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I have only seen one other Zulawski film before this one, POSSESSION,
and while I found that film to be better than this one (to be precise:
something of a masterpiece, in my opinion), I believe that MES NUITS
SONT PLUS BELLES QUE VOS JOURS is essential viewing for anyone who
loves French romantic cinema. Though Zulawski himself is Polish, MES
NUITS(...) is thoroughly "Francofied", from its almost absurdly poetic
title to its frank depiction of violence and sometimes aberrant sexual
behavior (not to mention sex in general, of course).
The story concerns Lucas (French singer-actor Jacques Dutronc), a computer genius who has finally hit the jackpot, inventing and selling a new computer language that will revolutionize the field of technology. To be sure, Lucas would ordinarily be thrilled with this, but he has just learned that he is suffering from a rare disease that begins by destroying the memory. With seemingly days left to live, he meets a beautiful, much younger woman in a café: Blanche (Sophie Marceau, then-lover of director Zulawski) is an up-and-coming nightclub performer and model (who seems to have psychic abilities). Though completely different from one another, they have one thing in common: desperation. Lucas's desperation comes from the knowledge of his impending death; Blanche's desperation is more spiritual in nature. Both Blanche and Lucas suffer from memories of tragic childhoods, and both feel alone and unloved even though they should feel on top of the world. The two begin a strange affair that I'd hesitate to call "tender"; there is plenty of passion in this film, but it is all very cold, as I believe was intended. In Zulawski's universe, there is no time for tenderness, and the laws of passion are the only ones worth following. As the film hammers on in an energetic, often funny fashion, it becomes increasingly dark and tragic. By the film's end, we are spending much of our time witnessing a fractured reality from Lucas's point of view. His deterioration is portrayed brilliantly by having Lucas constantly speak, in an attempt to hang on to sense and logic, only to lose all hope as his ability to communicate thought breaks apart, and gibberish flows ceaselessly from his lips. A tragic film, a darkly comic one, but at the last moment, I think an oddly optimistic one.
It's really too bad that so many people have never heard of Zulawski. After seeing only two of his films, I'm convinced that he's a unique and engaging filmmaker who deserves far more respect. Perhaps the future will see a discovery of his work. Quickly, before Zulawski retires...!
One thing is for sure when it comes to director Andrzej Zulawski; he
divides opinion. My only taste of him prior to seeing this film was the
fantastic Possession; which in my opinion is nothing short of a
masterpiece. My Nights are More Beautiful than Your Days is an attempt
at a romantic film; but naturally since it's also a Andrzej Zulawski
film, it's anything but ordinary and is likely to polarise its viewers.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that this film is not as great as
Possession; but is still an interesting and beautiful film that
deserves to be seen! The film focuses on Lucas; a man that has just
invented a new computer language...but has unfortunately also been told
that he's losing his memory due to a strange terminal illness that the
doctors can't put their fingers on. While out with a friend, Lucas
happens upon a young woman and the pair end up hitting it off after she
throws a lighter at him. Shortly after, she leaves to put on her mind
reading show; and love struck Lucas follows her.
This is a film that has much more style than substance; and the director plays up to this fact as much as possible and much of the film is extremely beautiful. The plot is certainly bizarre (though never as bizarre as Zulowski's earlier and more famous opus), although it mostly makes sense enough for the viewer to easily follow it. Jacques Dutronc takes the lead role and does well with it; convincing as the rather strange lead character. He stars opposite the beautiful Sophie Marceau; and the director makes good use of her by showing off her body on numerous occasions. It has to be said that the film doesn't really go anywhere; but in spite of that, getting there is an interesting ride. Several scenes (most notably a sequence from the leading lady's show) will stick in the mind long after the film has finished. The film does boil down to a suitable conclusion, although it doesn't really bring any closure to the characters. Overall, this film won't be for everyone; but if you appreciate style and beauty; there might be something for you here.
This movie has a sad entrance, a sad climax and a sad end, but between it is crazy, it is postmodern-french, it is fabulous and Sophie Marceau is growing bigger here. Sometimes remembered at P. Greenaway, I would see parallels to Damage/Fatale (1992): an interesting erotic drama with some sad moments and good actors especially actresses. Find out, who plays better, J. Binoche (Damage) or S. Marceau here !
Deeply affecting story of two damaged people instantly drawn to each other. So haunted by childhood traumas they block reality by speaking in lyrical word association always avoiding substantive conversation. By night she becomes unconscious, put in a hypnotic trance on stage to have psychic visions of audience members' secrets. Her coterie of family and other users stay coked up and engaged in constant orgy, fueled by her shows and fame. He is a computer and mathematical genius who spends his days in a pretend world of bizarre characters. Finally she sees his childhood in a sudden vision and all pretense falls away. Harsh reality drives them apart only to force them back together in a final act of love and devotion. Sophie Marceau was never more beautiful or naked. Her acting stands out and she carries the film. Extremely well made; leaves you thinking long after.
My first film by Mr. Zulawski was the amazing Possession. I was so
blown away by it I have made it an effort to see every film made by
Having already seen 6 films directed by Zulawski I knew that even after reading descriptions of this it would be no typical love story. I disagree with the reviewer who said none of the characters were like-able. I think the two main characters were great examples of very "damaged" and hurt people and I found myself unable to not feel sympathy for both of them. I have a hard time describing this movie though. There's moments of sheer beauty, confusion and sadness. The acting in the film didn't seem as "over the top" as some of his other films and both the lead actor and actress really shine in this movie. If you're a fan of Zulawski's other work then there's no reason you wouldn't enjoy this movie. However, it may not be the best starting place for newcomers.
Apart from Sophie Marceau's frequent bouts of nudity, there's nothing
remotely beautiful about this overly hysterical and pretentiously
cryptic melodrama about exceedingly unlikable people! This was my third
Andrzej Zulawski film after L' IMPORTANT C'EST D'AIMER (1974) and
POSSESSION (1981) and it proved even more of a chore to sit through!
Surprisingly enough, Zulawski later had a child with his gorgeous leading lady here; one would have thought that his harrowing depictions of male-female relationships in most of his films (which frequently degenerate into shouting matches and violent beatings) would have put paid to any romantic ideas on her part! Anyway, when I was in Hollywood a couple of months ago, I had the chance to catch up with two of Zulawski's most intriguing films on DVD-R, namely THE DEVIL (1972) and THE SILVER GLOBE (1977-87; which was in Polish without English subtitles!) - but I decided to pass on them...!
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