Even if the movie “Apres Mai” is starting in spring 2013 in germany – it was shown at the french film week yesterday in berlin – I would like to say already now a few words about this movie, though it is in my mind right now.
Trailer: “apres mai” (“something in the air” is the stupid English and German title)
Well, the direcector Olivier Assayas´last film about the rise and fall of top terrorist “carlos” was a 5 hours masterpiece. This one, I don´know is somehow more difficult. It´s starts quite wild with some violent school demonstrations and street fighting scenes with the police and we get to know the main actors, Gilles and Christine, both around 20, studying arts. In one night a security man is seriously injured and the political group has to leave Paris for a while, going to italy and the film continues with a collaboration of the young lovers with some leftwing italian filmmakers. Christine stays in italy with a filmmaker and appears again right in the end of the movie.
The scenes and debates about revolution and the political left wing fights after may 68″ seems to be empty and full of klischees. It´s sometimes like a parody of left wing ideals: MAO, Vietnam, fight agains a fascist police, a painter as a symbol of the ultimate freedom, VW Beetle Bus. Later: GOA, India, Budhism, Drugs, esoteric phrases. This is way too much.
There is no debate, that goes really into the debth – even when discussing the “violence question” or when Gilles things about helping his father with writing, when he is more and more getting ill. Just some superficial but funny debate about G.Simenon´s Maigret figure. (Maigret always summerises, when Simenon lost actually track of his own story, says Gilles)
Same happends when Gilles is getting aware, that he has actually lost his lover Chistine, like he lost his real love Lore long before. He says: I have difficulties living in reality, I am as an artist in my old almost irreal world.
This is it: While Chistine then lives with the italians finding her place, not being really content but at least feeling somehow needed, Gilles in the end is working in London for a stupid film project, although it is never clear, why this is moving him more than his painting. The film shows life, but gives no reasons for their behavoiur.
In the film “un amour de jeunesse” (see here earlier with Lola Créton as main actress as well – here again wonderfull as well as Clément Métayer as Gilles) – this is so different and we can feel almost the intimacy and the love between the actors. In “Apes mai” we think of revolution as a hollow phrase, we see images without real content, we are not feeling any love.
But: maybe this is exactly the scenery that the director wanted to show. The rebels without a cause, after mai 68″ repeating rebel iconography, without having unmterstood, what they mean and what are exactly fighting for. If this is the intention, maybe it is understandable, why the film meanders withouz real dramatic ending to an open end, somehow getting lost like Gilles does.
Bur even if this discussion was intended, “The Dreamers” by Bertolucci or the epic “regular lovers” by Philippe Garrel is to my personal view much more consequent, enlightening the question, what happened in 68 and in the aftermath.
But still, it´s woth seeing it, maybe just because of its almost situationistic aimlessness and “anti-cyclic dramatic” and surely beacause of its great lovely young actors.