May 29, 2008

Les Amants Réguliers (Regular Lovers)

Tonight at 6:30 & again Saturday at 1pm in the Wattis Theater—

Les Amants Réguliers (Regular Lovers)
Philippe Garrel, 2005, 178 min., 35mm

“A love letter both to French New Wave cinema and to late 1960s French youth culture, Philippe Garrel’s Regular Lovers stars the director’s son (Louis Garrel, of Bertolucci’s The Dreamers) as a Parisian student revolutionary. At a lolling pace, the film explores art, bohemia, revolution, and sex in May 1968 and after. While both director and audience know the historical outcome of these youthful acts, Regular Lovers points to their poignant appeal.”

Irresistible. See you then/there—

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Comments (3)

  • radio news are very important and timely so i always listen to it`”

  • I’ve got the three-hour-french-film hangover this morning, and I’m so unsure how I feel about this one, having seen it, I’m even considering another million-hour run at it again tomorrow. It’s true what Dominic says, the film is really fantastic to look at—the blacks are so velvety and the whites so smoky–the whites are what I imagine an opiated haze feels like (there’s a lot of opium smoking and eating going on here). ‘Lolling pace’ is right, too, many shots linger long enough to allow you to see them almost as a still photograph, that gaze however is anything but *fascinated*. It’s clear-sighted and harsh. I think Gina Basso (who introduced the film last night) said that Philippe Garrel was 21 at the time of the Paris riots, and the film in part has the discomfiting quality of looking with chagrin at your own youthful diary; you can see that you felt this way, and felt it completely, BUT. One of the things also so interesting to me in the film is the depiction of IMMEDIATE disillusionment—the morning-after-the-riot scenes include one young man returning to his working-class home where his mother is vacuuming against backdrop of peeling wallpaper and the radio news, and he expresses despair, all is loss, things will never get better, etc. The whole issue of the poet and poet’s social role in the body of history is the part of the film most confusing to me and of course what I’d like to go back to investigate—and what I can’t discuss at length here w/o spoiler, but it’s the most ridiculously cliched part of the film, possibly the point? the overly romantic, ineffective, childishly tragic figure of the poet—would love it if someone else would weigh in here.

  • Hi. I picked this film so obviously I like it, but nevertheless I just wanted to give it an EXTRA plug. Sure it’s long, but it’s completely compelling and, as I wrote here a couple of weeks ago, it’s a great antidote to overly romantic treatments of May ’68 (like The Dreamers). And it looks fabulous. I remember in particular the riot scenes where the black and white cinematography captures the smoke and darkness in amazing ways. Suzanne’s right: it’s irresistible.

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