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La Revolution Francaise 1989

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La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:11 pm

I decided to try and rip all the scenes depicting Marie-Antoinette from my copy of the 1989 film La Revolution Francaise. Mercifully for anglophones, I happen to have the English copy. Unfortunately for purists - well, they're not speaking the historically accurate tongue.

But in reality, my copy is beneficial because the English version does (for some reason) have scenes that the French version lacks.

No, it doesn't make sense to me either but there you go.

Anyway, this is Pt1:



(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssfJKjEMAak&feature=youtu.be)

Forgive the comparatively poor video quality and my clumsy transitions. I've never claimed to be a video editor and even if I did, Windows Movie Maker isn't the best tool...but it gets the job done, I think. Wink
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Sophie on Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:37 pm

Bunnies wrote:I decided to try and rip all the scenes depicting Marie-Antoinette from my copy of the 1989 film La Revolution Francaise.

Nice job, thanks Very Happy Jane Seymour is beautiful, although I don't think she fits well to my vision about Marie-Antoinette. She's so cold, there are no emotions on her face. Or maybe we should blame the director? Razz

Some years ago I watched details of this film on Youtube, and as far as I can remember, it also misrepresented one of my favourite scenes from the Queen's life. This is the point when she goes to the balcon to show herself the mob - together with her children. Lafayette is also outside. Then the mob shouts "No children!", so she sends them back, and faces the mob alone. Lafayette kisses her hand, so the mob starts yelling "Long live the Queen!" Coppola makes the whole situation uninterpretable with Antoinette going out, welcoming the mob, and suddenly everyone likes her... what? Suspect And in this film, as I remember, she looks so dumb curtseying in front of the people. Oh, my taste is too delicate to disregard these little details... *facepalm*

EDIT: I found it. It's not as bad as I remembered, but I'm still missing Lafayette Smile
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6rlcvFms6w
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:05 pm

I'm seeing now that I missed a few screnes, like their standing by he Dauphin's bedside... I'll get around to it in a day or so, I have some free time coming up. Anyway I never claimed competence. To be honest, I'm telling you right here that we might end up with Quentin Torentino's vision of Antoinette's life. It's basically organized not so much chronologically as Whatever-Bunnies-Happens-To-Notice-First.

I actually sorta like Jane Seymour here, or at least the script she's working with. Like we were discussing before, a great many movies like portraying Antoinette as the helpless waif. Look at her starting in 5:43. That's a queen of France right there, defending her throne. She's "the only man by the king's side" like Mirabeau said, and more regal during the Revolution than she ever was during her 'unchecked' reign.

But at the same time, she's not a shrew like she was in Les Adieux La Reine. She's regal but she's not a tyrant and I don't want Billaud to chop her head off like I do when I watch that other film.

I'm rambling I know, but I hadn't seen this film in nearly two years so I sorta...forgot.
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:32 pm

This scene should've been placed somewhere in the middle of the last video. The dauphin Louis-Joseph was terribly ill during the opening of what is generally acknowledged to be the Revolutionary period in the Estates-General. This scene has the king and queen at his bedside:



or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph3iHjajSH0

Back on schedule, immediately after the video I put up in my first post Antoinette takes leave to say good-bye to - of course - Fersen. Obligatory.



Then Antoinette receives moral support from her fellow royalists:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahmJeZmI4tw

Which [among other things] spurs this into happening: The Women's March on Versailles. I know this scene is, as Sophie pointed out, well available on YouTube already but I don't know if the complete version is? That is, the entire siege.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygAyuPhdMeo

(This last video is acting funny. The direct link might work better...)
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Sophie on Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Bunnies wrote:This scene should've been placed somewhere in the middle of the last video. The dauphin Louis-Joseph was terribly ill during the opening of what is generally acknowledged to be the Revolutionary period in the Estates-General.

Poor little thing Sad

Back on schedule, immediately after the video I put up in my first post Antoinette takes leave to say good-bye to - of course - Fersen. Obligatory.

This is so far-fetched. I don't think they talked about Louis this way, Fersen was also his friend. And is there any historical evidence about Fersen being in Versailles these days? I'm not sure...

Then Antoinette receives moral support from her fellow royalists:

This is another scene that is too "cold" for my taste, but if I had pupils learning about this period, I would show this as illustration. It's not bad.

Which [among other things] spurs this into happening: The Women's March on Versailles. I know this scene is, as Sophie pointed out, well available on YouTube already but I don't know if the complete version is? That is, the entire siege.

No, the Youtube version was only the balcony scene, not the whole march. Thanks for the uploadings and I'm looking forward to seeing the next chapters! flower
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:05 am

Yeeeaaaaahhhh...that's why I called the Fersen thing 'obligatory'. Not too much historical evidence to back their tryst up. But it makes for a good movie...I guess, because otherwise why would people keep shoving it into their films? There's a few things 'off' about the whole film, particularly when we veer into the second half. But that's then.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about Jane Seymour's Antoinette, however. I like her very much. She has that inner strength and womanly grace that a lot of portrayals seem to lack. How does she seem cold to you? Sad And who is your favorite Antoinette on screen?

Anyway, here's pt3. It opens with Antoinette conspiring with Mirabeau, then we have the 1790 celebration at the Champ de Mars, and finally we have Antoinette and Fersen planning the infamous Flight of Varennes.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjQJeAcoXkQ
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Sophie on Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:08 am

Bunnies wrote:I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about Jane Seymour's Antoinette, however. I like her very much. She has that inner strength and womanly grace that a lot of portrayals seem to lack. How does she seem cold to you? Sad And who is your favorite Antoinette on screen?

Well, to understand this problem, you should know that I have a very strong verbal perception and a week visual one. If I read a book, I have an inner film on my mind, and then, if the book is adapted to a film, I always feel disappointed, even with the fictional ones. It's like a trauma seeing that other people imagined the whole scene otherwise. And anyway, in a written version you have really everything that a film never could have. For example, I read that Antoinette and Mirabeau met in a garden. I always imagined it was dawn, there was a little wind, the gravel grated under their feet, and Mirabeau felt awkward because he never imagined the queen to be so proud and brave. The film scene here is amazing if you want to show what happened, what they talked about, but not how they felt, and the little details that can make a scene lively. For me, only a written text can do this... but as I said, it's maybe a personal problem. My brain works so Rolling Eyes

In the case of Antoinette, she is such a complex and controversial personality that I'm not sure if an actress ever could play her well. Yeah, I agree, Jane Seymour shows the "side" that revolutioners could have seen - a cold no-emotions-on-my-face-or-we-are-lost conspirator woman -, and, because the film is about the French Revolution, she's the perfect choice. But you know, she had another "side" for her inner circle, the side Noailles and her haters in Versailles strongly criticized. Namely, that she was too emotional for the unpersonal court life. Or you can say, she showed her emotions too easy. She often touched and hugged other people, even her own husband, and wanted to nurse her children on her own. She, as I see her, couldn't ever hide everything. Later in the Temple, she complained about the treatment while Louis and Elisabeth tended to quietly accept everything.

Let's see this planning-the-flight scene. She doesn't care if the daughter leaves, and then, when they are alone, she embraces Fersen. My Antoinette would stand up, run to him and embrace him the moment she sees him. Then, if they wanted to send the child away, she would hug her as she never could see her again (we talk about a mother who already lost two of her children, and about their life in the Tuileries). Jane Seymour is really beautiful as a queen, but not charming. Antoinette was sometimes too charming to pass well to her royal duties, and that is an important point why she became unpopular, at first in Versailles, then in the whole country.

I agree with Gareth Russell that Antoinette should show as a minor or even episode character, because it's not so hurting to see her "one-sided", if she has at best 15 minutes on the stage. In this sense, I liked Joely Richardson, Charlotte de Turckheim (she also was a nice royalist-rebel woman in 'Chouans!', the perfect counterpoint of Sophie Marceau), and maybe the woman who played her in L'évasion, even when I haven't seen the whole film yet.

His article: http://garethrussellcidevant.blogspot.co.at/2012/08/golden-imaginings-why-are-movies-about.html

Oh, I also wrote a little essay Laughing But this is the essence of the way I see all of these movies.
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:35 pm

Lol, essays. Look in the Robespierre thread and then come talk to me about essays, punk. You don't got nothing on me. Wink

Anyway, I see where you're coming from I suppose. I don't know if I can see Antoinette dramatically embracing her daughter was she goes into another room; the times are desperate, sure, but Antoinette did have an aura of royal dignity and I'm not sure if flamboyant displays of affection necessarily fit into that aura. Maybe in absolute privacy, but there was a witness both in Fersen and perhaps he maid with the Madame Royale...unless that's meant to be Madame Elisabeth.

Interesting take on Seymour's portrayal meant to milk sympathy for the Revolutionaries. While the film is called La Revolution Francaise, in reality its perspectives and sympathies are inclined to the (rather odd) pairing of Royalist and Dantonist. The Big Bads are the Girondins and the Robespierrists, the former reduced to troublesome caricatures with no tangible influence and the latter magnified into the Absolute Dictators with supreme authority. Neither is accurate and neither inspires sympathy, which is monopolized by the royal, Desmoulins, and Danton families.

And I know the historiography does tend to synchronize these two perspectives (Dantonist and Royalist), partly due to the emotions both elicit: Lucile Desmoulins' letters to her imprisoned husband have immortalized their love, and the well-documented fall of the monarchy did the same for the royal couple. But aside from a punctuation mark of decapitation and maybe sharing Robespierre as a common antagonist, the two perspectives have little in common. On the most superficial of levels alone, one faction represented Absolute Monarchy and the other was decidedly Republican.

Eliciting similar emotions from an audience is not tantamount to being politically comparable. Unfortunately, a great many history texts miss this nuance and so we are left with theses that read "Antoinette and Louis XVI - tragic! Lucile and Camille - tragic! They same! They same! They friends!"

Except written less professionally.

Academia.

Anyway, I suspect Antoinette and Danton both would have been mortified to learn that posterity has found them synonymous. It really doesn't make sense. And the whole "Danton didn't want Antoinette to be executed!" argument to juxtapose the two parties doesn't really fly. For one, Danton's reluctance isn't exactly a documented fact - it's speculative, just as most of Danton's politics are since the dude didn't write his speeches down, was often misquoted, and generally just flew by the seat of his pants. Furthermore, there is just as much evidence to indicate Robespierre was reluctant to see Antoinette's head fall, so assuming that "not wanting Antoinette dead" is tantamount to Royalism, we have now transformed Robespierre into an Absolute Monarchist and at this point I'm starting to question your definition of the term.

I mean, since when is "not wanting this person dead" the equivalent of being their best buddy? There's a lot of people I don't want dead. I don't want my friendly neighborhood Communists dead, they amuse me with their drunken antics (Fact: All modern day Communists are habitual drunks). But that don't make us political allies by any means.

But the movie. Royalist and Dantonist sympathies. At once. Somehow.

Wooo, I ranted. Sorry. Okay. That happens sometimes. I-I think I accidentally wrote a somewhat incoherent rambly essay myself. Embarassed

But I shall make up with it! Look, pt 4!

Very little Antoinette in this one; Louis XVI is the star. We get some of the Flight of Varennes - the whole episode isn't depicted. Then we get some conspiring. And then the June 20th rising.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPWTZErnvF4&feature=youtu.be
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Elena on Fri May 03, 2013 9:10 pm

I really appreciate all you are going through. Thank you! queen

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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Sat May 04, 2013 2:25 am

Oh, it's no problem at all and I'm actually enjoying revisiting this movie. cat I'm just sorry for my impromptu ramble and also for how haphazard my editing skills are...

Um, I'll have part 5 together in a few days. Please excuse my lateness.
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Sophie on Sat May 04, 2013 6:35 am

No problem, no stress! I'm very curious, of course, but I understand how difficult it could be editing a movie like this... scratch So don't apologize for your editing skills, you have at least some king
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Sophie on Sun May 05, 2013 12:33 pm

Huh, I've just watched the scene on your tumblr where Louis XVI helps Dr Guillotin to construct the "machine". I'm so curious if it's a true story or not! I mean, I can imagine Louis gladly giving advice in such mechanical issues, but is it a dramaturgic element created by the filmmakers, or something recorded in some historical sources? I've met this story in some articles before, but I can't be sure if they got it from this film or from another place. In any case, it's ghoulish that Louis could have facilitated his own tribulations by helping to construct the fastest machine with least pain for the convicted... Shocked
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Bunnies on Sun May 05, 2013 2:43 pm

I'm not sure. Ms. Vidal might know. I have seen the story referenced before but I don't know how valid the sources were.

That said, whether or not Louis XVI helped construct the guillotine, it's not as though the guillotine's existence in any way encouraged his execution or indeed, even spurred on the Reign of Terror. In the former case, it's silly to think that Saint Just eyed the blade of the guillotine and went, "Wow! This is neat. I absolutely loved Louis XVI before but now that I see this nifty death machine, I wonder how it would work on him! To the Jacobin Club I go!"

Had the guillotine not been invented, Louis XVI would have been killed via headsman. Or, if the Revolutionaries wanted to deal with treason in the way their predecessors had, they would have had him drawn and quartered.

As for the Terror in general, while people like to lament how simple the guillotine made dispatching political rivals, in reality the first thing the more brutal proconsuls did - the ones who wanted to absolutely purge a city and massacre hundreds - did was get rid of the guillotine and come up with something else. Mass-murderers agree: The Guillotine is an inefficient way to dispatch your enemies en masse. And, I dunno, I feel like Jean Carrier and Collot d'Herbois might just know something about mass murder. I don't hold them in high esteem but I'll take their word for it.

Historically speaking, it's not as though Henry VIII, Peter the Great, or any other ruler had any difficulty executing hundreds of people at once without a guillotine. Had the guillotine never been invented, we would merely be reading more about mass shootings or mass hangings. Indeed, the death count may have climbed upward because we can't know how many meeker proconsuls, while lamenting their guillotine's inefficiency, may have been too 'uncreative' or reluctant to employ a method outside of that proscribed by law. There's a lot about the Terror to lament but the guillotine, as a tool, isn't one of them and had Louis XVI helped construct it... well, good on him.
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Re: La Revolution Francaise 1989

Post  Sophie on Sun May 05, 2013 4:27 pm

Bunnies wrote:That said, whether or not Louis XVI helped construct the guillotine, it's not as though the guillotine's existence in any way encouraged his execution or indeed, even spurred on the Reign of Terror.

Had the guillotine not been invented, Louis XVI would have been killed via headsman.

There's a lot about the Terror to lament but the guillotine, as a tool, isn't one of them and had Louis XVI helped construct it... well, good on him.

Yes, of course! It doesn't have a real importance in history or a significance to understand the events of those days. I'm simply keen on "microhistorical" elements of the era. Louis once abolished torturing interrogation (I hope I use the right English word Smile ), and this scene passes well to this. What he could have thought is to facilitate the last minutes of common criminals, because the guillotine is a much better and faster method than the gallows or the hatchet. It has its additional "symbolism" only from today's point of view. As a king, a humane method of execution could have been an important question for him, even if it hadn't been for a revolution, coincidentally. And it has nothing to do with the Terror, for the scene takes place in 1791-1792. It would be anachronistical to show Louis as a diviner who already knew what was going to happen in 2-3 years...
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