James Mason accepted to appear in a few scenes as the father of Antoine, the main character, working three days for free. The British actor was at the time living in Corseaux near Vevey, in Switzerland, and this was a gesture to help a young local filmmaker making his first feature. See more »
OPINION 1: the marvelous French Nouvelle Vague had a tremendous effect on the world cinema,including the Swiss Cinema .Here ,we feel how much the directors (a man and a woman) must have loved the great Eric Rohmer.It's impossible to sum up the story ;Antoine is in search of his ex-lover Ariane who would have gotten away with a mysterious guy called "Alexandre"
.like Theseus in the labyrinth ,Antoine searches his homeland to find his erstwhile love ,who seems more and more a mirage ,as the movie progresses;he meets a locksmith (what a symbol! his keys could be Ariane's thread ,the vital lead) with whom he has an ambiguous relationship;both men think that the other one might be "Alexandre" .Antoine is a schoolteacher,who studies Boris Vian with his pupils -there're some comments on "J'Irai Cracher Sur Vos Tombes"on the board,it may seem a bit hard for teenagers this age ,but no matter in this context-,he's a sullen highbrow,but Alfred is his double and his rival (does he exist ,by the way?),he buys two (famous) blue raincoats ;he/they meets(s) a basket player ,a lady in kimono who gives him/them tea and tells him/them a story (represented by a black and white silent movie).Antoine would like to end his love story (he told us so ) but when he meets Ariane (or her ghost?),it does not make any difference:he rolls up his old newspaper and uses it as a telescope ,like he did at the beginning of the movie:maybe his real task has begun.James Mason appears as his father in two deeply moving scenes.
OPINION 2: the Nouvelle Vague's influence on the world cinema was appalling ;navel-gazing,mental masturbation, loose screenplays ,endless wanderings,cult of youth,characters devoid of social problems (quince jam will be delicious in 1982,should we believe Alfred)...You will find all these qualities in "Alexandre " ,plus a Rohmeresque touch for good measure ;I dare you to understand this incoherent unfocused tale some people call artistic but I would call simply arty .Didier Sauvegrain gives a johnny-one-note performance ,the great James Mason is totally wasted (he has virtually nothing to say apart from telling his son he's got to wear shoes to go to his school and from rolling up a carpet).Fortunately the movie is short:it's its most salutary quality.
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