the purity and innocence of the relationship were a matter of conjecture. The tragedy is not that Pierre was misunderstood, but that his friends were insufficiently judgmental.

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domino harvey
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#18 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:55 am

I (still!) haven't seen this but there have been a few movies that pulled this kind of thing off without delving into prurience, namely Leon / the Professional, where the amorous attention paid to the adult by the child is anything but innocent (though strongly rebuffed and naive enough to not become raincoat brigade fodder). Despite all of its myriad flaws, I thought Paper Man had a strong kernel of a compelling tragic love story in how middle-aged Jeff Daniels and teenager Emma Stone clearly fall in love and are perfect for each other, but due to the impossibility (legal or otherwise) of their relationship, never consummate their attraction or even directly acknowledge it. It's a shame that the basic plot had to be Sundanced up with a bunch of nonsense about imaginary friends and unfunny "zany" touches that are embarrassingly desperate, but it somehow managed to handle its central romance quite well

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Drucker
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#19 Post by Drucker » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:23 am

bottled spider wrote:The movie draws the wrong moral. Pierre's friends had a clear ethical imperative to intervene the moment they learned of the relationship, to protect him from accusations of paedophilia, and more importantly to protect the minor in case there was indeed something harmful in the relationship. All that they knew for a fact was that he had been misrepresenting himself as the girl's father to have access to her, which might of itself be criminal, while the purity and innocence of the relationship were a matter of conjecture. The tragedy is not that Pierre was misunderstood, but that his friends were insufficiently judgmental.
This strikes me as one of those criticisms that sort of wishes the movie was different. There's a sense of doom that's palpable from the outset, from the earliest military flashback, to the opening sequence of abandonment at the train station. I don't think the goal of the film is to illustrate a healthy, natural relationship between an adult and child, but rather paint a picture of two outsiders that are incapable of fitting in. I don't think there's any reason to believe, given the context within the film, that forceful intervention could have produced a meaningful result. The characters don't really trust anybody but each other. In one sense that saves them, to have someone to trust. In the other...it dooms them.

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Trees
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#20 Post by Trees » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:35 am

domino, I will be curious to hear your thoughts on this one.

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knives
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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#21 Post by knives » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:19 pm

Before getting into the meat and potatoes of the film I just have to give a shout for how beautiful this film is. The black and white is amazing as if Bourguignon decided to take Charbol's aesthetic from his first two films and stretch it to a subtle extreme. It's really amazing, given how the film depends on a rather classical sectioning of the frame, how well done the scope allowing numerous elements to juxtapose size which plays very well to some of the themes of post-war anxiety. Now that I'm done praising the film's most obviously great element I suppose I have to dig into the thing that's gotten the internet going mad. Yes, the pedophile thing is super creepy and Kruger is not behaving in an appropriate fashion, but that story fits with the themes of the movie. A broken person does broken things, but to go with the forgotten at times critical cliche depiction doesn't necessitate endorsement. In a certain respect his relationship with Cybele functions as a more benign version of those noirs with sympathetic killers whose condition is representative of greater social ills. No one complains about this, today, because it is such a well worn form of storytelling it is not unique. The greater taboo of pedophilia of course is much more rarely dealt with let alone in this way so I understand the shock even if it seems clear to me that it is unwarranted.

The film for purposes of dealing with the psychic scars of mistreated pasts whether from war and a broken home like our protagonists or some other means has to be entirely within the psychological realities of the characters at least when they are the only two in the room so of course in those moments there is a fairy tale whimsy to their relationship because that is how they view it. It is almost like children playing pretend by how convinced of the reality where their relationship is a good one. If anything Bourguignon over-eggs how terrible this relationship is at times by breaking up the fantasy to go into the objective world by introducing this or that character. For example in the scene of their first date the scene is disturbed at the emotional peak by scowling riders whose presence seems to be to show the danger of this relationship. Hell he even makes all of this very explicit in the scene between Madeline and the boss. They go on about him in a way that would probably be no different then a scene psychoanalyzing Michael Jackson for pete's sake. I would understand perhaps if this were the only place in the film where this use of metaphor is dealt with how a more approving thought could be valid, but while it is the primary expression it is not the only. For example at Pierre's work the visuals are used to show him caged in while the story emphasizes how broken he is in his relationship to his boss.This leaves Cybele as a tool of the narrative, though characterization is still strong on her, seen through Pierre's eyes which I suppose could be a point for critique, but it is also another element of Pierre's broken fantasy.

That fantasy of course wouldn't work without a perfect Pierre who could show in every moment what a damaged and pathetic person he was without overplaying the creepy card. In a certain respect it is an impossible role to play. With such subtlety though Kruger does an amazing job. I'll keep short as I close this out by saying this is a performance on the level of Peter Lorre's Hans Becker.

This short on the disc rather surprisingly can be summarized in similar terms being technically ingenious while having a text that might leave a few uncomfortable. I'm rather surprised how beautiful this film is shot in an engaging colour that despite being documentary (I'm assuming the production design and costume was direct even though it is clear most of the film is staged) gives off the sense of Demy or Negulesco. At the conclusion when he rejoins the older monks and walks through that massive temple there's just this overwhelming beauty with the shot being as effective as any painting. The structure and story isn't the best regularly slipping into benign orientalism. The worst at this of course is the narration which fortunately is almost nonexistent. Though it appears enough to highlight how the characters aren't really given a voice instead being left to make various noises for communication. While that makes for an awkward viewing experience the central story is told in a cute The Red Balloon fashion with the child monk being an engaging protagonist (though again Saidians would have an absolute field day taking apart his naive infantile presentation and world).

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Re: 728 Sundays and Cybèle

#22 Post by CriterionLaser » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:19 pm

Jeff wrote:It's a great film, and the Criterion release is cause for celebration. The only previous U.S. home release was a pan-and-scan VHS with yellow subtitles. This is surely a Crisp-y clean new restoration from Sony. It's a gorgeous 2.35 black and white film shot by Henri Decaë. What more do you need to know?
Actually the previous VHS U.S. home release from Connoisseur/Corinth video was letterboxed. It's actually a nice transfer... for VHS of course.

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