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Antoine de Caunes
Richard E. Grant,
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A man lives in his car.He is 40 years old and although he does not have a lot of free time, when he has, he chooses to spend it with his family. He meets his wife and two children at a specified day and time in car parking lots. His job is to locate and bring the finest honey to a 50-year old man. A new driver shows up and the man gets fired. Disappointed, he decides to leave his car behind. The man's life changes, and he finds it absurd that no one trusts him anymore. Written by
Some nice ideas showing the "war" between cars and motor bikes. Not sufficient to make it interesting
I saw this film as part of the Rotterdam Film Festival 2012. Its title clearly refers to the capital letter L that can be seen on driving school cars. We see a man who is literally one with his car. It is his home in all meanings of the word: he sleeps in it, he receives his wife and two children, and so on. His main job is to obtain honey for a man who cannot drive. The uncommon situation gives rise to several absurd dialogs with his employer, the honey salesman, his family, and others.
A crucial scene (in hindsight) is when he sees a wounded motor driver and his bike lying on the pavement. He stops to see what is going on. Rather than helping the man who is obviously in pain, he stays in the car, staring and doing nothing. When the friends of the motor driver return from calling for help, a peculiar dialog enfolds about the apparent "war" between cars and motor bikes. And how strange it is that the wounded motor driver needs to be rescued by a car, in the form of an ambulance. Also, given that our main character looks like a professional driver, he is inferred to be a professional killer. After this eccentric speech by the leader of the motor gang, the car driver leaves the scene unharmed and continuous his ride.
Alas, this delay causes him to show up late for an appointment with his employer. Because of him being late for the second time in a row, he is replaced by a new driver. The latter gets the job by virtue of winning a very odd competition against our main character. (No details to avoid spoilers.)
Obviously all of the above can be seen as a metaphor for loss of stability. He apparently does not cope very well with being fired. He joins the motor gang he met before. They teach him to drive a motor bike. He wrecks his car while they watch, and some more rituals involved in an initiation to this very different world. From his former safe place (a car) he makes a move to a parallel world with its own rules, and also more dangers ahead.
All in all, this film incorporated several nice ideas, but not enough to make up an entertaining film for the whole one and a half hour. A question that came up with the Q&A after the screening was whether this film could be intended to trigger a discussion about how to watch films?? However interesting to raise this issue, I did not hear a definite answer, short of the obvious contrast between cars (safe) and motor bikes (adventurous).
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