Daniel is schoolmaster of a kindergarten in a small French town. The local economy, which depended entirely on coal production, has been mired in a depression ever since the mines were ... See full summary »
A curiously captivating character study set against France's working class coastal community. The plot is true and vivid, but there are two matters of filmic technique that I must comment on. In this otherwise gritty, drab film, there is this unbelievably poetic slow-motion tracking shot of one of the main characters being dragged out of the titular revel by gendarmes. We're talking time dilation, confetti, clean vectors. Gorgeous.
The other notable visual moment is when the same character sets a dog on fire. What TERRIBLE "special" effects. First of all, as soon as he does the deed, the "dog" is very obviously, like, a bunch of oily rags on a wheel barrow being pushed around. Super fake. And there are all these strange ambient lighting effects that look like they've been applied directly to the celluloid with orange and red crayons! Cheap. Had a laughing fit right there in the theater.
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