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Friday, April 14, 2006


Posted by on April 14 at 14:07 PM

I Suggested seeing Innocence on Monday, but shows actually start tonight at Northwest Film Forum, 7 and 9:30 pm. Go, see, shudder.


If you’re curious about the source material for the film (and you read German), you can check it out for free online: Mine-Haha, or the Corporal Education of Young Girls, by the German playwright Frank Wedekind. It isn’t available in English, so far as I can tell, though there are many translations of his equally puberty-obsessed plays (Spring Awakening being the most famous, and Pandora’s Box being the one that was made into a G.W. Pabst movie with Louise Brooks).

Also, there’s another new movie based on “Mine-Haha”—I haven’t seen it, but apparently it’s bad. The IMBD entry for Fine Art of Love: Mine-Ha-Ha is here.

I made some brief arguments regarding the connections Innocence director Lucile Hadzihalilovic makes between her vision of a confined girlhood and various (mostly male, possibly perverse) ideas about what little girls are good for. I could go on and on about the image of the little girl—and her being-toward-death—in Western culture going back to Antigone, but you guys don’t want to read that. You just want to hear about what creepy things Lewis Carroll wrote about little girls’ knees.

Compare and contrast:

A photograph by Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) of Xie Kitchin on a chaise longue:

A film still from Innocence:

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I can find French, Spanish and Italian translations of the story. I can even find a Croatian translation. I can't find an English one though.
The German is relatively easy to read, but it's also a bit long for slogging through for the non-fluent. just want to hear about what creepy things Lewis Carroll wrote about little girls’ knees.

And though she's not so little, there is always Claire's Knee, the Eric Rohmer film.

Oh God, French in Action flashbacks are now running through my head. (Le menton, de Claire? No. Le coude de Claire? No. Le genou de Claire. Oui!)

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