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C’est l’amour

(Paul Vecchiali, France, 2015)


 


Paul Vecchiali has often avowed that his inspiration is not intellectual, but purely emotional – linked to strong feelings of love, hate, jealousy, desire that circulate freely between men and women of every sexual orientation.

 

At the same time, he has a taste for modernist form, expressed in an equally direct and unselfconscious way.

 

C’est l’amour brings these two sides of his work together, effortlessly. In an uncomfortably small town, the marital dissatisfaction of Odile (Astrid Adverbe) finds, by chance, an erotic outlet in Daniel (Pascal Cervo), a well-known, blasé actor who is struggling with his own, gay relationship.

 

This encounter creates waves for everyone in their social circle, and eventually precipitates a sudden turn into dark drama.

 

Mixing moods of comedy and tragedy with abandon; replaying certain dialogue scenes instantly from each character’s point-of-view; inserting satirical vignettes and figures from France’s show-business industry; boasting 3D-style credits; and featuring a direct-to-camera introductory monologue by Vecchiali himself (who also takes a role in the fiction) – all this expresses the filmmaker’s insolent freedom, but contained within a tightly economic, highly logical and controlled style.

 

Shot with digital cameras (including an iPhone), and with a pop-ballad chanson score that recalls films by Jacques Demy or Chantal Akerman, C’est l’amour redefines personal, hand-made and home-made cinema for our time.

MORE Vecchiali: Nuits blanches sur la jetée

© Adrian Martin October 2015


Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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