Michel is a young technician in the fledgling TV industry and is due for military service in two months at the time of the Algerian War. Juliette and Liliane are inseparable best friends, ...
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Michel is a young technician in the fledgling TV industry and is due for military service in two months at the time of the Algerian War. Juliette and Liliane are inseparable best friends, and aspiring actresses, who hang around outside the TV studio. Michel invites them in to watch, flirts with them both, and dates them separately and together. When Michel goes on a holiday to Corsica, just before he is drafted, the girls follow.Written by
This is for me an almost perfect film. Not because it is quintessential Nouvelle Vague, but because it had an excellent actor in it called Jean-Claude Aimini. It saddens me that such a natural actor could not have continued in other films. I was mesmerised by the ease he had before the camera, and if Belmondo could carry on why not him ? Or is Godard's ' A Bout de Souffle ' the official benchmark of that clique that appeared to change French Cinema ? ' Adieu Phillippine ' came out in 1962, when the waters were still quite high and Rozier showed how natural behaviour, natural gestures and freedom with the camera could wash away even a hint of the studio. But it is through the eyes of the lead actor, Aimini that we follow the film. The Algerian War will drag the character he plays Michel into its horror and I was left wondering at the end, will he be victim or killer in it, or if the fates were kind and he would become neither? The film plays out his last holiday before he is forced down that awful path. He plays around with two young women, and his feelings towards both of them is fascinating to watch. Who loves who and at that age do you really love at all ? Rozier plays with this threesome and unlike the overrated ' Jules et Jim ' I found it truthful because of the actors. There are no great stabs at acting as in the Truffaut film, and there does not need to be because the genius of the film is that it plays like a documentary, and the actors act so well there is none of the ' look here I am performing ' routine. This cannot happen in all film, and that is normal because basically film stands out usually as high drama for most directors, and even Bresson could not escape it. For nearly two hours I watch like a fly on the wall fiction that with a gentle sleight of hand looks like reality, or what we call reality. But Aimini is the focus ( others could challenge this ) and I wanted to see more of him. If he is alive and well and reads this I hope he realises what a pure presence he was. I hesitate to give it a 10 because I found the holiday section needed trimming, but a great film it surely is. Watch out for a glimpse of Jean-Claude Brialy, a pillar of the Nouvelle Vague in Cinema and he had a happy look on his face.
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