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Dalila Di Lazzaro,
A study of minor events in the adolescence of a boy growing up in small towns. Daniel lives with his grandmother and, after one year of high school, has to go to live with his mother in the south of France. She is a seamstress living in a tiny apartment with her lover Jose, a Spanish farm worker. Daniel would like to continue school, but his mother cannot afford it, so she sends him to work as an apprentice in a moped repair shop. Daniel wiles away his time in the shop, and learns about girls from the other boys in town. When he returns to visit his grandmother next year, it is obvious that he has grown up faster than his old friends. Written by
A sweet and different outlook on life and film-making
This was my first introduction to Jean Eustache's work (during a retrospective at a local film fest) and I didnt really know what to expect. Having seen 12 films in the past 4 days, and lining up an old French film that was over 2 hours, I was prepared to fight to stay awake. I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised to find myself getting caught up in this charming tale of a boy's youth in France. In some ways, the lack of a distinct plot adds to the charm of the film, as a series of vignettes strung together give the real feeling of a slice of life. The gaucheness of the boy, especially towards girls, had the entire audience squirming in their seats at times, but out of sympathy for the lad, who I would rate as the character I have connected most with emotionally in recent time.
The way that women are depicted in the film is certainly dated when we look back on it now, however in some ways this works well, as we are never really privy to how these women think just as Daniel is not (it is very interesting that we do not learn his name until very much near the end, and I for one did not realise I hadnt known it). Beautifully and lovingly shot, very well acted indeed, this is a feelgood film without being sappy, Amelie without the surrealism.
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