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Something in the Air

(Après mai)

Watch online in the Filmhouse Player

Olivier Assayas
Country of origin and year
France 2012
122 minutes
Rated 15 - Contains strong sex, nudity and drug use
Cast: Clément Métayer, Lola Créton, Felix Armand, Carole Combes, India Menuez.

French, English and Italian with English subtitles

Celebrated French filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos) returns with this lovely, loosely autobiographical tale about a young aspiring artist caught up in a whirlwind of politics, art and sex in the fervid French youth scene of the early 1970s.

It’s 1971, three years after France nearly fell apart during the electrifying events of May 1968, and students in suburban Paris are still carrying on the struggle against both a reactionary government and a complacent society. By night, 17-year-old Gilles spray-paints slogans on the walls of his school; by day, he struggles to reconcile his political commitments with his love of painting and drawing. After getting dumped by an alluring and unreachable vamp, Gilles gradually falls into the arms of committed fellow traveller Christine (Lola Créton, of last year’s Goodbye First Love). When things heat up at their school, Gilles, Christine and their friends decide to leave Paris for the summer, living the bohemian life in sun-drenched Italian villas, drifting through parties and revolutionary cell meetings. As he did in Carlos, Assayas meticulously recreates the clothes, gestures, music and attitudes of the 1970s. Yet the greatest accomplishment of Something in the Air is how it so brilliantly and subtly captures the various stages of Gilles’ political and personal education.

Smart, sensitive and sophisticated, this is a gorgeous yet clear-eyed love letter to youth and its invaluable potential.


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