5 August 2006 | tbyrne4
Life in an empty world
Excellent, slow-paced, but rewarding film about a dead-end 20-year old and his extremely boring life in a small French town. Freddy is a young layabout who hangs around with his friends, rides his motorbike, and has rough sex with his girlfriend Marie.
This is probably the most interesting film I've ever seen about boredom. It has much in common with some of the films of Bresson, presenting an environment of extreme emptiness, all the while finding its own rhythm and feel.
Action-wise, this is up there with "The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick" (in other words, VERY little happens) and the director takes a few stabs at showing things in a non-judgmental/anthropological light (a la Shohei Immamura) with hardcore, clinical sex scenes and the gang's sometimes amoral attitudes, but in the end that isn't the direction the film heads in (thankfully).
This is an original and unusual vision in service of a story told with great strength and care. Dumont clearly knows what he is doing and he isn't copying anybody else.
The film shows the youngster's world as something of a void, but one not totally devoid of beauty. There are several transcendentally gorgeous moments of pure poetry in this film that really need to be experienced. Just look at the scene where young Kadder is hugged by Marie and he looks up at the sky. What a beautiful moment!! Definitely worth seeing, highly recommended. Although if you're an ADD-afflicted sort who can only stomach films that move like bullet trains, go look at something else.