my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Joy House
Director:   Rene Clement
Year:   1964
Genre:   Pulp
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   04.26.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
04.26.06Weird Wednesday A surprising amount of people left before Weird Wednesday (including Tarantino). I really think there should be some sort of exam or essay contest to determine who gets the QT badges... It seems like so many of them go to people who wuss out after the first movie. Their loss I guess, because Joy House was fantastic. Even though I really liked both QT movies, I think Joy House was my favorite of the night. It couldn't have been more up my alley.

Joy House is like a prototypical film noir washed with New Wave style and sprinkled with just a hint of post-modernism. I kept thinking The Postman Always Rings Twice meets Diabolique meets Contempt... meets Ginger Snaps 2. Seriously though, for the most part it feels like an Orphan film noir that was separated from his blood parents for 15 years and suddenly surfaces in France in 1964. It's got everything that makes noir great, but the camera is livlier and looser and the scenery much nicer. And by that I mean both the French Chateau and the femme stars.

Lola Albright, as Lars put it, plays the queen of the bitches... and she's so successfully manipulative that you can see her turn that bitchiness on and off behind her eyes like others might flip a light switch. Jane Fonda, a super-young Jane Fonda, plays Lola's neice or cousin or something... also sort of a maid and fatale-in-training. Alain Delon, in his prime, gets caught between them as a don Juan who's forced into hiding when an American husband tryies to track him down and repay him for sleeping with his wife (played by the guy who later shows up in all the Police Academy films. talk about a surprise to see him as a hard boiled killer instead of a bumbling goldfish-loving commendant or whatever he plays in those movies). So he takes a job as chauffer to rich widow Lola and has to fend off sexpot advances by almost-too-young-but-who-are-we-kidding Jane Fonda. I cannot believe Fonda's beauty here. I mean... just... never mind. But Lola (i love the name Lola so I'm taking every advantage of using it here) is super hot in her own right... slightly older, more experienced... you know what i mean... I really feel for Delon here having to make out with both of them. I guess that's just another one of the peks for being like Tom Cruise but bigger. Freakin pretty boy Delon.

So the dialogue is razor sharp, the photography stuffing, the plot twisted and sordid, and the character amoral and deceitful. Sounding good yet? Lalo Schiffrin does the score and it is amazing. It's burned itself into my brain forever (never mind that I can't remember the Brotherhood of Death music anymore). It's jazzy but also sort of thriller-ish-y and some notes of tension thrown in with the breezy vibe. I have to track down this score.

The ending is note-perfect. there's no better way that this movie could end. The beginning is amazing... Delon does a few stunts that today would, and probably should go to stuntpeople (that's back when we had more than actors, we had STARS), and all of the performances are sizzling.... Again it's like finding a long lost film noir and feeling that tingle that I got when I saw my first one all over again. Love love loved this film. amazing. thanks Lars!

So a triple feature of great movies... no weak point here. Oh there was one weak point... All during Wipeout there was some girl talking and trying way too hard to laugh at every single thing that could possibly be perceived as funny. I was sitting down toward the front so have no clue who it was but whoever you are, know that Ann Richards or George Romero or Henry Silva will find you one day... and when they do they will take your ass out.

Other than that though, great night!
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