Friday, July 5, 2013

Film&Fashion Fridays : Jean Eustache's Mes petites amoureuses


Some of you might have heard of Jean Eustache before : the critic turned director who, during his short-lived career, has created one of the most mesmerizing movies about love and the disillusion past the May '68 dream.  La maman et la putain   captures the confusion, depression and utter tragedy of a generation that believed in a revolution and is still alive to deal with the aftermath. Unlike Philippe Garrel's opiate approach, Jean Eustache chose to show the grim darkness infused into the new everyday life.

While La maman et la putain might be considered Jean Eustache's cinema legacy, this troubling coming-of-age summer ballad is an equally moving classic.

Beautifully shot on 16mm by Nestor Almendros ( A Nouvelle Vague darling, of Days of Heaven fame), the film has the lush look of the French summer vacation captured by the likes of Pialat and Rohmer, but the story is anything but romantic.

Based on the filmmaker's childhood, the film depicts the story of a young boy who is forced to leave his happy countryside life at his grandmother's in order to live in a small town with his mum and her lover.

And if that wasn't sad enough, he's also being forced to quit school and start working for a living.

The film is both endearing and disturbing, with enough off beat humor and dreamy sequences. My favorite part must be the scenes from his grandma's village and the kids hanging out in the woods, even trying to do magic!

It's really one of those ''you have to see it to believe it'' movies; I had the privilege of seeing a print of it at the Cinematheque last year and I have to admit it was a treat.

And, of course, the fashion! Martin Loeb must be the most dapper 14 year old on screen ever! I want all of his plaid and oxford shirts, those fantastic high waisted flared jeans and that iconic bad boy corduroy jacket.

There's more '70s greatness with a lot of cute dresses, mini skirts and the most perfect sandals on the girls' part, but for me the guys are totally stealing the catwalk in this one. This is why I named those jeans after this movie.

It's really a little French gem, so if you're in the mood for a Rohmer summer movie with Robert Bresson vibes or simply a good teen flick (what a flimsy term for this masterpiece!) , Mes petites amoureuses is perfect. I promise.

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