french films > Regular lovers

Regular lovers

Regular lovers

cast: Louis Garrel, Clotilde Hesme, Eric Rulliat

year: 2004

colour: no

certificate: 15

director: Philippe Garrel

runtime: 178

Among French film-makers, no-one is quite as closely associated with late 60s counter-cultural revolt as Philippe Garrel, and in this autobiographical film, he returns to his spiritual home - the year 1968. The director's son Louis Garrel plays François, one of a crowd of intense jeunesse dorée who are involved in the fervour of May 68, then live through its anti-climactic aftermath. Following the abortive revolution, everyday reality hits the friends with a crash: François is hauled up for avoiding national service (his defence lawyer pleads that the army would impede his blossoming as a poet), and falls in love with sculptor Lilie (Hesme), while their well-heeled friend Antoine hands round the opium pipe. Shot in stark black and white by William Lubtchansky, this vivid evocation of a misunderstood golden age, of its ideologies and myths, combines bitter nostalgia and the cold breath of socio-political reality. At once personal Proustian reminiscence and a very public conjuring of ghosts, Garrel's film is as celebratory as it is melancholic. Heading a cast who look and act uncannily right for the period, Louis Garrel (The Dreamers, Ma Mère) confirms himself as one of the most compelling new French performers of the moment.


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