"Out 1" is a very precise picture of post May '68 malaise - when Utopian dreams of a new society had crashed and burned, radical terrorism was starting to emerge in unlikely places and a ...
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"Out 1" is a very precise picture of post May '68 malaise - when Utopian dreams of a new society had crashed and burned, radical terrorism was starting to emerge in unlikely places and a great many other things. Two marginals who don't know one another stumble into the remnants of a "secret society": Colin, a seemingly deaf-mute who all of a sudden begins to talk and Frederique, a con artist working the "short con" (stealing drinks and tricking men who think she's a hooker out of their money). Meanwhile there are two theater groups rehearsing classic Greek dramas: "Seven Against Thebes" and "Prometheus Bound". A member of the Moretti group passes a note to Leaud about "The 13" which sends Leaud on a search for "The 13". His search brings him eventually to Bulle Ogier's shop in Les Halles "L'Angle du Hasard." Berto follows much the same path when she steals a cachet of letters from Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and tries to get money from their owners for their return. These twin activities ... Written by
With a run time of thirteen hours, this is one of the longest films ever made. See more »
In the closing credits to the first three episodes, Colin (who is pretending to be a deaf mute) is not credited by his character name, but as "le jeune sourd-muet" which translates to "the young deaf/ mute". After that is revealed to be an act and his name is finally spoken, the credits to the remaining episodes credit him as Colin. See more »
Here is another film, similar to 1924's la Roue, where narrative structure is not only ignored, but largely obliterated in this 13 hours-long character study, acting study, process study - and film is all the more better for it.
On one hand, Out 1 is minimalist (in settings and surroundings) . On one other hand, however, it is elaborate and sprawling (I am referring, obviously, to its massive run-time.)
Film spends several hours drawing us, in cinema verite fashion, into the characters' meandering, directionless lives, through conversations filmed in mirrors, and stationary cameras in backseats filming conversations during car rides, lengthy sequences of two theatrical troupes rehearsing Classical stories, and, most amusingly, small kids and curious passersby follow cast and crew during filming.
Fiction eventually begins to overtake this pseudo-documentary, as the young man initially referred to in the film's credits as "le jeune sourd-muet" (the young deaf-mute) becomes known as Colin, and his harmonica-playing deaf-mute act is revealed to be just that, an act. He is revealed to be a bit of a conman, a poetic, philosophical con-man (who believes there is a real life secret society known as The Thirteen) much like Frederic is revealed to be a con-woman, stealing correspondence to try to blackmail and extort money from their writers, (and who might have really discovered evidence of the existence of The Thirteen) Neither is who they appear to be- they each have a face to show, and a face to hide. Curiously, despite being prominently featured characters, Colin and Frederic share only one scene together. Even more curious are Pierre and Igor, two major characters in the plot who are never shown at all, either together or by themselves.
Interesting colour composition, especially in episodes 4 and 5; Frederic, in white, on a dark green rug, in front of red tapestry hung on the wall behind her, as she begins to wonder about the mysterious Thirteen she has learned of, as the plot (sort of) kicks in; black suit on deep red sofa against pale white wall, simple composition successfully made chaotic by chess board and chess pieces in front of him. Rooftop conversations overlooking Paris and the Seine river ; the city itself and its buildings and its streets become a character in its own right.
But, is there really anything to the Balzac-inspired Thirteen, are they real and trying to control all of Paris, or is this just a search for some purpose (unravelling this mystery) in their meandering lives?
We, the audience, try to understand the crisscrossing and tangled narratives and characters, much the same as Colin tries to understand the Thirteen. We are trying to unravel a mystery to. But it is almost of no matter if The Thirteen exists or not, just dive into the characters' lives for the duration of its thirteen hours runtime.
This is not plot- or character-driven, it is process- driven. The process of filmmaking,
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