Spring of 1999: 15-year-old Camille and 19-year-old Sullivan are mad about each other. Sullivan, however, wants to go to South America for a year and this drives Camille to despair. He leaves in the fall and after a while he stops writing to her. After a suicide attempt, she ends up in the hospital. After four years she works, studies architecture and lives alone. She meets a famous architect, Lorenz, who restores her self-confidence. In 2007, Camille and Lorenz have a strong relationship. She is his assistant but she feels strong enough to set up an agency soon. She develops into a more fully formed woman, with new interests. After 7 years she sees Sullivan again. After their first meeting everything seems to go well, but a few months later the old feelings come back and her heart is torn again.Written by
Lola Créton was 16 years old when the film was shot. Director Mia Hansen-Løve said it was a big deal for Lola to play nude scenes. "But what's amazing is that, when the cameras rolled, she was free and sensuous like a cat. It was as if she was discovering her own sexuality before our eyes, but, as soon as the filming stopped, she'd retreat behind sheets, clothes immediately." See more »
At around 16 minutes Sullivan is at the travel agency and he buys a flight ticket to Caracas departing from Paris Roissy (Charles de Gaulle airport) with TAP Air Portugal. This portuguese airline company does not fly from this airport but always from Orly. Even in 1999 when the movie story happens. See more »
Camille, you know how tough it is to sleep without you, not to see you when I wake up? I can't live without you.
It sucks you never believe me.
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Louis Garrel recently made his first feature film as director, Le Petit Tailleur, in an interview afterwards he admitted that his film was of a Paris that did not exist anymore, where the young went to the theatre to see Kleist. His film, as this one, contains a nostalgia for the New Wave. This is tacitly admitted in Goodbye First Love when Sullivan mentions that he went to a party in the suburbs where kids went to have sex and take drugs, a piece of shrapnel that doesn't fit in the jigsaw of this movie. The young of the developed world live with their eyes burnt out.
Goodbye First Love tells the story of Camille, in love with Sullivan, and how she copes with losing that love and moving on with her life. There's something pristine about the way that young animals love and lust together, narcotic and somewhat illusory, but on the threshold of paradise; and actually the most astonishing part of the film practically occurs in an Eden. One its successes is the casting of two actors who have an obvious sexual compatibility, which lends credibility to the treatment.
Mature love comes, but lies in the cradle of shared creativity and mutual respect, which should represent a superannuation of first love; but flesh is not just. For Camille, riding on the pannier rack of Sullivan's bicycle and grasping his body will always be the seed of her crystal.
Goodbye First Love, by the way, is an incredible aesthetic treat (my favourite part may well have been when the two rake over the ashes of their love, lying together likes ravens in a shattered tower, all a creation of capturing colour carefully). I felt privileged to have watched it, to have been let inside what's a meagerly-camouflaged auto-biography from Mia Hansen-Løve. I may well love and be loved back one day, but it won't be the Hamelin song that Mia has let me see, and I'm grateful to her for this facsimile.
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