I wonder if I hadn't read the reviews before watching Bang Gang whether I would have been on the look out for the ample Gus Van Sant references. It resonates with Van Sant's Elephant in terms of the repeated images of the sky and clouds as well as with the focus on a group of high-schoolers. There is also a bit of Gerry in there. This film shows the high-esteem that many young french directors hold for Van Sant.
MTV and musical videoclip culture are undoubtly in the background. Arguably overscored and estheticist. Yet not as banal as one could expect on his political undertones. Plenty of good-looking teenage freedom gestures more or less naively escenographyated, but there is something truly revolutionaire on comunal sex exrperience:
Wow, that escalated quickly. In one word: shallow, shallow, shallow. Well made and good looking but without much purpose. It's not even experimental. Though I do really like Marilyn Lima. She reminded me of Adrienne Shelly and I would like to see her in more stuff.
Acting and cinematography is nice. The reason why the film has been received as a soft-porn can be the director's focus on the orgies. But still, it can be sensed that the director is a woman. Maybe, if the perspective of the director were stronger and more focused, the film would be deeper and more meaningful.
3.5 There are weaknesses to this film (I'm uncomfortable with soft porn of teenagers) but overall I commend the writer/director in capturing how inane group dynamic and behaviour can easily spiral into potentially life-changing trauma without a sensationalist plot.
A bit predictable but still somehow believable. It's not a movie with a strong social message and you might not relate to the at-times-sort-of-posh-kids but the acting is quite good and the "uncensored" sex scenes worked for me. Not a bad movie, if you're looking for something light-hearted and think back to your early teenage years, give this film a try. Would give 3.5 stars if I could.
Solid debut feature from director Eva Husson whose intent here may be murky for some but her power to convey beautiful image is very clear. Those getting hung up on the open sexuality here or thinking its a modern safe sex/abstinence p.s.a are severely missing the point. Husson's film is a universal take on teenage detachment and burgeoning sexuality but in a modern context of forced apathy and impersonal technology.
There's a point in Bang Gang when one character comments on the activities of another as being "profoundly mediocre", which almost sums up the entire film. It's almost like a French extension of the world shown by Larry Clark in Kids (although not nearly as bleak - the sex and debauchery here is more pleasant and elegant, even if it could lead to similar results). Not really gripping viewing though.
Even if this cynical and moralistic drama is allegedly based on real events, it is really hard to believe that 16-year-old teenagers would engage so openly in those sort of sexual practices, and the narrative is also weakened by an irregular structure and obvious lack of focus. http://www.filmotrope.com