SEE THIS CLASSIC JACQUES BECKER FILM, IT'S AMAZING; IT'S FINALLY OUT ON VIDEO AND AMAZON HAS IT FOR SALE
So it's finally out on video, huh? Let's hope for a DVD soon (highly unlikely, simply because hardly anyone has seen this film recently, in order to be knocked out by it, like I was, and create enough of a demand for a release).
I saw this thing, last year, with about 30 other people at the Egyptian in Hollywood as part of a Becker retrospective. It really is an amazing piece of work; it's a New-Wave film made some ten years before there was a New-Wave. Most of the film is shot in the streets and night-clubs of Paris with a realism and raw poetry that was non-existent in most French cinema of the time. In the late '40s and the '50s, Becker was a relatively popular filmmaker, and besides Godard, Truffaut, Chabrol, Rohmer and all the rest of the future New-Wave guys who idolized him, Polanski in Poland used to catch quite a few of his flicks (the only French filmmaker they got to see over there).
Daniel Gelin plays a young dude (much like Becker himself used to be) who wants to go with his pals to Africa on some kind of documentary film assignment. While he's trying to get the goods together to set this enterprise up, he and his friends and their girlfriends drive around town in a big convertible car that turns into a boat, party up a storm at Jazz clubs, and in general rebel against the establishment of the period. They all have a deep sense of solidarity and common purpose in their youth, a magical bond that's bound to disappear as the societal pressures, temporarily on hold, reassert themselves. Gelin, however, is single-minded and dedicated, determined not to let his friends cop-out on him; he knows that if he can keep everyone united, he might be able to work their particular non-conformist angle into a success.
"Rendezvous in July" captures the poetry of youth like very few films before or since. It is one of those amazing films that's a joy to watch from start to finish, it literally transports you to 1949 Paris and lets you hang-out with these young characters. Upon seeing it once, I immediately wanted to see it again many times, but the retrospective was a one-shot deal and there was no video on the market. Buy this film and watch it (Amazon has it for sale, IMDB should show a link for it) and you'll see what I'm talking about (your video store will probably not have a copy for rent), it's more than worth the few extra dollars you pay for it and the DVD is probably not going to come out for ages.
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