L’Économie du Couple
The situation is difficult: A couple is breaking up and now they are forced to live together for some time. Both are good looking and there is a certain level of anger and frustration in both of them. The husband seems to be willing to reconcile but there is an emotional and mental block coming from the wife and sadly, this is not further analysed. Perhaps there is nothing else. She just fell out of love, that’s it. Why is it then that this break up is so difficult? She makes it much harder than necessary and it gets a bit annoying at times but when I thought about it, I suppose there is a great deal of disappointment that leads you to assert yourself more than you usually would. There is anger, sadness, disappointment, a lot of resentment. It’s a shame we only get to see the current issues but not too many clues as to what lead to this break up. I think it would have helped this story and give it additional depth. Unfortunately, it is a string of little events under the scope of the frustrations of an unfulfilled break up.
L’Économie du Couple, Joachim Lafosse, 2016
A new teacher is supposed to teach a bunch of unruly kids from the marginalised Parisian suburbs how to play the violin. Problems lie ahead of course. It is a story like a Disney fairytale. One kid in particular, who is excluded from the lessons, is mesmerised by this instrument. He gets into trouble trying it out and eventually is accepted into class. Naturally, this outsider is the best player and ends up teaching the other kids. Other social issues play a big role. The school is underfunded and run down, they lose their classroom, but motivated parents step in to help out. The power of community is a beautiful and always a touching thing. What lies at the centre is the sound of the instrument, hence “La Mélodie”. It is this weeping sound that comes out of this sophisticated and difficult instrument, that touches even the grumpiest heart. It changes peoples lives and their minds. La morale? Music brings people together. Even though it is a cheesy story, it is a beautiful one and much needed in times like these.
La Mélodie, Rachid Hami, 2017
I have to admit I don’t know Klapisch’ oeuvre but I was intrigued to watch a movie that claims to give us a genuine version of Paris. And no cliché was left out. We have wine in the park, drinks in a bistro, ménages à trois, classic french complaining, demonstrations, historic sites, street views and architecture are on display. One thing I noticed in particular was a living room dance scene. There is a house party, which is very common in french films, classic or contemporary. And in this one, we see a guy who looks as if he’s straight from the 80s in a sleeveless shirt, dancing ecstatically (btw he dances to music that really wouldn’t make anyone dance) This guy looks exactly like the young man in Rohmer’s Full Moon in Paris, as he’s seen dancing at a house party. Coincidence? No way. This film takes a lot of inspiration and influence from the 60s and 70s films of Rohmer, even replicates some situations, such as this dance scene, practically 1:1. It tries to evoke a feeling of experiencing the “true Paris” but it simply fails at replicating Rohmer. Juliette Binoche feels almost wasted on this project. Also, we see some very touristy spots but there are hardly any people there. It is obvious that those roads have been shut for the film but seeing only one man standing on a usually busy bridge to take a photo of Notre Dame is very unrealistic. Real “Paris”? Sadly not.