marți, 12 septembrie 2023

This Man Must Die aka Que La Bete Meure –based on The Beast Must Die by Cecil Day Lewis, adapted for the big screen by Claude Chabrol, one of the greatest film makers of all time - 10 out of 10


This Man Must Die aka Que La Bete Meure –based on The Beast Must Die by Cecil Day Lewis, adapted for the big screen by Claude Chabrol, one of the greatest film makers of all time

10 out of 10



Claude Chabrol was a magician, Magister Ludi, and his films are among my favorites, The Butcher aka Le Boucher is just one of them, in which the awesome Jean Yanne is the villain, hence the leading man, The Butcher, just like in this fabulous This Man Must Die, wherein the actor plays the role of despicable Paul Decourt


We have a car accident, at the start, in which Michel, the young son of Charles Thenier aka the wondrous Michel Duchaussoy is killed by a sports car, in fact, let me rephrase that, the boy is actually murdered by the driver, in what is called ‘manslaughter’ in legal terms, but this case is aggravated by the Beastly nature of the one in the title…

The grieving father swears to take his revenge – This Man Must Die, remember – and that made me think of The How of Happiness by Psychology Professor and author Sonja Lyubomirsky, who has done extensive research in the field, and has released this life changing book, in which you find among the rules and activities this one


‘Happiness Activity No 7: Learning to Forgive –keeping a journal or writing a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment toward one or more individuals who’ve hurt or wronged you’ and we have another case of murder that is told, one that took place in South Africa, where a tourist had been killed.

The parents of the deceased girl travelled to assist at the trial, after which the mother talked to the killer ( I can’t remember if there was just one, or she only communicated with this fellow in particular) and not just that, aside from this conversation, the two would continue to talk and what is incredible to me (I would not contemplate this, on the contrary, I am more likely to react like Charles Thenier) this parent and the murderer would have a foundation, ONG or something where they worked together


Yes, there is a background there, we have the atrocity of the apartheid regime, which had inflicted so much pain on the majority, African population, that consequently became vengeful and looking for white people to pay for the long History of Violence, so we had this cycle where they did wrong, then other had to pay for that in an non-ending vicious spiral…Buddha has said that keeping anger ‘is like having hot coals in your hands, with the aim of throwing them at your enemy, until you do that, they will burn your hands…’


Something to that effect, if I have not made up this thing…then there is the list of Character Strengths on which Martin Seligman and his team have worked – he is the co-founder of Positive Psychology, he had not been the most effusive, serene, exuberant man, on the contrary, and this is how he ‘invented’ this new science – his daughter came to ask him something, and as usual, he was negative

She told him that he is not acting in the proper manner, and that made him realize at that moment that she was right, then he looked at psychology and the research it had been doing, which had been mostly (overwhelmingly) dedicated to fixing problems, negative aspects, and then he said ‘why try to take people with issues, form minus five to zero, and not take the average to a positive score’ something like that, though not quite


Martin Seligman had had the chance (or misfortune) to work with dogs that were placed in situations where they had no way of escaping some shocks, and they have consequently Learned Helplessness, when they found themselves in circumstances where they could escape, avoid trauma, they would not bother and stay under duress.

However, we also have the alternative, of Learned Optimism, and the basis for that would be in the Character Strengths, which include at the chapter called Temperance forgiveness and pity, the latter indicating the fact that those we need to forgive are very often (maybe most of the time, or always) incapacitated, suffer an affliction or more – Paul Decourt is a Beast, a man of extreme cruelty, not just because he drove away from the accident, but we get the chance to see him with his family and friends


He abuses his wife, telling her the food she had cooked is atrocious, or disgusting, insisting that he had told her she needs to cook the veal for longer, and when she says she did, he would not let go, just as we have maybe ten at table, humiliating her and his son, who hates such a father – spoiler alert, he would get attached to Charles Thenier, a father figure somehow, and when the Beast is Dead, Philippe Decourt would claim that he had killed his parent, putting poison in his bottle of medicine…

Still, Stoicism instructs us to take everything in our stride ‘which for what you already have…if someone dear is taken away, think that the Gods had grated that gift and now they take it away’ which sounds more than extreme, albeit Seneca and the other Stoic luminaries were on to many good things…I wonder what they would make of this consumerism, and the billions of humans that choose as their leaders scoundrels like Putin, Xi, Trump and let me stop here, for the list is way too long and hey, I see I have reached the end of my time here….


Now for a question, and invitation – maybe you have a good idea on how we could make more than a million dollars with this   – as it is, this is a unique technique, which we could promote, sell, open the Oscars show with or something and then make lots of money together, if you have the how, I have the product, I just do not know how to get the befits from it, other than the exercise per se


As for my role in the Revolution that killed Ceausescu, a smaller Mao, there it is


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