Monday, August 5, 2013

Carré Blanc [2010]

MPAA (UR would be R)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
AlloCiné.fr* listing

What would a French Film Festival worth its name be without at least one dark, dystopian piece brooding about the senseless brutality of human existence? ;-).  So it was, can one say "a joy"? ;-), to encounter Carré blanc [2010] [IMDb] []*(written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Léonetti [IMDb] []*) among the films that played at the Chicago's 3rd Annual French Film Festival held recently at the Music Box Theater on Chicago's North Side.  (The Festival was cosponsored by the French Diplomatic Mission in the United States.).

Philippe (played as a youth by Majid Hives [IMDb] []* and as an adult by Sami Bouajila [IMDb] []*) and Marie (played as a youth by Adèle Exarchopoulos [IMDb] []* and as an adult by Julie Gayet [IMDb] []*) grow-up in a perpetually grey and overcast world of concrete, glass and steel (where the sky doesn't have the decency to at least let down rain ;-), making their way through endless labyrinths of drywall/cinderblock lined corridors and spartan classroom/meeting rooms encountering only an occasional cord or baton to either hang oneself or beat the occasional passerby / compatriot with, and yet hearing occasional and not-to-subtle "subliminal messages" broadcast over an ancient public address system encouraging them "to reproduce." ;-)  Regardless of what one may think of this "world view" WHAT AN IMAGE :-)

Lumbering along like the living-dead through the corridors of this heartless world, their teachers seek to present the purpose of life to them as a game.  The point of the game?  To simply "get ahead of the other guy."  Why?  Well, "you don't want to lose."

After Phillip jumps after Marie who throws herself off the balcony of their drab concrete apartment and both are caught by a safety net below, they find that in this cold, heartless world at least they have each other.

To this the Catholic could add: In such "a valley of truly MONUMENTAL TEARS," WE also have God ;-).

* Rough (machine) translations of foreign language websites are generally most easily obtained using the Chrome browser.

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