THE MOST SCANDALOUS FILM TO HIT LATIN AMERICA NOW IN ITS 5th SMASHING WEEK IN COSTA RICA!!!!
LA PELICULA MAS CONTROVERSIAL DE LATINO AMERICA!!!
NOW PLAYING AT OUTLET MALL THEATRE - COSTA RICA
A group of young men and women are admitted to one of France's "grandes écoles" where the administrative and political leaders of tomorrow are trained. They are the country1s best students and will be the nation's elite if all goes as planned. But life is always more imaginative than they are. Grandes Ecoles, yes, grand romance, too, sometimes difficult. The confusion of heart and mind and the flesh will break down their convictions. They have to face themselves, realize their potential and understand that this education isn't quite what they were expecting.
director: Robert Salis
Trama: Un grupo de jóvenes entra en una de las « Grandes Escuelas » que forman a los futuros dirigentes y abren las puertas del poder. Son la crema y nata del estudiantado y, si se cumplen las previsiones, se convertirán en la élite del mañana. Pero, a menudo, la vida nos gana en imaginación. Porque a Grandes Escuelas, Grandes Amores, difíciles de vivir, por cierto. Con la confusión del ego y del juego, de los sentimientos, del espíritu y de la carne, se tambalean los principios y los jóvenes tendrán que contar consigo mismos, ser lo que son y darse cuenta de que la Gran Escuela quizás no sea la que lleva el nombre.
GRANDE ECOLE BANNED IN PANAMA - click to read all about it below (in spanish)
BANNED IN PANAMA - READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!
AFTER CONTROVERSY GRAN ECOLE SWEEPS!!! - 5 WEEKS AT THE BOX OFFICE IN PANAMA - click below to read
about it (in spanish) - GRANDE ECOLE EN PANAMA
Adapted from :
Desire and the Spectrum of Human Attraction
|Reviewer:||Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Grande école seems to be one of those films that viewers either love passionately or dismiss as a mess. Robert Salis ('À la recherche du paradis perdu') has not only adapted the play by Jean-Marie Besset for the screen, he is also the thoughtful, intelligent, and challenging director of this little masterwork. Though there is much to please the casual eye (the cast is a collection of truly beautiful people!) with sensual scenes as brave as any yet filmed, the real beauty of Grande école is the multilayered story, a story which explores the dichotomies of class, race, gender, philosophy, economic status, and history and social issues - just the sort of milieu expected from a 'big school' environment.
A spectacular opening sequence reveals a castle-like private college in Paris complete with extended pyrotechnic displays of aerial fireworks, a fine metaphor for the personal explosions that will accompany the students in the school year in this college of the prosperous and one heavily weighted toward capitalistic ideals of perpetuating wealth. Paul (Gregori Baquet) is at the onset an oddity: he is he son of a Marseilles contractor, a man who has created a home life of racism and classism, a father who haughtily sends his son to the elite school to learn marketing and management despite the fact that Paul is more inclined toward the artistic aspects of learning. Paul has a girlfriend Agnès (the stunningly beautiful Alice Taglioni) who is a liberal supporter of human rights and while she attends the neighboring liberal arts college, she cannot understand why Paul can't share a flat with her. Paul prefers to live in the dorm and his roommates are the passive Chouquet (Arthur Jugnot) and the pinnacle of materialism Louis-Arnault (Jocelyn Quivrin), who not only is focused on his studies but also on his college water polo team and his girlfriend Emeline (Elodie Navarre).
Paul and Louis-Arnault bond and though Paul has a strongly vivid sexual relationship with Agnès, he finds himself attracted to Louis-Arnault. In a post-game shower room scene Paul sits on the bench viewing the team playfully soaping each other and his sense of sexual awakening is palpable. Paul steals Louis-Arnoult's boxers, lies on his bed and we are aware that he desires Louis-Arnault. During this opening of the school year the three roommates stroll the campus and encounter an argument among the workers: Mécir (Salim Kechiouche), a young handsome Arab from the working class, is being berated and Paul jumps to his defense. The two make eye contact and a chemistry is created. Though neither of the two considers himself homosexual (and there is a beautiful scene that describes that desire is desire whether hetero or homo sexual) but gradually they drift into an erotic world of sexual discovery (in some of the most artistically sensual filming ever created!).
Agnès senses Paul's sexual changes and convinced that his longings are for Louis-Arnault, she poses a wager on which one will have the desirable Louis-Arnault first. Changes and conflicts occur right and left (mise-en-scenes lifted directly from the play) and the bonding of each of the characters is dramatically altered - Paul, Agnès, Louis-Arnault, Emeline, and especially Mécir, who is the only character in the film who seems in touch with his inner person. It is about the social and sexual and class games people play and how these irrational subdivisions of our culture can lead to sad ends.
The cast is not only physically beautiful (and there is sufficient full frontal nudity to gain access to the complete actors!) but they respond to Robert Salis' direction with fine ensemble acting. The interweaving of dream sequences and illusions that accompany the utterly grounded factual storyline enhance the film immeasurably. Emmanuel Soyer is responsible for the gorgeous cinematography and Éric Neveux for the original musical score, a score beautifully complemented by excerpts of the music of Bach, Brahms, Bizet, Donizetti, Puccini and Shostakovich.
As an important and fascinating addition to the CD Director Salis presents an excellent 'making of' segment including deleted scenes (and why they were deleted), running commentary from all of the actors, and a discussion of Foucault's philosophy and the nebulous understanding of 'desire' - a facet of being an alive being. Highly recommended for those who long for challenging films of substance, films that imprint on the psyche for meditation long after the film is finished.
Grady Harp -AMAZON.COM