Les Amants reguliers

Director: Philippe Garrel

France. 2005. 175mins

Among French film-makers, no-one is quite as closely associated with late 60s counter-cultural revolt as Philippe Garrel, and in this autobiographical film, he returns to his spiritual home: the year 1968. The director’s son Louis Garrel plays François, one of a crowd of intense jeunesse doree who are involved in the fervour of May 68, then live through its anti-climactic aftermath. Following the abortive revolution, everyday reality hits the friends with a crash: François is hauled up for avoiding national service (his defence lawyer pleads that the army would impede his blossoming as a poet), and falls in love with sculptor Lilie (Hesme), while their well-heeled friend Antoine hands round the opium pipe. Shot in stark black and white by William Lubtchansky, this vivid evocation of a misunderstood golden age, of its ideologies and myths, combines bitter nostalgia and the cold breath of socio-political reality.

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