Thursday, 9 April 2009

French cinema is so... French!

How bloody good would it be if the whole wide world was French?

We could all smoke Gauloises - the extra extra long ones, drown in champagne and red wine, mangez le chocolat and wank on about le monde and anything and everything without doing anything about it at all.

This is what happens in the multi-award-winning French film Summer Hours (Heure d'ete) that my arthouse-cinema-loving partner, who in the real world is a tradie (let's just call him Spanner), took me to see last night.

The film revolves around the lives of three siblings. Their elegant (d'accord) elderly mother suddenly dies (le mort) and there is a discussion about the future of her provincial country maison. In the process of selling the house and its valuable contents, the siblings discover that for many years their mother was having an affair with her famous artist uncle.

The response is mild surprise and a round of characteristic Gallic shrugs. They drink coffee, drawback heavily on the ciggies and talk some more - in French with subtitres.

The eldest of the three siblings, who feels most strongly the loss of his mother and of the past (ie home and contents, family get-togethers at the rambling old house), discovers his teenage daughter has been shoplifting and smoking le pot. After a discussion about the issue, she slams a door and he reciprocates.

And so on and so forth. I am so clever I got the theme early on - the world is changing at a fast pace, family life in France is disintegrating and the old traditions are no longer valued.

What I like about the film is that it's French and set in France, everyone wears nice clothes, a lack of gratuitous violence, that everyone smokes their heads off even while handling food (the French don't seem to be bothered about how this might influence a younger viewing audience) and that I actually got it (what the frig are those godawful oceans 11,12, 13 about and who really cares?).

Vive la France!
PS: Afterwards, over a glass of red wine, I asked Spanner for his opinion of the film.
"Juliette Binoche doesn't look good with her hair dyed blonde."
The man is a genius.

1 comment:

Angelina Tanguera said...

Well thanks for le review! Since we rarely make it to the movies we'll skip this one now we know what happens! (By the way I loved La Vie en Rose)