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this film is a poetic essay-documentary about post-war France in the leate 1950s. it's poetic imagery and voice-over narration is similar to alain resnais' documentaries. the narrator expresses a deep sadneswere s about the state of post-war France, the growing gap between the poor and the rich, the new suburbs and increasing unhappiness. some of the memorable moments of the film was shots of the new apartments being built in France. these buildings have to be seen. they look modern and arty, but oppressive and depressing at the same time. the windows are narrow and horizontal, so that no one gets a good view outside their window. then there are shots of these urban communities that are made up of cardboard shacks that often go up in flames because the people who built them often use oil-based heating devices to cook their food, it's was the 1950s version of today's tent city. and shots of the ruins the bombing of World war II where there is a field of glass and run down buildings. this film shows both all facets of french society and is a beautifully filmed historical document of post war France we don't often see and we often forget.
A black and white short focusing on life in French cities post-war
where there was a boom for housing and a more materialistic life. The
film is a montage of scenes linked by the narration that sounds like a
neutral commentator on the developing society but is actually very
angry and bitingly critical.
People are ripped off for a modern lifestyle, in which 'more and more advertising prevails over reality', whilst being paid very little. They live in crummy housing, the 'fake homes' spoken of throughout, whose existence results in the destruction of the greenery in a city. The loss of the landscape cannot be replaced by all the gardens and the fake, insubstantial homes with tiny windows that look out onto nothing, are advertised on 100-year old trees which will soon be felled for the houses.
The most searing criticism is reserved for Paris and its middle and upper classes who enjoy education and the arts whilst around and beyond them life is a cultural as well as a literal wasteland. Shots of a shanty town but 3 kilometres from the Champs Elysee being a case in point. The footage is a silent comment on racial divides as well as class/financial ones, as the inhabitants of the shanty town look like newly arrived Maghrebi migrant workers and their families.
This is such a sad documentary and yet, as another reviewer suggests, its footage could be used to tell the opposite tale of prosperity and aspiration if the perspective were changed. An apposite observation made within the film itself as a statue symbolising noble and valiant virtues from an alternative view looks like it's begging for mercy.
"L'Amour Existe" is a very unusual title for a short film about the suburbs. Nobody would fail to make this type of primary observation about this film which expresses a lot of French director Maurice Pialat's anger against French authorities as suburbs near Paris continue to be neglected at the cost of Paris city's never ending growth. With this film, Maurice Pialat has turned out to be a very acute observer. His film is quick to make a note of crowded streets and trains which mark Parisian suburbs. As an example the industrial suburb of Paris- 'Courbevoie' is mentioned. The growth of suburbs has both positive as well as negative effects. On the one hand, their development has given rise to a lot of small spaces for people such as a little house, a little garden and a small job. On the other hand, there is hardly any greenery left. Lastly from a cultural as well as educational perspective Pialat shows why suburbs are not the right place for workers' children as there are no concert halls nor theaters in suburbs. Lastly, according to Maurice Pialat, working class families would continue to receive less education as there are only 9 high schools in Seine region as compared to 29 in Parisian region alone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"L'amour existe" or "Love exists" is a black-and-white documentary from the year 1960. It's a French production written and directed by Maurice Pialat and runs for approximately 20 minutes. This little film takes us into the world of France around the early 1960s. We see what it is like to live there, what the little pleasures of the people are and what the country was like in general. This is a pretty general description, but let me assure you the narrator goes into detail. I just don't want to do so as well, so you will still feel the magic when watching this one. I think the script manages it very well to turn this into an informative as well as personal watch and that's a good achievement. It gets slightly worse in the second half, but I still believe it's a fairly good watch as a whole. And it was sure fun to listen to Jean-Loup Reynold's narration. Pialat did a pretty good job here and looking at how it's an early career effort, this is even more impressive as he was still fairly young here. Rest in peace and thanks for this artistic achievement here, Monsieur Piavat.
This film by Maurice Pialat is included as a special feature on the DVD for "Naked Childhood"--another Pialat film. Unlike "Naked Childhood", this one is a short film and a documentary. It's about the hopelessness of life in the Parisian suburbs. The grayness of life and the monotony of existence are emphasized in the film's narration and images. "L'amour Exists" appears to be a film pushing for social change--in support of the socialist or perhaps communist view for the future of the nation. However, and here's the interesting part, if you cut out a few clips (such as the wretched huts a few lived in that are shown in a very brief part of the film), I could imagine the same film being shown with POSITIVE and happy narration--talking about how good life in the 'burbs is! It's all in the perspective and the one in this film is decidedly negative in order to make its point. A well made film but one you should not watch if you're feeling depressed--it will only make it worse!
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