Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde

Aurthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde is the first American film to be directly inspired by the films of the French New Wave (notably, to me, Breathless, Pierrot Le Fou and Weekend, which in turn may have been inspired from the original Bonnie and Clyde story).

Beyond its obvious influences, Bonnie and Clyde is a very erotic and sexual film. Here, we have bank-robbery-as-sexual-fetish, all the persuasion Bonnie Parker needs to ditch her quiet life and take off with the tough yet impotent (though I am not aware of his alleged sexual shortcomings, I have read he was supposedly a bisexual) Clyde Barrow, who totes his gun like an extension of his manhood. Barrow, with his overly confident gun toting exterior hiding an inner rage, seems to be overcompensating for his problems in the bedroom. As I watched the film and noticed the obvious phallic imagery, I thought back to Huston's The Maltese Falcon, where the subtle homoerotic relationship between Wilmur Cook (Elisha Cook, Jr.)and Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) managed to slip past the censors. Wilmur, timid, wields two large automatic pistols while the "Fat Man," confident, totes a tiny handgun.

Apparently the film was supposed to have a scene that suggested a menage trios between Barrow, Parker, and C.W. Moss, but was cut or never filmed. My guess is that the film, already filled with bloody murders and overt sexual suggestions, was probably too shocking as it was.


Godard, I knew you wouldn't let me down.

After the cinematic doldrums of Two or Three Things I Know About Her and Masculin, Feminin (though I admit I need to see them again), Godard redeems himself in my book with the visceral and unapologetic Weekend

The film seems to be divided into two parts; the first being a road film along the lines of a gangster/road film, which I immediately noticed felt like a mix between Crash and a Bonnie and Clyde narrative, while the second half feels like a kind of documentary on a cannibalistic hippie commune.

Godard apparently wanted to offended, and certainly tried his damnedest by filling the film with bloody car crashes (too many to count), violence, actual animal deaths, and cannibalism-images that, though rather tame today, still managed to leave a large impression on the class.

Like many of Godard's later works in the class, I feel I need to watch it again, but I did notice some parallels between Weekend and Ruggero Deodato's exploitation "classic" Cannibal Holocaust, which has the unique distinction of being simultaneously one of the worst and most shocking films I've ever seen. Like Weekend, Holocaust takes place, at least in part, inside cannibal territory. Godard and Deodato both employ graphic scenes of animal violence and use their ultraviolent images to comment on society. But while Deodato cowers behind his gruesome film with a weak message of who the real monsters are, Godard makes a much more impressive and stronger statement about the failings of the bourgeois lifestyle. The live animal killings in both cases (a pig's throat being slit in Weekend, a monkey's face being chopped off with a machete in Holocaust, among others) are unnecessary, but aside from raw snuff, you can't do a better job of shocking your audience.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Masculin, Feminin

Godard's Masculin, Feminin is an overtly political film dealing with the lives of young men and women, though given his rather obvious gender bias, it's hard to truly picture this as a completely accurate portrait, as the male protagonist Paul is filled with anguish and questions of existential meaning, whereas the female role of Madeline is mostly concerned with fashion and pop culture.

Being somewhat frustrated with Godard recently, Masculin, Feminin's plotless excursion didn't help. After doing a bit of reading, though, I found that the film was banned to anyone under 18, which was precisely the target audience Godard had been aiming for. Maybe that's why I didn't quite get it. On the other hand, some publication said it was the best film of the year for people in that age range. While I didn't particularly enjoy it my first time around, I find it brave that Godard would aim such a difficult movie at such a young age group. It's arguably deeper and more intellectual than many other films at the time most kids that age would have normally been exposed to.

The film itself says it could have been called "The Children of Marx and Coca Cola," and with Godard's increasing attention on economic systems, philosophy, and rejection of pop culture, it's easy to see why. True to his style, Godard mixes his dissatisfaction with the status quo with his trademark touches of humor, though his uneasiness with the order at the time is obvious. Anyone daring him to go further would be in for a real treat...

Pierrot Le Fou

Pierrot Le Fou marks the point in the class where I am officially at a loss to fully make sense of Godard's films. Each of his films from here on out warrant repeated viewings, and your mileage may vary depending on how offended or supportive you are of Godard's politics during this period, which can be polarizing or even heavy handed to newcomers.

The film reminded me of stories of Bonnie and Clyde. It seems to have been somewhat influenced by the legendary duo in its crime-spree-on-the-road feel, and it's obvious that the American film named after the gangster duo (more on that later) was in turn inspired by Pierrot Le Fou, though more by its style than its politics. That's where Pierrot deviates from the Bonnie and Clyde story; Godard's overt and sometimes out of place politics, here best shown in a short sequence involving "Uncle Sam's nephew and Uncle Ho's niece," where the titular characters are extreme caricatures (complete with yellowface) of their respective home countries.

I saw this as another big step for Godard as he seems to continually disown his American pop-culture influences and roots (see the bourgeois party scene at the beginning of the film). He's angry, but never to angry to make a joke on culture when it suits him.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Story of Adele H.

Truffaut follows Day for Night with The Story of Adele H. starring the always beautiful Isabelle Adjani as Adele Hugo, Victor Hugo's daughter.

Interestingly for Truffaut (but not for his lead actress), Adjani carries the film. I say this because after seeing Traffaut films like Jules and Jim and Day for Night, whose casts featured a variety of standout characters, Adele H. almost seems like a step backward, feeling like more of an Adjani vehicle than anything else.

That's not to say the vehicle isn't somewhat interesting, though. The film did offer an intriguing look into Hugo's desperate madness, though, again, I can't help but feel that without Adjani, this film would be rather unremarable, even with Truffaut in the chair.

This is one film that I wished we could have had a class discussion on. While Adjani's performance was strong, the rest was less than noteworthy and I didn't see it as much more than another new direction for Truffaut.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day for Night

Francois Truffaut's Day for Night is an interesting, often funny, look into the inner workings of the cinema world. Almost a film within a film, Truffaut surrounds himself in his own picture. Thus, Day for Night plays like Truffaut's love letter to cinema; the film is a tribute to the art of making a movie and everything that comes with it, as well as a nod to Truffaut's influences. There is a great reoccurring dream sequence where a young Truffaut steals Citizen Kane promo stills from a movie theater, pointing towards both the huge critical acclaim the film enjoyed in France as well as its effects on the New Wave scene and its players.

Another knowing wink towards Truffaut's influences and contemporaries occurs during a scene where Truffaut's character gets a package of books, filled with volumes on Hitchcock, Godard, and others. I'm also almost positive I saw a reference to Jean Cocteau.

Someone in class mentioned that Truffaut is almost a masochist in that he seems to enjoy, or is at least ambivalent about, surrounding himself with his cast and crew, many of whom have their own shortcomings and issues; the lead actress demands a tub of butter before she'll see anybody in her dressing room, and the lead actor is a lovesick drama queen whose acting is most intense off the set and in a bedroom.

All in all, Day for Night is a great film that manages to capture everything, for better and for worse, that Truffaut loves about film.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Alphaville, Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 science fiction film featuring British pulp character Lemmy Caution, is a strange, noir-like picture that takes place in the titular city. It utilizes some elements of typical dystopian science fiction-a central body or entity controlling the population (the supercompuer, Alpha 60), the loss and suppressing of emotions by the ruling body-but never relies on any elaborate sets, props, or effects usually seen in science-fiction films.

As is usual of Godard's genre films, he pushes the film into near parody territory. He makes use of some of the usual cliches while ignoring others. It almost seemed intentionally convoluted and murky, at least to me, but the story itself is actually quite simple.

I found Alpha 60 comparable to the character IT in Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 novel A Wrinkle in Time. IT is a brain that controls the entire planet of Camazotz, forcing ITs citizens into a role of utter and complete conformity, both in actions and emotions. Much as Strange defeats Alpha 60 by reciting poetry to it, Wrinkle's hero, teenager Meg Murray, confronts and incapacitates IT by showing an intense feeling of love for her mentally imprisoned brother. Both characters escape.

I personally found the ending perfectly suitable. I can understand how some might find it a bit cliche, but I think that the fact it ends on a simple "I love you" makes it all the better. There's no cheesy monologue or elaboration needed; less is more here and the film ends on a stronger note because of it. In a film about the loss of human emotion, the simple recitation of the most emotional of statements-"I love you," is more than enough.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Organic chemistry, quantum physics, and Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt all have the distinct honors of making me feel both depressed and stupid at the same time.

Despite being an adaptation of a novel, Godard manages to craft the film in a way that paralleled his own life at the time, and the characters of Camille and Prokosch obviously correspond to his then wife Ana Karina and a bossy producer. That said, I felt I was missing something; was this going to be one of those "French people talking" movies? I felt that Paul and Camille's conflict was a bit too drawn out to be as effective as it could have been (in particular the extended scene in their apartment; perhaps arguing with your lover is more exciting than watching it), though I still found the movie depressing.

That said, I thought the running parallels between the events of the film, the film being shot within the film, and the story of Homer's Odyssey were quite well done, particularly the bit about Ulysses killing Penelope's suitors in order for her to fall in love with him again. Paul carries a gun, and it made me recall that age old rule of not introducing a gun unless you plan on using it. I had figured that after this foreshadowing, he'd surely be forced to confront Camille's lover in some sort of passionate face off on an Italian cliff, but no deal. Instead, both Camille and her lover die in a car accident. It bothered me, but then again, I suppose that's a talent of Godard's.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Carabineers

The Carabineers, Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 feature film, deals with two poor men living in squalor who are called to serve the king of France by fighting in a war. Unaware that France hasn't had a king for hundreds of years and lured by false promises of plunder and property, the men leave their wives for a tour of duty. They return injured and as poor as ever, and are shot by the CO at the end of the film, presumably for war crimes.

The film is a sometimes puzzling mix of comedy in tragedy, though given Godard's previous work I can't say I'm too surprised. He uses elements of both in The Carabineers with mixed success. The film never tells its audience if it wants to be a comedy with a touch of tragedy or vice versa, so it's probably best to accept that Godard perhaps couldn't decide either and instead opted for both. It's an interesting mix that offers up some complex, jet black humor; the characters are so hopelessly stupid and their views on war and the world in general so incredibly backward that the film would be very depressing if it wasn't as funny as it is. The characters eagerly ask their recruiters if they'll be allowed to kill innocent bystanders, harass women and children and pillage from their enemies, to all of which the recruiters answer that the men can do as they wish. "It's war," after all. Our antiheroes are hapless to the end, even after seeing the brutality of battle and being wounded in the fight. They never learn a thing.

Some in the class feel that the film was incredibly insensitive given that it followed the Algerian conflict so soon, saying that the film could be saying that these are the kinds of people who fight in wars; namely, ignorant, poverty striken hillbillies. I don't think I agree, though at the moment I can't quite put my finger on what Godard was really trying to say. Is it the means at which the French government will go to recruit fodder for conflicts only they truly have interest in? The dangers of ignorance in an increasingly violent world? Perhaps if Godard had been a little more clear in his mixing of moods, its meaning would be more apparent.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Jacques Demy's second feature film, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a unique one, to put it lightly. Entirely sung, with no spoken dialog, it seems like the kind of film that immediately splits viewers into two camps before it even starts; those who hate musicals and everybody else.

I tend to dislike musicals. I can't help it. I wasn't looking forward to this at all; with no dialog as respite, I would have to sit through 90 minutes of nonstop singing. And yet, I loved every minute of it. I'm still eating my words.

Umbrellas is more than a musical, if it could ever have been called that in the first place. A bittersweet tale of young love, war, and faith, the film is one of the few musically based films (it's the best I can do) I've ever seen that really took me in. I found myself hoping Guy and Genevieve would end up together in the end, even though I knew it couldn't possibly work out that way.

One student in class remarked that the film seemed too "fake," but in defense of the genre, musicals are "fake" by nature. The audience must go into the film knowing it isn't normal to break out into song and dance in order to ever enjoy it. Questions of the films "realness" are invalid because the about complaint goes without saying. It is the viewer's responsibility to suspend belief in order to fairly assess the film for what it is.

Again, as I've mentioned about Le Bonheur
and A Woman is a Woman, the color in Umbrellas enhances the film tenfold; instead of merely being a film in color, it is a feature that uses color as another means to express itself artistically, using vibrant hues and tints to convey mood and bring the streets of Cherbourg to life.

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Completely unconventional and vibrantly colorful, it's unlike anything I've ever seen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Woman is a Woman

Jean-Luc Godard's 1961 feature A Woman is a Woman is an absolutely brilliant and playful takeoff of American musical/comedy. It takes all the stylistic signatures of the French New Wave movement-the use of actors from other films in the movement (or "family", as it could arguably be called), the reference of other films (specifically, again, those in the French New Wave movement), and a creative use of conventional film techniques or ideas (the biggest example here is the film's use of music), and coalesces them beautifully.

A Woman is a Woman is, then, a film that revels in the fact that it's a film. It makes no efforts to create an illusion of realism as many films do, yet with its use of vibrant color (used to a better effect here than even Le Bonheur) and scene enhancing music, it still manages to draw the viewer into its own world, albeit one that resembles a living cartoon. The actors are in on the gag, bowing towards the camera (and presumably, the audience) as they preform their charade.

So far, Godard's work doesn't take itself as seriously as some of the other New Wave directors do, particularly, from what I've seen, Bresson and Varda. Godard include elements of drama (wonderfully exaggerated by the film's great use of musical ques), but never forgets with the film really is-a film. He comes up with an experimental picture whose success lies in Godard's ability to take several different ideas out of their comfort zones and place them into something entirely fresh and new. Never too serious, never too goofy, A Woman is a Woman is fantastic.

Jules and Jim

Francois Truffaut's 1962 feature Jules and Jim centers around something of a love triangle, though that might be oversimplifying things a bit; it might be more of a love rectangle of pentagon. A love polygon, at the very least.

There seems to be an increasingly disturbing recurring motif among the films we've been watching in class-that of infidelity-and Jules and Jim revels in it. The character of Catherine is utterly frustrating to no end; the film starts out centering around Jules and Jim's friendship but later turns into a story of how their lives are both ruined by Catherine's cruel games and infidelity.
As Roger Ebert put it in his review of the film, "it's about three people who could not concede that their moment of perfect happiness was over, and perused it into dark and sad places."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Last Year at Marienbad

Did I see this film, or not?

Last Year at Marienbad is strange. Real strange. I'd put it somewhere between Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Inland Empire in terms of strange films I've seen. I liked it, but that's not really the point. When it comes to films like this, deciding whether or not you liked it is probably the easiest question to answer, which isn't saying much.

Alain Resnais' film about a mysterious mansion/hotel and the people staying in it is a dreamy tale of a dubious promise of infidelity. X, a man who claims he made a promise to A, a woman, that, at this mansion a year ago, she would leave her husband and run away with him.

The film tells the story by floating in and out of the past. The characters are stiff and formal, and their French is likewise. The entire film seems like a sort of stage production or board game, and the characters seem like merely actors or game pieces that serve only to get to curtain or the goal space. Characters that aren't part of the action (I use the term loosely) are completely still. This, coupled with the Carnival of Souls-like organ score and the beautiful yet eerie mansion create a gently disturbing and overall confusing atmosphere.

The strange behavior of the characters is, in my opinion, Resnais' take on the flashback. X cannot remember every detail of the events of last year, and so the characters in the flashback sequences (if they can be called that; 75% of the film seems to be a flashback) barely move. They simply inhabit the space because X remembers people playing cards or smoking or dancing, but he cannot remember anything further than that, so the bystanders pose with their partners in the middle of a forgotten dance step.

Some of my classmates may have found this confusing, but to me it actually made perfect sense. I found it to be a bit of a genius move by Resnais. He never makes it glaringly obvious, and so once you figure it out, it's very rewarding. If that's what he really means, of course.

And that's what's so wonderfully frustrating about the picture-there is little evidence to suggest that any event X relates to A actually happened, and even when he presents her with a photo he claims to have taken of her in the garden last year, we have to wonder:

What the hell just happened?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Le Bonheur

Agnes Varda's Le Bonheur is a provocative story of infidelity and love covered in a swath of color and carried on by a piping Mozart score. Varda and the film received a generous amount of criticism for the film's take on infidelity and it's seeming ambivalent attitude towards it, and it's easy to see why even 40 years later.

The film offers many symbols and signs of the overall theme of infidelity, some glaringly obvious (close ups of various street signs emblazoned with the words "Temptation," "Mystery," or "Confidence"), while others work within the plot; the protaganist Francois' wife Therese is a seamstress that is working on a wedding gown early in the movie. When Francois meets an attractive postal worker, Emilie, and offers to install some shelves at her apartment, the viewer knows exactly where the story is going, even without prior knowledge of the film.

Except that when it comes, we're left with a strange emptiness. Mozart's strings keep piping along. The color remains bright and cheery. Francois comes home and plays with his children and makes love to his wife. He's smiling. No interior dialog. No sense of guilt, even privately.

What's wrong with this picture?

Indeed, the joyous score and vibrant color of the film almost seem disturbing after Francois' lovemaking sessions with Emilie. The color, which at first fit in perfectly with Francois and Therese's idealistic family life, now seem grossly out of place. The lack of any sense of remorse on Francois' part is near maddening.

Basically, it's all rather confusing.

Confusing, still, when Francois' wife meets a mysterious end by drowning. After Francois reveals the affair to her (complete with an excuse that makes about as much sense as the rest of the film, which in this case is actually perfect sense), she goes off on her own and disappears. Francois and the children look for her and find her dead. As Francois looks at the body of his wife, a quick clip replays over and over; the image of her struggling to escape. Was the death an accident or a suicide? Is the clip Francois trying to convince himself of on explanation? It is never explained, and, as is the case with some of the best films, is better off for it.

As I said, Varda came under fire for the way the film portrays these events, as it seems she is fulfilling a male fantasy of having the best of both worlds without consequence, but I wonder if that's her real intention. It almost seems as if Varda is trying to present these events in a different light to puzzle the audience. She offers very little in the way of visual cues of how we think we're supposed to feel about the story, and instead gives us a confounding story of unfaithfulness. In the end, we're left with a bittersweet, stale treat wrapped in a deceptively bright wrapper.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Robert Bresson's 1959 film Pickpocket is something of an enigma. A short, stark feature about an unremarkable, emotionally unavailable man named Michel whose only passion is the art of pickpocketing, which is the only distraction he has in an existence that otherwise consists of him brooding in his small apartment.

The biggest question I found myself having after the film, and one that I think many in the class had, was "why?" The film offers only a hint as to why Michel does what he does; in an early scene, Michel comments about supposed "supermen," echoing a theme in Crime and Punishment. He seems to feel that he has a sense of entitlement; being especially talented at pickpocketing, he feels that he ought to be allowed to do it. Beyond this early exchange, the film offers little outright clues. Perhaps Michel does it for sport. Perhaps he is addicted, getting a high from the thrill of the crime and the excitement of being caught.

Pickpocket is, in fact, filled with "why"'s. Why does Michel steal from his mother but not bring himself to face her? Why does he ignore Jeanne for most of the film? The first time viewing the film, there is little else to do besides guess.

Personally, I feel there's a strong case in saying that Pickpocket is about a man's search for purpose. Bresson doesn't give us too much to work with throughout the film; Michele seems stoic to the end, declaring to Jeanne after he is arrested and thrown in jail that it is not being imprisoned that bothers him, but rather the fact that he got caught. He seemed obsessed with the art of the crime, the beauty of the act which he mentioned in his earlier remarks on "supermen." But as Jeanne moves closer to the bars of the cell, Michel kisses her forehead. His voiceover comments on his circumstances with Jeanne, saying "What a strange way I had to travel to find you." I find this to be a pivotal moment in the film; Michel may have lost his freedom (if it can be called that, since he imprisons himself in his apartment when he isn't out stealing, seemingly out of obsession rather than necessity) but he has gained something he finds much more valuable.

We never find out what becomes of Michel and his newfound sense of purpose in life, but we're not meant to. What we're watching isn't a crime film at all, it's a study in self worth and significance that happens to have crime in it. Could it be that Michel simply wanted that old cliche, love?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


What is it with the French and acts of senseless murder? My experience with French media is somewhat limited, but within the first few minutes of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, I found the film's anti-hero Michel reminding me of Camus's protagonists Patrice Mersault and Meursault from his novels A Happy Death and The Stranger, respectively.

Michele is a small time crook who gets wrapped up in a much larger crime when he kills a policeman after speeding through the French countryside in a stolen car, both acts committed seemingly out of spite. In this early sequence, Michele establishes himself as a cold, somewhat misogynistic petty criminal with an inflated sense of ego and self worth. "Get stuffed," he addresses the camera (and viewer) as he offers his remedy for a distaste of the French countryside.

It isn't until Michele reaches Paris that we see what could pass for a motive for Michele's behavior. As he wonders the city, he comes across a poster of Humphrey Bogart outside a theater. He imitates one of Bogart's trademark gestures as he gazes on the image. For the remainder of the film, he tries to seduce his American friend Patrica while stealing cars and securing money for an escape to Italy, all the while doing his best cynical Bogart-quasi-tough-guy.

Michele, for as tough as he is (or wants you to believe), almost doesn't feel genuine. He is a character who took an idolization much too far, trying to turn his existence into a real life Big Sleep or Casablanca. Patrica is the only one to see through this, telling Michele that Bogart is an image and that Michele should be himself. Michele, of course, never changes. He is Bogart. Even when Michele tells Patrica that he needs her, that he is in love with her and can't live without her, there's this sense that he feels that way because he's wrapped up in a romantic dream where he steals cars, kills a cop, gets the girl and escapes.

"What would Humphrey do?"

Michele refuses to escape when Patrica betrays him, cynically choosing instead to go to jail. When the cops finally catch up to him, he is shot in the back and, in a winking, extended death sequence, he runs several blocks, utters his enigmatic last words, and dies.

Bogie would be proud, right?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows, released in 1959, was Francois Truffant's first feature film and the first to feature his on screen "alter ego" Antoine Doinel (played by Jean-Pierre Leaud), who would make appearances in four more Truffant films. In The 400 Blows, we find ourselves observing Doinel's everyday life as a young teenager. He is a poor student who is frequently ridiculed by his teacher (ridicule which is not always deserved) and is stuck in an antagonistic relationship with his parents, who are struggling to get by as it is. He has vague ambitions of seeing the ocean.

Much as The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield could be taken as a loose portrait of Salinger, Doinel, as mentioned, was certainly Truffant on celluloid. After the film had concluded, I couldn't help finding some similarities between the two characters; Doinel, to me, seemed to be a loose parallel to Caulfield, except younger and French. Doinel's behavior, like Caulfield's, seems to act as a form of protection against the perceived unfairness he finds himself surrounded by, and it is not entirely his fault. While not the best student, there are times when the scorn he receives from his teacher is unwarranted (specifically at the beginning when he is reprimanded for having a picture of a pinup girl). In addition, he is regarded coldly by his mother (who confides in his stepfather that she finds Doinel "annoying"), and he catches her kissing another man on the street one day while cutting school. His stepfather, though mostly friendly, is shown to have a bit of a tempter at times, and constantly fights with Doinel's mother. Doinel later reveals to a therapist that his mother originally didn't want to have him, and that he was to have been aborted before his grandmother stepped in. The knowledge and consequences of these events have shaped Doinel into a sort of antihero, one who we as a viewer want to see succeed but on another level find it hard at times to get behind.

One reoccurring theme I noticed in the film was Doinel running away from or isolating himself from authority. This, combined with his wanting to see the ocean and completed with his finally reaching the sea at the end of the film, is rather significant as he spends most of the movie fleeing those he feels have alienated him, only to finally reach the symbol of ultimate freedom and directionless wandering, the ocean. The film ends on a freeze frame, a still of Doinel facing the camera. The ending is somewhat ambiguous in that we don't know how the story ends for Doinel, but we can assume that based on the music playing, and the fact that the film ends with the ocean and facial shot and never hints at any other misfortunes waiting for Doinel (perhaps that he is being chased, etc) that, for now, Doinel is free from his spotted past, and free to run where he pleases.