Monday, April 30, 2018

Delicate, Micro Melodrama

L'Amant d'un jour/Lover for a Day (2017) - Garrel
Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 9.21.27 PM
The film starts with Jeanne (Esther Garrel) in emotional and physical shambles. She just left her live-in boyfriend. She can't believe it is over. With a luggage bag in tow, she rings at the door of her professor father (Éric Caravaca), Gilles. Somewhat awkwardly, she is introduced to his girlfriend Adriane (Louise Chevillotte) who is about the same age as she. As Jeanne slogs through post-breakup phase, the two girls bonds over their love for Gilles (one romantic the other as a daughter). Unlike Jeanne, who is going through experiencing the first big love of her life and its aftermath, Adriane seems to be in control of the situations at first - unlike Jeanne who was pursued by her beau and finally relented then fell hard, Adriane was the aggressive one on Gilles who finally gave in. Even though their relationship in campus is hush-hush.

Adriane also turns out to be a big flirt. But Gilles tells his daughter that their relationship won't be affected by one's infidelity and that they will stay together even though they might cheat on each other. But in reality, it doesn't turn out the way we tell each other, even though one thinks oneself as wiser, mature one.

As usual, shot on B & W 16mm without any bells and whistles, Garrel continues his own delicate, micro melodrama of man-woman in varying degrees and it's lovely. You gotta give him credit for his consistency. At 70, without wordy dialog or help of cigarette and alcohol in portraying young love and heartache, he gets it right emotionally. He makes Hong Sangsoo's films feel like Avengers movie.