Friday, July 4, 2014

Film on Friday #17 - 2 Autumns, 3 Winters

2 Autumns, 3 Winters is from French director S├ębastien Betbeder.

Thirty something Arman literally bumps into Amelie while out jogging. He contrives to run into her again and eventually does. Arman's best friend Benjamin suffers a stroke and while recuperating, makes a connection with his physical therapist.

Those are the players. And the rest of the film is a series of vignettes and ruminations from the characters on life, love, moments and memories.

Some of the film is shot so it appears as though a hand held camera was used. I dislike this style - I find the movement jarring and hard to watch.  The addition of labelled chapters also added to the 'homemade' feel.

In much of the film, the actors are speaking directly to the viewer. (And sometimes when they are in a scene with another actor) Although you would think this would provide an intimate relationship between actor and viewer, for me it didn't. Initially I was interested in the four, learning of their lives and wondering what would happen over the course of the film. But as the film progressed,  I found myself becoming tired and frankly somewhat bored with the almost repetitiveness of their ruminations.

From the director: "I wanted the narrative to be dense, to alternate between serious, critical moments in the lives of these young people, and more incidental moments that have no real impact. I wanted to talk about death and shopping at the grocery store, about love and reality TV."

Initially I connected with the main character Arman (Vincent Macaigne). His attempts to meet Amelie (Maud Wyler) were engaging. And I liked him at the end of the film. But in between, he seemed to almost overact. And I know this is petty, but I found myself tuning out and instead his hair became my focus, instead of his lines. He's always flipping it back, it's dirty and greasy and growing it long and doing a comb over does not hide the large bald spot at the back.

There are many film references that will be noted by avid film buffs. Through my own lacking, I was unable to appreciate many of these homages.

2 Autumns, 3 Winters was just too 'arty' for this viewer. However, the bonus short film, Business Trip, that Film Movement always includes, was just excellent.

France/ 2013/French with English subtitles, 93 min.

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