Benoit Jacquot

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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Benoit Jacquot (France, 1947)

The Musician Killer (1975)

Les Enfants du placard (1977)

Henry James' The Wings of the Dove (1981)

Une villa aux environs de New York (1982)

Corps et biens (1986)

Les Mendiants (1987)

La Desenchantee (1990), A Single Girl (1995) and Seventh Heaven (1997) were psychological studies.

The School of Flesh (1998)

Par Cour (1998)

No Scandal (1999)

Sade (1999), False Servant (2000), Tosca (2001) and Adolphe (2002) were period pieces.

Both the (handheld, black and white) cinematography and the plot of A Toute de Suite/ Right Now (2004) sound like a tribute to the nouvelle vague of the 1970s. It is both a gangster movie and a road movie; but mostly it's the portrait of a young bored teenager trying to escape the boring life of her indifferent parents. Jacquot creates an intriguing atmosphere, although, as often the case with French cinema, he places too much emphasis on sex. However, he doesn't come up with an interesting ending. It's a simple "you grow up and life goes on".

In the year 1975 art student teenager Lili is in bed with her girlfriend. They sneak out unseen by Lili's parents and rush to school. After school they meet friends at a cafe, but when Lili's ex-boyfriend shows up she runs out followed by her girlfriend. They enter another cafe and they are approached by the charming but aggressive Gerard, who offers them a drink and a sandwich. But then his Moroccan friend walks in and Gerard has to rudely leave. However, he tells the girls where to find him, a night club. Back in school, Lili paints the Moroccan man she saw for just a few seconds. After a quick dinner at home with her busy father and her haughty sister who goes to university, during which the father casually mentions that their mother will soon be in town but doesn't plan to see them, Lili and her girlfriend go to the club and meet up with Gerard. Gerard begins the seduction but his Moroccan friend Bada ends it. Lili takes both the Moroccan and her girlfriend to her room. The girl don't waste time and start undressing. He slips in bed with them. No sex takes place at night, but in the morning, as soon as her girlfriend leaves, Lili undresses and makes love to Bada.
It doesn't last long. One evening he calls her from a bank to tell her he's going to die: he robbed a bank, took hostages, killed a bank teller. he knows he won't get out alive. The action is being showed live on television. Against all odds, Bada and his accomplice Alain survive: the police pay ransom for the hostages and gives them a car to escape. Bada calls her and asks if they can hide in her room, she says yes. The following day Alain's girlfriend Joelle brings the car and they take off: Lili decides to follow them. Bada is tormented by the guilt of having killed someone. Gerard has been killed too. They travel outside the country by train to Spain: now they are safe. The two couples follows Bada in Morocco: they can now live like rich people with all the money they have from the robbery/ransom. But one day the newspapers publish the photos of Bada and Alain: the police found out who they are and now they are not safe anymore. Alain repeatedly loses his temper with the girls. Lili is still in love though.
They travel to Greece. The immigration police interrogates Lili, an unlikely tourist since she doesn't know where she wants to go and where she's going to stay; but then suddenly they let her go. When she walks out, Alain gestures that they cannot take her with them (the police may be watching her) and leaves her there on the street, alone. She is devastated to see Bada take off with them and without her.
A Lebanese man, Georges, notices the distraught girl and offers to help her. Not only does he find her a hotel room and buys her food, but he even gives her the phone number of a friend who needs a babysitter, and casually leaves money on the table. She, however, is still acting like a zombie, unable to accept that her dream life has changed so dramatically. She takes the babysitting job and the employer gives her a nice room and buys her clothes; but then it turns out that there is no child to take care of. The middle-aged man takes her to dinner in a touristy place and , for a second, she spots Bada in the crowd. At night the man clearly tries to sleep with her and she has to barricade herself. The following morning she runs away. Another stranger, a woman, see her wandering alone in the streets and offers to help her. This woman finds her a job in the same boutique where she works, and invites her to stay at her place. It turns out she's a lesbian and soon they are making love. One night the woman picks up a young man in a nightclub and brings him home to engage in a wild menage a trois. The following day she calls her father to come and pick her up. Her parents fly immediately to Greece and take her home.
Then she narrates in voiceover what happened next: Bada, still at large, was sentenced to death in absentia, she was sentenced to a short prison term for helping him hide, she tried to commit suicide, she moved in with her sister.
The film restarts in France. She visits Laurence, the owner of the first place where she hid with Bada and the gang, She tells her where to find Bada's parents, two hard-working honest immigrants, who treat her like a daughter. One day she's riding in the car with her sister when she hears the news on the radio that Bada died in a car accident.
She recovers and she gets a job in a tourist resort on a distant island.

L'Intouchable (2006)

Villa Amalia (2009)

Au Fond des Bois/ Deep in the Woods (2010)

Andre Gide's Les Faux-monnayeurs (2010)

Farewell My Queen (2012)

Suzanna Andler (2021) is an mediocre adaptation of a Marguerite Duras play.

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )