11 May 2018

Henri Pierre Roché: Jules et Jim (1953)

I've already written below about Henri Pierre Roché's Deux Anglaises et le continent, but this is his prevous (and first of only two) novel. François Truffaut's film of the novel is far better known, and generally considered to be a major work of the French cinema: Serge Rezvani's (or Cyrus Bassiak's) playing of his song 'Le Tourbillon de la vie', sung by Jeanne Moreau, is  perhaps the most memorable moment, although this isn't in the novel.

The novel also has many others scenes, is a constant sexual coming and going of the main characters Jules (a German based on the writer Franz Hessel), his writer friend the author Henri Pierre Roché, and the femme fatale Kathe here is to some extent a representation of Franz's wife Helen Hessel (née Helen Grund).

Kathe sees life as a constant holiday, although she appears to be a kind of manic depressive, obsessed by suicide, ridden by despair: she sees suicide as an irresistible being, a sort of praying mantis (vide the end of Patrice Leconte's film Le Parfum d'Yvonne).

Trauffaut's film has some beautiful moments, but I couldn't find many in the original novel.

No comments: