Lourdes – Day Three – Cinema Interuptus: The Albedo, Miracle Emergent and all about Cécile and the Fisher King


The annunciation of a miracle.                                                                           [© Coop 99 Films-2009]

Welcome to part four of this series or articles, which is a deep, though hopefully not exhausting, exploration of Austrian director/writer Jessica Hausner’s excellent 2009 film Lourdes.  Part One of the series:  Prologue to a Posy, lays out in some detail the genesis of the project and outlines its basic method, which is an attempt at a one-man version of film critic Roger Ebert,’s Cinema Interruptus.  Part Two of this series:  Day One: The Wheelchair is No Barrier to Desire, takes us through approximately the first twenty five minutes of the film, to the end of the first full day in in-movie time.  Part Three of this series:  Day Two, The Nigredo – Eating an Elephant, or Too Big a Rat, takes us though to the end of the difficult second day or their pilgrimage for our characters, and several important developments in: plot, character, and theme.

If you haven’t done so I suggest that you back track and start this series from the beginning – or – just plunge ahead and pick up our story mid stream.

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Lourdes – Day Two – Cinema Interuptus: The Nigredo, Eating an Elephant, or Too Big a Rat


An interesting pair, or an odd couple?  What are they thinking?                  [©Coop 99 Films-2009]

Welcome to Part Three of this series, which is a certain kind of critical analysis of Austrian director/writer Jessica Hausner’s 2009 film Lourdes.  Part one of the series Prologue to a Posy, lays out in some detail the genesis of the project and outlines its basic method, which is a kind of one-man version of film critic Roger Ebert,’s Cinema Interruptus.  Part Two of this series Day One: The Wheelchair is No Barrier to Desire, takes us through approximately the first twenty five minutes of the film, to the end of the first full day in in-movie time.  If you haven’t done so I suggest that you back track and start this series from the beginning.

What you will be seeing, reading, will be something that looks a bit like the full screenplay of the movie, transcribed from the screen by me, with commentary, informal micro-essays, and observations interspersed between the dialogue and description.  The biggest problem I foresee with this format is a breakdown in the narrative flow of the movie, or a basic incoherence, which seems hard to get around, especially when working within the constraints of this blogging platform.  I’ll do my best to make improvements if readers are having difficulty in the comprehension department.  For typos and other grammar specific errors we at the Meme Merchants Consortium prefer you to use the Comment Form on our Contact Page, this prevents the Comments section from getting cluttered up.

So far, I’ve logged one comment and it is worthy of repeating.  From WondersInTheDark:

This is really audacious, wow! I will need to look at this and get back with a better response. But I certainly do like what you are doing here, ww. This as my favorite film of 2010:

I appreciate the compliment.  Audacious is of course a word that can cut in two directions.  This project, because of the unique and demanding nature of the process, has a high potential for failure, for many reasons, mental exhaustion being one of them.

Eating an Elephant

This project is becoming a sort of elephant.  An old boss of mine once said of large projects, “There’s only one way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time.”  True maybe, but at the same time, if you know snakes, or have ever kept one as a pet you will also know that for a snake the act of eating is a race between digestion and putrefaction.  If you are a snake and eat too large of a rat you die from sepsis [coincidentally, or ironically, according to Chinese astrology I am a snake].  We’ll have to see how much of the pressure to complete the project in its entirety I can stand – or if anyone really cares enough to read it all.

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Lourdes – Day One – Cinema Interuptus: The wheelchair is no barrier to desire


Breaking the ‘fourth wall’ – Introducing our protagonist.                             [© Coop 99 Films-2009]

In the prologue to this series: Lourdes – Prologue to a Posy, I laid out the premise that I was going to be conducting a detailed, though maybe not microscopic, analysis of Austrian director/writer Jessica Hausner’s 2009 film Lourdes as a kind of didactic exercise to see if what a relative nobody like me, if he applied himself to the subject, could come up with.  The particular didactic method I have chosen to use is a kind of one-man version of the Cinema Interruptus format developed by film critic Roger Ebert, which I elaborated upon in the previous article.

So, what you are going to be seeing is something resembling a screenplay of the movie, which I am currently transcribing in stages from the screen word by word, scene by scene, with my comments and observations interlaced between.  I really don’t know how well this is going to work, I’ve never tried anything like it.  As I said in the Prologue, this may very well turn into a mad, mad quest.  Nothing, hazarded nothing gained.  At the very least its good practice for me.  Let’s hope you are able to gain something from it as well.

The WordPress blogging platform and this particular theme, impose some very strict limits on what it is possible to do in terms of formatting a structure this complex, but I’ve devised something out that seems to work reasonably well.  My aim is is first readability and comprehensibility, only then ‘correctness’ in terms of format.  So, if neither aim is satisfied to your satisfaction, my apologies in advance.

Now we begin the task in earnest.

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Lourdes – Prologue to a Posy – Playing Cinema Interruptus with Jessica Hausner – or a Mad, Mad Quest


Les malades:  the halt, the sick, the blind.  Welcome to Lourdes                      [Coop 99 Films-2009]

Every once in a while I come across a movie review where I wonder if the reviewer and I have actually watched the same movie.  I know that there are often substantially different ‘cuts’ of a movie presented to different audiences floating around out there.  One of the classic examples of this is the 142 minute nominally nihilistic Euro-centric theatrical cut of director Terry Gilliam’s classic 1985 film Brazil, and the ofttimes disparaged 95 minute American, ‘love conquerors all’,cut of the film.  Even so, sometimes it seems there exists out there a tin-pot doppelganger to a movie I really enjoyed, which I find perplexing – or maybe it’s just that I’m odd in some way.

But, I digress.

I actually don’t actually watch a whole lot of movies; however, since the coming of Netflix to Middle Earth I have been watching many more than I used to, but I think I could hardly match the performance of most serious film buffs.  In exception to the general trend, in the last week or two I have seen several very worth while ones that have been turning into fodder for the Meme Merchants Consortium think tank.

This week it has been Austrian director/writer Jessica Hausner’s 2009 film Lourdes that has got the groups attention at the Meme Merchant’s Film Society.  On the whole we  really liked the film, we each tend to find some fault with certain aspects, but the discussion has been whether we should give it four or five Netflix stars.

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