Thursday, June 18, 2015


2011, France, directed by Céline Sciamma

This one had me from the opening shot, beautiful on both the visual and the emotional levels. Céline Sciamma got a good deal of attention this year with the US release of Bande de filles, and I hoped to see her back catalog from the beginning but couldn't find her début, La Naissance des pieuvres. This film focuses on a youngster dealing with gender identity issues, and Sciamma's method of treating the subject matter, focusing almost entirely on the child and with very little dialogue, is exceptionally effective and often strikingly funny/emotionally rich. 

I was also fascinated by her depiction of the relationship between the film's siblings, perhaps because I'm so affected by the growing evidence of a complicity between my children. Although the children have a good deal of latitude in this tale of summer, parents are nonetheless present and often very warm and involved, but this isn't a story from their perspective -- and nor is it, strictly speaking, a coming of age film with a neat developmental arc but rather an ongoing puzzling through, a snapshot in a longer process of self-discovery. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States