It's a little disappointing after Simon's fantastic Le Bois dont les rêves sont faits and it takes its time getting going. However, it is ultimately a surprisingly interesting look at the selection process for La Fémis, even if one of the most striking things I gathered was the lack of diversity among the applicants, something that surely wouldn't be lost on the school's president Raoul Peck.
Wow a truly great documentary. What a wonderful film school to nourish ambition and individuality in the way this school system works. Being a film school graduate myself I found it exhilarating that a film school exists where film professionals from all aspects of life debate a students worthiness. I also found it fascinating watching the sexual and class politics unfold especially with complex students. Fantastic!
there are complexities within its own observational structure. mainly from the flaming debates between the contestants and the jurors. Simon thus gives us an insight into the dubious, partisan, yet difficult qualification system. without imposing positions, the docu poses enough openness and it is as beautiful and prestigious as the name of the school, La Femis.
Le Concours is a Rorschach test.Does it reveal the elitism of education,the subjective nature of art or hope for a new generation of filmmakers?There is no right answer of course-nor should there be- but this chameleonic nature of Simon's observational images makes them formless & unfocused.By being a little bit about everything,they end up being about La Fémis and only La Fémis,when they could have been so much more
A documentary about the process that potential students go through to get into la Femis, the famous film school in Paris, this is intermittently interesting, but suffers from offering up a selection of main characters that viewers don't necessarily feel invested in.
"je l'ai entendu se mastuber devant ses rush avec les notes cinematorgraphiaues de Robert Bresson a la main" Amazing documentary, that completely hits the mark in a unashamedly self referential way. The bit about ~"having 7 boy and 8 girls, one black, one asian and on arab, from all over france. And to please our colleagues, poor people as well." is one of the harshest social comment in a film I have heard.
an uncommentated docu about admission to a posh film school in France that says far more about the biases and prejudices of white French middle-class liberals than it does about filmmaking - and that's why it's so interesting. The evaluators shown here are probably not bad at their job, all things considered, but they are almost to a (wo)man humourless, hateful prigs. Applicants seemed mostly confused but earnest.
Le Concours exposes the ideologies inherent to the evaluation and assessment process of a prestigious school, the inconsistencies of "meritocracy", the logic of privilege and exclusivity, self branding and the performance of authenticity. Like Wiseman (At Berkeley), Simon does not take an overt, didactic stance. And that makes Le Concours remarkable both as an artwork and as an ethnographic record.
I found the conversations and opinions very interesting, and if I could take part in them it would be a different story... The doc itself was very boring. I feel like the director gave me nothing - apart from a feeling of entrapment and exclusion. If she meant to make us feel like these kids do, she rather made me feel like we should put a privileged few on a pedestal, and just watch them while they guide us.
And some dared to compare this to Wiseman ? Welcome to Nothingness, where about everything here will remind you of a bad TV show like "The Voice". And above all, forgetting the fact that the editing is quite mediocre, the big question remains : what is the point ? What is Claire Simon trying to do or to show ? Is it just terrible advertising for the Femis ? Does she have herself any idea ? I felt sad watching this.
Le Concours is an engaging watch for a filmmaker but it's hard to imagine that it would be all that interesting for anyone not interested in cinema. It's purely observational save for a scene right near the end and there is not really a chance to get to know any characters in depth. We do get a glimpse into the political demands of the modern education system in France but this could have dug deeper. 3 stars