Thursday, September 18, 2008


Josette, va voir c'qu'il(s) fabrique(nt).

L'Enfance-nue [Naked-Childhood] by Maurice Pialat, 1968:

A few weeks ago an online venue asked for a piece of copy to promote the forthcoming MoC Series release of Maurice Pialat's convulsive masterpiece L'Enfance-nue [Naked-Childhood, 1968]. After thanks were exchanged, I didn't hear anything more back from the parties involved. Turns out a substantially altered version of the text went up last week on the site in question, with my name still attached — lots of deletions, beaucoup new additions — end-result being, yes, a real Bobby Brown of a thing.

So if you happen across the piece (or, for that matter, Mr. Brown), please disregard.

UPDATE: The text at the other site has been updated. There was a small snafu having to do with site-updates, and a mix-up in communication among a couple different people. Understandable, and no big whoop; I'm grateful for their following through with the fix.

It's just a small piece but, anyway, the text-as-intended (and now updated) is...


L'Enfance-nue: the title is French for Naked-Childhood. What's with the hyphen? I think it emphasizes the relationship between adolescence and emotion (still in its raw state before growing-up hews it into some kind of form — if not quite perfect, if not exactly stable, maybe settled, at least, or dulled, at worst). I squint my eyes: The hyphen resembles a railroad spike, one element on the track that accommodates, and illustrates, a journey — the rail spike which young François, an hour and ten minutes into the film, will hurl from an overpass into the windshield of a speeding auto. I peer harder and the hyphen looks like an arm outstretched: "Keep your distance." 45 minutes in and François has chucked a dagger at his foster-brother's head. Life is a journey, night becomes day, to love is to hurt, day becomes night. François's hand is stand-offish, and equipped for generosity: it directs a shopclerk to the scarf he'll gift to a difficult guardian; and to the elderly couple with the photo albums it pens the words: "I think about you every day."

L'Enfance-nue is Maurice Pialat's feature debut, and a phrase that describes the Pialat-genius.

—Craig Keller


1 comment:

  1. I have yet to happen across the altered version, but I very much like your original!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.