‘If I can’t get the only affection I want, I’ll maculate and destroy all surrogates’. There’s hardly any compensating calculus in childhood, the habit of plastering one emotional fracture with another love comes later, in adulthood. Blame it on the green age - commerce needs years to become second nature. It takes growth to outgrow one’s early uncompromisingness. As in Russell’s trilogy, Francois takes refuge in
Violating the semi-ideological , ie Truffuat, non-threatening nostalgia concealed as bildungsroman, Pialat's childhood entity lacks euphoria/illusion, is all compassion, brutality; speech and act of Lucifer: never without hope, never to be redeemed: autonomy's violent push against its own ethical shape, a crime as elaborate as love: youth, the auto-problematical. Final shot: absence: the best material for a portrait.
Pialat's portrait of youth in turmoil is a naturalistic and intelligent deployment of empathy. Makes you squirm in horror and love and that same time. Better than the 400 Blows, but that's coming from someone who thinks Les Deux Anglaises & L'enfant sauvage are Truffaut's best
What social realism is all about. Pialat has no time for sentimentality; likewise, he avoids wallowing in grimness for its own sake. Instead we get direct social commentary built into the texture of mundane narrative. Pialat's eye for the truth of the everyday is astonishing. It's better, in my, view than 400 Blows and has the warmth of My Life as a Dog. Taut, unflinching, just, and humane.
A revelation. Every once in awhile I see a movie that has such a unique view on the world that it changes that world for me. I feel like a different person after watching it. I'll look at things and feel things and think things differently from now on, in a way I can't even talk about at this point.