A long-awaited cinematic adaptation of Frédéric Beigbeder’s best-selling novel by the same name, Jan Kounen’s ambitious new feature 99 Francs is clearly meant to epitomize the French world view, offering an insultingly, cynically comical portrayal of modern consumer culture in general and of the advertising business in particular. Profoundly philosophical yet strikingly frank in its presentation, the film leaves a lasting impression by daring to playfully tackle serious issues while remaining dynamically paced, stylistically innovative and thoroughly entertaining throughout.
Dripping with pseudo arrogance and purposeful self-indulgence, 99 francs opens with the appropriately grandiose observation that “everything can be bought: love, art, planet Earth,” as its main protagonist, Octave Parango (Jean Dujardin), prepares to take a leap from the roof of his office building in pouring rain. The scene pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the film – one of gradual wealth and power-induced moral decline punctuated by occasional philosophical musings, bursts of disco music and flashes of psychedelic visions. –escapefromhollywood.com
Jan was a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Nice, France, (E.P.I.A.R.). He learned cinema, animation and pixillation and passed his diploma in 1988 (Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique) while shooting his first super 8mm (soft) and 16mm (Yellow Death – The Broadword) short films, as well as his first animated films for Dutch TV. He became assistant operator, directed his first video clips and documentaries, started as a cameraman/reporter for an image agency.
In 1989, he directed Gisele Kerosene, “Grand Prix du Court-Métrage” award at the Avoriaz Festival.
In 1990, he directed the popular L’age de Plastic music video for Elmer Foot Beat. Busy working on several projects (a screen version of a Serge Brussolo novel, the Gisele Kerosene TV series), Jan also directed his first music videos for Pauline Ester (Le Monde est Fou_), another Elmer Foot Beat video (Daniela_), videos for Chihuahuas and Erasure (Voulez… read more
Definitely better than Branded, but any comparison to Fight Club is unjustified. The novel is much more convincing, even though the film uses some creative and inventive solutions, such as animated sequences and alternative endings. The satire on advertising is not as powerful as it could/have should have been and the coda with the inevitable stats is extremely hypocritical (or consistent, depending on your POV).
"Je crois qu'à la base, je voulais faire le bien autour de moi. Cela n'a pas été possible pour deux raisons: parce qu'on m'en a empêché, et parce que j'ai abdiqué." 5/5
Film coup de poing qui n'a pas peur de dénoncer de manière crue et directe une société de consommation dans laquelle se perdent les hommes. Déjanté tout en restant réaliste avec une bonne dose d'humour et un Dujardin au top de sa forme, ce film reste dans la mémoire. En particulier la scène du yoghurt assez incroyable...
If Fight Club (without the fighitng but with the visuals) and Amelie had a baby, 99 Francs would be its love child. Set in a world of advertising and fashion, it takes a look at a man who lives life in the fast lane in the advertising agency and doesn't really give a shit about the consequences. Kounen has an eye for direction.Jean Dujardin gives a great performance as the mian character Octave.