Paul Dedalus is at a crossroads in his life. He has to make several decisions; should he complete his doctorate, does he want to become a full professor, does he really love his long-standing girlfriend, or should he re-start with one of his other lovers? Is he avoiding the despairing life his father can’t escape from? –IMDb
Arnaud Desplechin is the son of Robert and Mado Desplechin, and grew up in the Nord department. He has a brother named Fabrice who has acted in several of his films, and two sisters: novelist Marie Desplechin and screenwriter Raphaëlle Desplechin.
Arnaud Desplechin studied film directing at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, graduating in 1984. He made three short films inpsired by the work of the Belgian novelist Jean Ray, and became a great admirer of the films of Alain Resnais. During the late 1980s, Desplechin worked as a director of photography on several films.
In 1990, Desplechin directed La Vie des morts, starring several actors who would go on to appear in multiple Desplechin films, such as Marianne Dénicourt, Emmanuelle Devos, Emmanuel Salinger and Thibault de Montalembert. The 54-minute-long film won the Jean Vigo Prize for Short Films, and was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Desplechin’s first feature-length movie, La Sentinelle, premiered… read more
Desplechin provided an epic length navel gazing exercise from the cream of the crop on young french actors in '96. It captured the privliged, ego-centric and emotionally damaged youth of the period in exacting detail. While not exactly likable characters they are certainly interesting ones. Performances are strong with kudos to Devos, Amalric and Balibar. Rohmer lite perhaps.
The best of the three I've seen. He shares Cassavetes's interest in fraying relationships and his disregard for narrative compression, but he has a whole toy chest of cinematic bells and whistles that directors in this line usually deny themselves. Must be the nouvelle vague heritage. (Someone somewhere dubbed him "Rohmer on speed" -- not too far off.)