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I'm afraid those who mis-read 'Le Soufflé' as a boring film about a pretentious teenager are in need of cinematic guidance. The film- shot in black and white as an aesthetic decision which marks both the uncompromising stance of its director as well as the downbeat narrative-is about a teenager, life, death, and the rituals associated with all of them.
With echoes of Franju in its brutal depiction of animal cruelty, 'Le Soufflé' weaves a coming-of-age story with a semi-mystical backdrop of French rural life. This is not supposed to be 'real'- the frequent dream sequences point to a directorial awareness that he is making a comment on the very themes he is focussing on.
'Le Soufflé' is a complex film but well worth watching- not once but again if one is to even touch the surface of its cinematic depth. Powerful, interesting stuff- the kind of film we can't make anymore.
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