Quote for the Day: November 22nd, 2021

Xavier Dolan as Maxime (left) and Gabriel D’Almeida Freitas as Matthias (right) in a scene from Matthias & Maxime (2019); directed by Xavier Dolan

Sometimes, you spend your life doing one thing, and in the end, it wasn’t your thing.

Matthias & Maxime (2019); directed by Xavier Dolan

Is this primarily a book blog? Yes. Have I been posting a lot of quotes from films? Also yes. Well, this is my blog, and I’ll post whatever I want whenever I want for as long as I want. I am also of the opinion that film, as much as literature, is text. Don’t take my word for it, though—Thomas C. Foster’s Reading the Silver Screen: A Film Lover’s Guide to Decoding the Art Form That Moves is the perfect place to start for any would-be cinephile or for that matter, anyone who appreciates the movies and wants to learn more about them.

There are hints of Bergman, of course. Some Truffaut and Fellini. Van Sant is flickering always in the background. But there’s something else there too, something which belongs wholly and exclusively to Dolan.

I love Xavier Dolan. Some of you may remember my review of his film J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) (2009), which I called a “semi-autobiographical, near-perfect evocation of the vagaries of queer adolescence”. You can tell that the young auteur is well-read when it comes to great films from the way he sets up his mises en scène to the way he is able to harness every drop of emotional resonance in each frame. There are hints of Bergman, of course. Some Truffaut and Fellini. Van Sant is flickering always in the background. But there’s something else there too, something which belongs wholly and exclusively to Dolan.

The fact that Dolan is only 32 years old means that we’re hopefully only seeing him at the depth of his powers. I only hope the planet holds out long enough for us to see him at his height.

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