Alain Guiraudie or the crazy sarabande of living together


For thirty years Alain Guiraudie has occupied a special place in French cinema, plays with a wacky audacity, longs for dead utopias, vibrates with a dark lucidity, nevertheless continues to seek other paths. His cinema resembles him – he who claims his status as a homosexual communist from Auvergne (in other words an extraterrestrial) – and takes us elsewhere. An aesthetic of otherness torments him. Western Occitan in the Causses (Sun for the beggars2001) or Freudian thriller on a gay beach (The unknown lake, 2013), nothing stops him. The proof, at 57, he signs his craziest film, rejected by all the festival authorities because no doubt he speaks to us only too well of the world that is ours, as it molds in received ideas, such as that it entrenches itself in sealed groups, such as it derails dragging us, inexorably, in its fall.

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On the other hand, the veteran of Villefranche-de-Rouergue (Aveyron) signs a stunning, implosive, disturbing film, as we would like to see a little more often from directors who make him half his age. And which opens like this, on the shot of an uncertain jogger, plucked in his forties in black and yellow running gear (Jean-Charles Clichet), who timidly accosts an elderly prostitute on the heights of Clermont-Ferrand – buxom brunette with red lips, fuchsia variegated fake fur jacket (Noémie Lvovsky) – to offer her a coffee. He would like, in fact, to flirt with her and for it to be free. The flower on the pavement is surprised. He explains it. He is “against prostitution”he “don’t think it’s cool to buy someone else’s body”. And then : “I like you too much. » She is fed up. He promises to do things to her that “the other customers don’t do it to him”. She rushes into a car, he just has time to slip her his mobile number.

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Here is an exposition scene – of the story as well as of the characters – which speaks volumes and which is worth a program. At first glance, to speak the truth, it’s a neon nerd named Médéric, a sort of late virgin, who, struck by a sudden illumination, approaches a prostitute at the end of his career to tell her that he feels passionately attracted to she. Either a cliché, which the film does not take long to return like a jacket. A few moments later, against all odds, the beauty calls him, turns into Isadora and arranges to meet him the same evening, at the aptly named Hôtel de France.

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