At twenty, all Maria wants to do is live life to the fullest. She lives with her benevolent, but aging parents. Other characters are: Linda, her best friend, the dredger Manu, Bouboule, her... See full summary »
Pierre, a young man in his thirties, grew up with his two brothers in a city in the suburbs of Paris. He still lives there today with his wife, Deborah. His everyday life is divided between... See full summary »
A police sergeant must rally the cops and prisoners together to protect themselves on New Year's Eve, just as corrupt policeman surround the station with the intent of killing all to keep their deception in the ranks.
Fascinating look at (young male) life in the Paris Projects
After learning that some brave soul (fool?)was remaking Assault on Precinct 13, a seminal movie experience from my youth, I tracked down this earlier effort from Richet because he sounded like a fascinating director. There are some clear comparisons to be made in regard to this film and Le Haine, they share the same milieu and the focus is almost exclusively on the male protagonists. However, Ma 6-T feels more like a documentary at times, the style less obvious than that of Kassovitz. When the camera follows the players on a youth centre's basket ball court, the game deteriorates in to ugly gang violence and the viewer feels like an helpless spectator on the side lines, such is the ability of Richet's camera to draw us into the drama. This long take-the film is made up of a majority of these-is the kind of cinema that Andre Bazin would applaud, however he may have been less amoured to the occasional flourish, particularly during one scene where the circular motion of the camera feels more like an homage to DePalma. Richet clearly likes his characters (he his from the Paris projects)but unlike Le Haine there is more of them and thus they are less clearly defined, making it difficult to empathize with them. He does not give them any kind of arc, allowing for a more fly on the wall feel. This approach forces the viewer to consider their plight without having to fall for the winning charms of Vincent Cassel. Are they victims of society or just a bunch of losers? There is some suggestion that they are both, the few women portrayed in the film have jobs or are trying to better themselves, or more tellingly represent authority figures, like the female head teacher and police woman. The male characters just seem to complain about their lot without ever doing much about it, brilliantly conveyed during one scene by two of them pondering why they are sitting at a bus stop. Some of them talk of revolution but are more interested in their turf wars between rival project gangs, rather than joining together for a real class war. A riot seems to be the only possible conclusion but the film is bookended by the images of a women and a girl, presumably her daughter, raising arms. Is the future in the arms of the women? Perhaps so, because regardless of the obvious intelligence of the male characters, they are all oozing too much testosterone to care too much about the future and seem to enjoy a pretty vacant and violent now. This film gives me hope for the forthcomimg remake of Assault on Precincr 13, lets hope that Richet can apply as much intelligence to the remake as he did to this engrossing sophomore effort.
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