Camille, a young woman from a bourgeois background, is bored with her life. Seeking intensity, she decides to give her love – not to the most attractive man, but to just anybody. To someone she thinks is in need of her. Like Costa, a roamer who lives in a bunker and at first glance is neither worthy of loving nor capable of it. Fascinated by Camille, a policeman follows the two. Doillon at his best. His signature is unmistakable: The focus is on the dialogues, on the composition of gestures, gazes, and words, as well as on the acting. Acting in a play and playing with the acting. Camille sets it in motion: She stages, arranges, schemes, directs. Costa and the policeman take on their respective parts. Various amorous constellations are played through, in which dialogues launched like gunfire debate love, its conditions, its failure. A triangular relation, full of tension, and a complicated emotional atmosphere arise, which gradually start spinning out of control. And not just when a gun is brought into play. Something unexpected occurs when people interact – Doillon, even beyond his own staging, is a specialist in this kind of surplus.
A remarkably humanistic writer/director whose introspective features often dwell on youthful malaise, French filmmaker Jacques Doillon has an uncanny knack for exploring human nature and the impact of people’s actions on those most dear to them. Perhaps it was his penchant for directing documentary shorts early on that gave Doillon his insight, but by the time he moved into feature territory in the early ‘70s he had suitably mastered the ability to tell a solid and affecting story. In 1979, Doillon was nominated for two César awards for his compelling psychological drama The Hussy, and his 1984 film La Pirate was a Golden Palm nominee at the Cannes Film Festival. By the 1990s, Doillon’s career had gained effective momentum. His 1990 film Le Petit Criminel, which told the involving tale of a troubled adolescent, was nominated for multiple César awards. After his success with film Le Jeune Werther in 1993, the director scored his biggest international hit to date with the 1996 drama Ponette… read more
Above: La Vie de famille (1985), with Sami Frey and Mara Goyet. Image courtesy of Jacques Doillon. I've been waiting all my filmgoing life