You'll understand the importance of Eustache coming back to film the same thing 11 years later. We must remember that this was after the financial failure of Mes Petites Amoureuses had sent Eustache back to making shorts and documentaries (or just short documentaries). It was time, it seems, to come back to Pessac and film the ceremony again. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the other Rosiere De Pessac on Eustache's filmography, where I described it.
That movie was in black-in-white. This one's in color. But don't worry, this one's better. For one thing, Eustache is considerably more bitter and disappointed with things in general. Last time he was content to merely show. This time, he wants to show you some things. Like the fact that the people in Pessac are now dwarfed by two gigantic, horrendously ugly apartment buildings. Or how the ceremony has now become a politicized event covered by TV news crews. Or how long the gap is between the choosing of the virgin and the actual ceremony. Or the interminable number of times the virgin must be kissed by an interminable number of people.
This is a considerably more cynical film. Eustache does make some stabs at filming this film the same way as the last one (a shot going from the mayor's head to a bust above it, for example; the direction of the camera's movement is reversed), but seems to be less interested now than he was in 1968 than simply "showing truth." But the joy does return in the final scene, where we see the outdoor celebration dinner, where the rowdy residents goodnaturedly bang on their tables and cry out for more champagne. Eustache's camera slowly retreats into the distance as the credits roll, a magnificent closing shot. Together, these two movies provide an interesting study in contrasts. Things have changed indeed.
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