Was this film influential?


I think the film was actually influential to some degree. Theo Angelopoulos used a huge suspended hand in Landscape in the Mist to awe us, much like the way a huge hand is used in this film. Kieslowski placed a silent onlooker in many scenes in The Decalogue, just as there is a silent man in various disquises in this film. The puppets singing Marathon made me think strongly of later David Lynch films. Certain these directors know of Brel's music. I wonder if they saw this film?

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It's pretty doubtful. This movie was given an extremely limited release as part of the short-lived "American Film Theater" experiment (that tried to get moviegoers to subscribe to annual "seasons" of play adaptations). The films were not at all widely seen, and most of them were not made available to TV or on VHS. Only in recent years have they become a little more accessible.

I STILL haven't seen the "Jacques Brel" movie, but it seems likely the directors you mentioned got their ideas elsewhere, especially as the specific devices you mentioned can be found in plenty of other movies they might be more likely to have seen.

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