Saturday, August 4, 2012

Genre Twist

La France (2007) - Bozon
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The setting is WWI France. Camille (always adorable Silvie Testud), a young wife of a soldler, receives a letter from her husband informing her that he never wants to see her again. Very much in love and determined to find him, she sets out to the frontline disguised as a young man. Soon she tags along with a band of soldiers. The lieutenant (Pascal Greggory) is at first, very suspicious of the whiskerless young lad who might be a war spy. Soon it is revealed that the brut soldiers are nothing but brutish: they break out into 60s sounding pop songs with improvised instruments (all songs start out with "I, a blind girl...") and talk incessantly about mythical land, Atlantis, to keep their spirits up.

La France is a delicious genre deviation. It's a deadpan war time comedy. Editing and photography are very cleverly done, but not in a showy way. Shot by Céline Bozon, director Serge's sister, the film boasts some very striking nighttime images. They obviously understand less is better. Guillaume Depardieu shows up late in the game too. A great find.