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68. A Paris Education: (Mes provinciales); movie review

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Title : 68. A Paris Education: (Mes provinciales); movie review
link : 68. A Paris Education: (Mes provinciales); movie review

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Cert 12A
137 mins
BBFC advice: Contains moderate sex, infrequent strong language

Gosh, this takes me back. Days of sitting around, earnestly talking politics without any experience to back up our life theories.
Actually, most of my early-days student chin-rubbing was done in Germany when Baade-Meinhof had recently been doing their worst, Nazis were still alive and the Berlin Wall was still erect.
I was an English student on my year abroad and there was much to discuss between beer and bratwurst.
These memories were sparked by Jean-Paul Civeyrac's A Paris Education which proves that film students waste even more time than we did, thinking that they know more about life than those who have lived it.
Its focus is Eteinne, played by Andranic Manet who, in real life, studied at the famous  La Fémis film school.
So, one could imagine that it wasn't too much of a leap for the 23-year-old to play a young man trying to find his way among like-minded artists.
Civeyrac's film also reminded me of the number of intense boy-girl relationships which foundered while one or both were away from home for the first time.
For Etienne, Lucie (Diane Rouxel) is the love from whom he departs on his journey of self-discovery.
Either that, or he just likes bedding pretty girls and when out of sight, Lucie is out of mind!
Anyway, to the backdrop of the intoxicating music of Bach and Mahler, he signs up to study film-making at the Sorbonne and meets those who share his passion for cinema or for other more basic activities.
Gonzague Van Bervesseles and Corentin Fila plays his best college friends - the former a popular student whose loyalty deserves better from Etienne who is obsessed with the forthright opinions of the latter.
Meanwhile,  Jenna Thiam is the room-mate who falls for him and Sophie Verbeeck is the typical Paris-inspired political activist.
They talk a lot, drink a lot, have sex a lot (although there is a surprising lack of nudity in a French film) and they do next to no work.
It took me straight back to my own year studying in Germany (except the sex bit).
The vibrancy of the debates and the conviction that each of them is right is straight out of the student handbook or at least Civeyrac's memory of his time as a film student.
All the characters are pretty and the movie is shot in monochrome to evoke the French New Wave.
However, while I was taken with aspects of it, I became as frustrated as a 57-year-old gets with young people who, despite their talents, waste energy on fripperies.
If I had known then what I know now, we would have squeezed every ounce out of life in my late teens and early 20s. Instead, just like those represented in A Paris Education, we mooched around, spending too much time on discussing things which didn't matter.
This is a very accurate reflection of student life but is, consequently, a bit dull in parts.

Reasons to watch: A feats for young cinefiles
Reasons to avoid: A tad laboured

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 6/10

Did you know? One of the top Paris film schools, La Fémis is on the site of the old Pathé studios where the Lumiere brothers are said to have invented filmmaking in 1894.

The final word. Jean-Paul Civeyrac: "I wanted to talk about cinema, friendship, love and also politics and to make a movie with the urgency of a first feature, even though it could not have become what it is, of course, without the experience of my previous movies."

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