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This is exactly the kind of movie the Nouvelle Vague made possible.Probably inspired by some aspects of Godard's notorious "Masculin/Feminin",it represents all that I hate in the French cinema.
Probably inspired by real-life "teenage idols" ,these three pitiful "singers" make the viewer turn a deaf ear to the music they play and sing (which is some kind of parboiled cross between a poor man's Velvet Underground -and I like this group- and histrionic vocals).
To be successful,such a movie demands precision -what the Rutles did with the Beatles,for instance-,a great sense of humor , a rebellious mind devoid of clichés (the only moment that politically succeeds is Charlie's problems with the draft;during those precious minutes,I did think the movie was going somewhere).
The French "teenage idols" period was the early sixties .The 1962-1965 was the "yeah yeah" boys and girls heyday.Although some of them survived, from 1966 onwards ,some real artists (Jacques Dutronc,Julien Clerc,Michel Polnareff) began to emerge .Charlie is a distant relative of Johnny Halliday,but Gigi does not look like France Gall ,Serge Gainsbourg's Lolita.And it's an insult to mention the Beatles as far as Simon is concerned.There is also a hint at "Soeur Sourire" ,who hit the US charts as "the singing nun" in 1964.Proof positive that the story belongs to the first half of the sixties.
All the actors overplay .Pierre Clementi could have been a good thespian,had he had more Bunuel and Deville (and less so -called avant-garde);Bulle Ogier is, depending on whom you ask , either sublime or atrociously unbearable ,some kind of female Jean-Pierre Leaud.Jean-Pierre Kalfon is more restrained,be he blessed just for that.
Les Idoles : a relic , a failed spoof; take Watkins's "Privilège" instead.
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