Friday, April 11, 2008

L'Âge des Ténèbres (The Age of Darkness aka The Age of Ignorance)

This is the last film by Denys Arcand from a trilogy that started with Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain (1986) and followed by Les Invasion Barbares (2003) with all movies exploring the state of the current society and consequently humankind.

The film is a dark satire with some moments that are truly hilarious (the Middle Age moments) and tells about Jean-Marc Leblanc (Marc Labrèche) that has the most monotonous, insipid, sexless and lonely life you can imagine with a workaholic wife, two kids that care more about their machines (ipods, computers), a senseless work and a long everyday commuting to work. To ease his tedious routine and conserve his sanity, he recurs to his imagination and dreams about being his total opposite and a ladies man with special dreams about Véronica Star (Diane Kruger) and Karine Tendance (Emma de Caunes).

The movie is totally crazy and very entertaining if you like very dark satires French style; I find that this movie is a little different to the previous two, as has a style that really gives you an angst feeling and the hilarious moments are most welcomed to ride this movie.

Thespians performances are good with Marc Labrèche quite good handling the complete movie, as I believe that he’s in every single scene; cinematography is outstanding (even the indoor scenes at the stadium) and you’ll be able to see great views of Quebec in autumn with those beautiful colors of maple trees.

The music in this movie is marvelous done and interpreted by Rufus Wainwright who also plays the role of le jeune prince/le prince chantant, the opening credits of this movie with him singing is one of the best moments in this movie.

The movie was premiered out of competition at the closing ceremony in the 2007 Cannes and has many nominations in Canadian and international Awards. This is not an easy to watch movie, as almost all dialogue is one-after-another sharp dark commentary about the state of society and for those that understand French here is Arcand view about his films including this one.

“Ce n'est pas que j'ai rien à dire sur la société, mais je raconte une histoire. Cette histoire a des côtés symboliques, certes, mais ce n'est pas un film à message. Je serais incapable de faire une tragédie d'un bout à l'autre, et je serais incapable de faire juste une comédie. Mes films oscillent toujours entre le comique, le grotesque, le tragique, le mélo... C'est pour ça que je fais des films et que je ne suis pas un militant politique, parce que j'ai tendance à voir des avantages à la position adverse."

Obviously not for all audiences, you have to enjoy Arcand peculiar style and definitively is a must be seen if you saw the two previous installments in this trilogy.


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