Teachers in a rural school, happy couple Fiona and Dom have a common passion: Latin Dancing. One night, after a glorious dance competition, they have a car accident and see their lives turn... See full summary »
Fiona, Julien and their two clone-like children live a life appropriate to the robots they have become, in a style-less, cheerless suburb somewhere in the flatlands of French-speaking ... See full summary »
The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State ... See full summary »
When her husband is taken hostage by his striking employees, a trophy wife (Deneuve) takes the reins of the family business and proves to be a remarkably effective leader. Business and ... See full summary »
A bestselling crime novelist who is desperately looking for a new story hones his focus on the apparent suicide of a small-town woman, an aspiring model who thought she was the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe.
Teachers in a rural school, happy couple Fiona and Dom have a common passion: Latin Dancing. One night, after a glorious dance competition, they have a car accident and see their lives turn upside down. Rumba or how optimism and humour can overcome fatality! Written by
This is a very simple, heart-warming film. It's in Tati's vein of flat onedimensionality, which has roots in vaudeville and silent comedy. How this works is that we are placed at a larger viewing distance than usual. We know hardly anything about the protagonists, except that they are in love and love to dance. There is sparse dialogue. There's rear projection in the driving scenes, a throwback to the artifice of old films. So a sort of cartoonish reduction, which normally I find off-putting.
Thankfully it is to much more powerful effect here. The idea is to abstract to a canvas as blank as possible so that, instead of arguing with specific drama, we can register with unusual clarity simply the flow of feelings. It's emptying out.
Externally, that is their dance together. They're marvellous together, she a gangly Olive Oyl, he a gangly Mr. Hulot. It's not polished talent as you might see in a normal dance film, but spontaneous joy, purely the desire to express feelings. It's a flawed dance, much better this way.
It's the internal flow that really elevates this though. It's as rich on the inside as it is plain on the outside. As silly or slight as some of the sight gags are, as visually unoriginal the flatness, so deep is the human connection. I was beaming with joy in the end.
Life can be trivial but happy, the film says. There is loss ahead, inserted as just the urge for death in the suicidal man. The loss as loss of memory as the burning down of the house, the man simply can't remember that he ever loved the love of his life. It's sweet and touching.
It's nearly transcendent by the end, a series of visual meditations on losing and finding again. The appeal? The larger viewing distance is not so that we can observe with distant cleverness, as in most Wes Anderson. Neither is it to 'ignore' the drama. It's so we can have enough empty space to unfold whole flows, without having the mind 'stop' at each turn. (someone like Bergman 'stops' the mind when he has you dwell in this or that psychological state)
So in this way, the film shows very clearly what causes suffering. It is what the film leaves out, that is dwelling with attachment on the particulars of misfortune. On the flipside of that is love as the dancing flow that liberates and redeems.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?