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Paul and Agnes have been going out for quite a while and Agnes is shocked to learn that he'd rather live with two roommates on campus than move in with her. As soon as he meets one of his roommates, Louis-Anault, Paul's behavior changes - he is attracted to Louis without realizing so himself. Agnes, on the other hand, gets quite jealous and offers a bet: Whoever gets to have Louis-Anault first, wins... If she does, Paul will no longer explore his homosexual desires, if he does - she'll walk away. Meanwhile, Paul meets Mecir, a young Arab worker, who shows him there's more to life than elite colleges... Written by
Passion selon Saint-Mathieu
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach (as Jean Sébastien Bach)
Performed by Orchestre Symphonique de l'Etat de Hongre
Conducted by Géza Oberfrank (as G. Oberfrank)
Kapagama / Naxos - NHN International See more »
The title translates to "The Best of Schools," the school of life. This film really makes me wish I was fluent in French, including idioms and nuances that must be flowing every moment. Subtitles just can't cut it. But there's a great line in the film, which translates pretty well, I think: "You don't get it at all. Hetero, homo, all that's finished. It's outdated and it doesn't matter." In the "Making of..." feature, the director (Robert Salis) says, "...the theme is based on the notion of choice, or, actually, the disobeying of imposed choices...." and "crisscross desire" (which he insists is not the same as sex). He also said, "...it's like a dresser with drawers on top of one another. To find out the complete contents you have to open the drawers separately one after another." He does just that very skillfully.
Needless to say, it's a complex film, with happy parts, sad parts, sex galore (men with women, and a man with a man), sexy men showing full frontal nudity, and all that. About halfway through, it felt exactly like "Maurice," (and Salis even mentioned that film in the "Making of..."), but then it changed to something totally different after that. This isn't a Gay film. It's a "men who have sex with men" film. "MSM" is a term sex researchers use because most men would never self-identify as Gay, but usually will privately admit if they've had sex with men.
There's a lot more depth, but I'm not going to analyze it to death. Great movie! Watch it. Don't watch the trailer or the "Making of..." or anything else first though.
Back to "desire": Salis'closing line in the "Making of..." is, "There's only love and the lack of love. And desire naturally goes hand in hand with the lack and nourishes itself." I think I'll have to watch the movie all over again now to understand that.
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