Truffaut doesn’t beat the theme to death, but the film is rife with gay subtext, being as much about the “romance” between Jules and Jim as it is about their love for Catherine. Where previously the two had happily shared girlfriends, Catherine proves the exception, thereby changing the dynamic of the relationship. There’s a strange precognitive aspect to the film, since it seems to be addressing the soon-to-emerge “free love” aspect of the latter half of the ‘60s (and even warning against its downside), since the relationships in the film that are forged in 1912 and interrupted by World War I are easily paralleled by the 1960s specter of Vietnam. Perhaps this is all unintentional, or perhaps it’s the film’s own sense of dread about what was coming, but the foreboding gives Jules et Jim even greater emotional punch today than it had in 1962. If you’ve never seen it, do so immediately. If you have, it’s always worth another look.
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Jules et Jim Friday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 828-273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com