Wednesday, May 09, 2012

À tout de suite (2004)

The much-underrated film À tout de suite (int’l title: Right Now) came as a major surprise to me: luminous and intense throughout, the film is a completely different take on the often-shot theme of bank robbery in French cinema. The film is rather all about the young girl who’s fallen hopelessly, and for ever, in life-changing love with a sensitive bank robber. It’s completely her story, that of her life, her emotions, her releases, her attempts to keep living: and the robbery and even her love are in the backdrop or serve only as props to that. Needless to say, the actor playing such a role needs to be superb and come across as vulnerable, exposable - beautiful Isild Le Besco as Lili gives one of the finest performances of French cinema.

I saw the original version in which Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” is used: I’ve heard that there is another version with some other music. “Shine on You” punctuates the film brilliantly (it’s another matter that the same music serving to bolster the story’s pathos kept me reminded throughout of Buongiorno, Notte). The decision to shoot the film in black & white serves also well the film: Le Besco seems more beautiful than she may have looked otherwise, the nude scenes seem artistic and voluptuous instead of crude as often the case is otherwise, and the film gets the grainy look of a life lived among raw emotions, not some color canvas expertly prepared for delicious consumption.

The best praise that I can think of the film is that it can give Carax’s Boy Meets Girl a stiff competition and worthy company.

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