A lot of people don't realize that, long before she haunted Assayas' recent Clouds of Personal Shopping diptych, and prior even to her career-making turn in the Twilight saga, Kristen Stewart was actually a French actress named Virginie Ledoyen, whose own career was made by this very beautiful Assayas essay (autobiographical?) in early '70s adolescent love, angst, and kleptomania. It was here she first disappeared.
teenage restlessness in d turbulent 70s..the residues of the rebellious 60s fighting a desperate battle to agglomerate into something bigger in d face of a fast changing indifferent world..d searing desire of teenagers to break free..make futile attempts 2 look for n undefined freedom which exists only in d hazy insides of der mind..d inability of 1 generation 2 understnd d other n d failure 2 connect and communicate
I have a soft-corner for early Assayas. A definitive post-68 film that is filled with visual and aural tropes that is a signature of the generation. And the music, oh that music! Especially in that party when GNR, Cohen and Nico play one after the other. And Janitor of Lunacy. Musically perhaps the most significant film of its time.
Seeing as I'm the first to write on this movie's wall, and the first to put it on a list, I'm inclined to ask WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE. Is that a particle of dust on my screen? No, it's a freaking PIXEL on the last star. Come on 42 fans beside me, commit.
Deliberate handhelds abound, usually as close-ups, which gives the one-takes the flavor of montage. Character's that aren't the protagonists only get one scene, as Assayas jumps across locations and times without warning - a very compelling way to make the emotional connections feel powerful yet arbitrary. A party scene goes on for too long, and that's my only complaint.
Assayas brings to life 1970s France faithfully (feels like late-period Bresson in a way). The film is compelling in its last half hour, where youthful abandon gives way to reflection and the knife's-edge struggle of adolescence is laid bare.