1968 and 1969 in Paris: during and after the student and trade union revolt. François is 20, a poet, dodging military service. He takes to the barricades, but won't throw a Molotov cocktail... 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 »
As a man leaves his wife and daughter, a series of brief conversations, observed gestures, chance encounters and impulsive acts, tell the story of the relationships that flounder and thrive in the wake of this decision.
The familiar conflicts of a film director planning to make a movie about his life and the confrontation he has with his wife, an actress who was turned down for such project in which she wanted to play herself.
Hélène is unhappy with her marriage but finds some comfort and relief with Paul, a young art student. They reflect on their differences of age, backgrounds and also what truly connects them... See full summary »
Sarah and Pascal are young lovers who have a problem of living with their love story, hiding it from their family. They chose to love each other despite of the difference but their dramatic... See full summary »
Four chapters based on the birth of a 'secret child', or a film, with chapter titles: "La séction Césarienne" (Caesarian section: a descriptive detail introducing the mother); "Le dernier ... See full summary »
Henri de Maublanc,
Fraudulent fluff posing as an enigmatic masterwork
This threadbare tale of a photographer's amorous misadventures demonstrates that pretentious sixties-style, cinematic vanity projects still survive in twenty-first century France. Shot in self-consciously 'artistic' B&W, the opening sequence depicts the poetically rumpled Francois arriving to shoot some publicity stills of a young married actress, Carole, whose film-maker husband is absent in Hollywood. Despite Carole's lack of any discernible charisma, Francois falls under her spell, and they embark on a supposedly obsessive love affair. It's soon apparent that the film is going to be a slow-motion train-wreck, since the director spends far too much time on tedious shots of the couple asleep or staring moodily into the distance, while neglecting to develop his characters or their unconvincing relationship. Consequently it seems somewhat capricious when Carole suddenly suffers a breakdown, sets fire to her apartment, and is consigned to an asylum where she writhes around theatrically in a straitjacket.
After her release, there is a sequence of scenes which illustrates the arbitrary, lazy nature of the entire script. Carole tells Francois that she's going to reconcile with her husband, and then, with a cringe-inducing bout of over-acting, returns to her hotel room to drown her sorrows in a bottle of gin. Francois tries seeking solace with a new love interest, but memories of his old romance undermine his mental stability, and drive him on to the melodramatic destiny that awaits him.
"Frontier of the Dawn" makes even less sense on the screen than it does on paper, and director Garrel requires his son to do little more than adopt stock romantic poses in the main role of Francois. As a result, it's easy to see why the Cannes Festival audience greeted the film's producers with whistles of derision for wasting their time with such a pompous piece of puerile piffle.
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