Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
ND/NF ’13: Les Coquillettes
is like the women’s version of Entourage
for the art-house set, except it is way more neurotic and uncomfortable. A director will hit the festival party
circuit hard with her man-hungry friends, in hopes of scoring with the leading
lights of French cinema and occasionally even watching a movie. The resulting in-jokiness does not travel much
better than the high maintenance characters of Sophie Letourneur’s Les Coquillettes (trailer here), which screens
during this year’s New Directors/New Films, co-presented by MoMA and the Film
Society of Lincoln Center.
(no last names for the lead actresses’ namesakes) has a film at Locarno, but
even she hardly seems interested. Instead,
hooking up with Louis Garrel (who barely seems to know of her existence) is her
primary concern. Likewise, Camille is
preoccupied with the metrosexual Martin, whereas Carole is out to bag any man
with a pulse (but preferably a certain uncharacteristically aloof Italian
actor). To console themselves, they
periodically indulge in a spot of macaroni and cheese (the titular comfort
food). Much alcohol is also consumed and
ugly scenes are held without advancing the story much beyond that.
credit as good sports, Garrel and the director of Locarno briefly (particularly
in the case of the former) appear as themselves, interacting (or not) with Sophie
and her entourage. Despite one awkward
moment after another, the same people keep getting hammered with them,
repeating the nightly cycle of embarrassment.
This might be true to life, but it is all quite maddening in Coquillettes.
the ensemble, Carole Le Page easily comes off the best, turning some pleasant
scenes of Dolce Vita style
sexuality. Not that it matters, but
Letourneur and cinematographer Antoine Parouty clearly were not playing to
anyone’s vanity, apparently setting out to cast the cast (herself included) in
as unflattering as light as possible.
Perhaps there are wickedly funny subtleties in Coquillettes lost on those who are not
Locarno regulars. It does not ring true
for Sundance, though. Sure, there are
parties on top of parties in Park City, but everyone talks about the films,
almost exclusively, rather than Sex in
the City nothingness. Still, it has
the virtue of being relatively short, clocking in just shy of seventy-five
minutes. Except for viewers jonesing for
a French mumblecorish chick flick, Les
Cooquillettes can be safely skipped when it screens this coming Monday
(3/25) at the Walter Reade and Tuesday (3/26) at MoMA. For something completely different,
adventurous viewers might consider checking out the existential absurdity of
Emil Christov’s The Color of the Chameleon when it screens tomorrow (3/21) on FSLC’s turf and Saturday
(3/23) cross town.
Labels: French Cinema, ND/NF '13