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A woman returns to her village after her father's death, who has never loved. She meets a man who spends his days cultivating the land and writing. Each of their meetings will culminate in a need for them to confront physically.
A literature professor at the University of Lausanne, Marc has a reputation for having love affairs with his female students. A few days after the disappearance of one of the most brillant of these, who was his latest conquest, he encounters Anna who is trying to find out more about this beautiful young woman who has disappeared.Written by
Kant: "Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be built."
The film is in French with English subtitles and was shown as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.
The film opens with a night ride in a car up a snowy mountain. The driving is somewhat erratic and the occupants seem a little drunk. It is clear that this is an amorous liaison. The first of many in fact. The film, 15+ certificate, could in fact be subtitled: 'More Sex Please, We're Swiss'.
The film continues with the drive down the mountain. Again, and perhaps even more so this time, we get the sense of how dangerous it is to drive on these mountain roads. This is emphasised by the filming, which is very well done. It is further emphasised by the music, but sadly the music is just too loud and intrusive at this point. It is the only problem with the music, after this, all music is perfectly placed in the film to highlight the scenes. Much of the music is ambient and psychedelic and fits in very well with the feel of the film. There are also some well placed love songs with ponderous lyrics, and these also fit in well.
Film is about that walking cliché; the literature professor with the roving eye. And boy! does his eye rove! We see this clearly as he arrives to take his class. Entering this very modern place of learning, we find our very modern professor's eye roving around. Again, this is shown well in the filming. Much of this movie is shot from the professor's POV.
The professor seems to occupy two worlds. He lives up the mountain but works down the mountain. His home is an old-fashioned wood-built chalet, like that of 'Belle and Sebastian' or 'Heidi' and 'Goat' Peter. Down in the valley his place of work is so modern and futuristic looking, it would not look out of place in a SF film. Throughout the film these contrasts are shown well. The mountain scenery is stunning and is also shot well. There are scenes with a fresh look to them, others with a colder and darker wintery-look to them.
Travel between the mountain and the valley takes up a lot of time, especially if you stop off for a bit of recreational sex, but our professor does entertain us with his excuses. However this film is no French farce but rather a Hitchcockian suspense film. In style it reminded this reviewer of Sidney Gilliat's 'Endless Night' (1972) and Danny Boyle's 'Trance' of last year.
The acting in this film is universally superb. The male lead, playing the role of the professor, really seems to be able to convey his character to the audience, be it wolfing down his food, or just by looking or staring. A tour-de-force! He is however well supported by the three main actresses.
If therefore you like an erotic, raunchy, sexy, suspense-thriller, with tense twists, hanky-panky, hankys of blood, and buckets of sex, then you will enjoy this film. As the main protagonist in this film is a French-speaking, student-seducing, literature professor, there will be lots of philosophical and ponderous speaking too.
Good stuff! Oh la la! 10/10.
... and the scorpion said to the frog ...
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