A young man leaves his native town in southern France to discover Paris. Being too unexperienced and too naive, he drops into the reality of Paris 1991. He soon gives up his dream of ...
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In a village in the Southwest of France, 1962. Maite and Francois are 18 years old. They are friends, not lovers. In Francois's classroom, there are Serge, whose brother has just married to... See full summary »
Old woman Berthe leaves her house to live in her daugter Emilie's one. Emilie and her brother Antoine have fallen out three years ago and have not seen each other since, but Emilie invites ... See full summary »
At the age of 20, Martin leaves his home town and comes to Paris, where he fortunately becomes a model by chance. He meets Alice, his brother's friend, and falls in love with her. They ... See full summary »
France, 1719. Four years after Louix XIV's death, Philippe d'Orleans is the regent for the nine-year-old Louis XIV. Philippe is a liberal and a libertine. His right-hand man, Dubois, an ... See full summary »
A woman and three men. Nina, who's come to Paris to act and sleeps with any man at hand, meets Paulot, a young estate agent; he's smitten. She also meets Paulot's flatmate Quentin, a ... See full summary »
In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he's told, only to be attacked by the convict's partner. A murder ... See full summary »
The petite waitress Johnny works and lives in a truck-stop, where she's lonely and longs for love. She develops a crush on the garbage truck driver Krassky, although her sleazy boss Boris ... See full summary »
Pierre and Manon are a pair of poor documentary makers, who scrape by with odd jobs. When Pierre meets young trainee Elisabeth, he falls for her, but wants to keep Manon at the same time. ... See full summary »
This gritty police drama shows us the underbelly of the Parisian drug trade. Lulu is a tough streetwise narcotics cop who, like a Frank Serpico or a Dirty Harry Callahan, doesn't play by ... See full summary »
A young man leaves his native town in southern France to discover Paris. Being too unexperienced and too naive, he drops into the reality of Paris 1991. He soon gives up his dream of becoming an actor and prostitutes himself. Throughout all these modern relationships, he keeps his innocence but becomes very emotionally blocked.Written by
Jochen Wilhelm <email@example.com>
I am unable to escape the impression that French cinema has lost its way in recent years. So many examples I see are shallow and trite. A few of the old masters are still around. Chabrol was almost back on form with "La Ceremonie" (1995) and Rohmer can generally be called upon to delight, particularly with work as agreeable as "Conte d'Hiver" (1992). But what of the younger generation? Erick Zonca's "The Dream Life of Angels" (1998) was a work of masterly perception but it seems to be a one-off. However, although not on this level the films of Andre Techine are worth exploring. I did not much care for "Les Voleurs", a conventional heist film: "The Young Reeds", although infinitely more interesting, showed some signs of strain in its struggle to focus on a wide range of characters (Techine is no Edward Yang). However of his works I have so far seen I would commend "J'embrasse pas" as a welcome ray of light in the French darkness. Although, as in Techine's other work, there is still rather too much peripheral detail that does not always illumine the situation of the central character, there is no denying that this is a masterly study of a young country innocent who comes to Paris to make a career for himself, totally unaware of his intellectual and social limitations. In Manuel Blanc's Pierre we have one of the outstanding performances of French cinema. We are able to empathise with this young man to an extraordinary extent, so much so that our gradual understanding of his shortcomings is a process almost as slow as his. When he breaks down during an unsuccessful attempt to get into a stage character he is trying to portray we feel his humiliation deeply. Although Pierre is heterosexual his adoption of the role of a rentboy after this is all part of the process of the inevitable downward spiral. That he emerges from degrading experiences unbeaten and ready to take on Paris for a second time reveals that he has gained a certain strength if only through learning to posture. Psychologically it all rings terribly true.
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