June 13, 2011

Passe ton bac d'abord (France 1978)

Ten years after "L'enfance nue", Maurice Pialat went back to the region where he shot his first film. His characters were about ten years older too but the tone of film is a much lighter one. The grim outlook of his debut has been replaced with a more optimistic worldview that embrances the bright or not so bright future that awaits the young people of the town after graduation. Even if they have not yet figured out what to do with it.

In the best tradition of that quintessentially French genre, the coming-of-age film, it is an honest look at adolescence and the usual little problems that come with it. Love, sex and drugs are present too but never in a way that it dominates the film. Pialat's rather short film film doesn't really have a real story but is more a portrait of different moments in the young people's lives. It may not be as complex and intense as his more critically acclaimed drams but it is entertaining in a pleasantly unobstrusive way. Every viewer - regardless of age - will be reminded of at least some moments of his own teenage years.

From today's point of view, it is somehow comforting to see that the clothes and hairstyles may have changed but overall adolescence is still the same - and no modern technology will ever change that...


Coffee and Cigarettes

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