Arnaud Desplechin’s freewheeling, breathlessly inventive international breakthrough stars Mathieu Amalric (radiating impish charm in a César Award–winning performance) as a navel-gazing academic who bounces between lovers as he struggles to break things off with his long-term girlfriend (a luminous Emmanuelle Devos). Pushing the Gallic sex farce to dizzying (and disarmingly moving) new heights, Desplechin’s sophisticated take on the genre encompasses a grab bag of New Wave–inspired stylistic tricks, a soundtrack that runs the gamut from hip-hop to Ravel, and an unforgettable, subtly surreal sequence involving a monkey and a radiator. The result is “a delayed coming-of-age masterpiece and one of the great French post–New Wave films” (Amy Taubin, Artforum). An NYFF34 selection. Digital restoration courtesy of Why Not Productions.
A VHS Eskil picked up randomly from some sales bin became one of our cult movies. It’s a film about people whose lives we could both admire, laugh at and at the same time identify with: intellectual and neurotic Parisians with failed love lives and strong and complex friendships… We owe so much to this film formally. It’s Truffaut, Bergman, Resnais, Allen and more, but all mixed in a unique and personal style with a contemporary feel that we felt spoke directly to us. The approach to narration – how it layers time, dreams, changes of perspective – is endlessly ambitious… and yet it feels so fluid and effortless. —Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt