Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Golden Days (2015) New York Film Festival 2015

Arnaud Desplechin's MY GOLDEN DAYS was a big winner at this years Cannes Film Festival. The film is a quasi-semi-kind of sequel cum prequel to his earlier  MY SEX LIFE ...OR HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT. I say semi, ect because at the New York Film Festival press conference Desplechin said that he told the young stars of this film not to watch the earlier film since he wanted the film to stand on it's own.

The film has the adult Paul D├ędalus (played by Mathieu Amalric reprising his role from the earlier film) remembering some early episodes from his youth, his crazy mother, the loss of his passport in Russia and his years long romance with a girl named Esther. We watch how the couple meets when Paul comes home from college for a weekend and follow it through to it's end.

For me the film the episodic nature of the film doesn't hang together. At the press conference Desplechin said that the film is a kind of Russian song with Russia, its culture and republic winding through it. I don't think that really works, nor do I think that any of the other thematic or plot threads do either. Yes each piece works on its own, but they don't hang together.

I'm also not to sure that the film's depiction of teens in the late 80's and early 90's really is true. I'm not that much older than the characters in the film and had a lot of friends about the kids age at the time. Maybe it's a French thing but for me and my friends life didn't involve sitting around chain smoking. I think the fact that during the press conference there was a friendly argument between the head of the film society Kent Jones and Desplechin got into a friendly argument about what the music in the film was called indicates that despite press pronouncements the director doesn't really have a things down as perfectly as many seem to feel (For the record Jones was dead right it was New Wave).

This is not a bad film. Its just I don't see the wonder many people see in the film. Worth a look, but nothing you need rush out to see...

There is one more screening at the New York Festival today at noon. For tickets and more information go here.  It will also be released by Magnolia soon

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