Saturday, February 4, 2017

paris 05:59: théo & hugo

Numbers run Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's film Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo, whether they are detailing statistics, time, phone digits, or pill counts. A winsome boy meets boy in empty streets wee hours of the morning drama, the film takes its sweet time in the opening: a gay club orgy--male bodies bathed in blue and red light--set to grindy electropop. In fact, the first stitches of dialogue occur well into 15 minutes of the movie. It's a daring opening, but also slightly bland and vapid-feeling, perhaps making the rest of the late late night (belonging, as one character says, to "women and fags") slightly more resonant, though there's a flatness to the discussions and chemistry between the two leads (Geoffrey Couët and François Nambot) dressed in their simple costuming--jean jacket, jeans, a Puma zip-up. Even a bombshell revelation feels muted in the sterile quietness of an emergency room. 

The lights in the city of lights is less romantic sweep, more dingy and intimate: smeary blurs of headlights, bike lights and the glow of vending machines and lit-up street ads. There are few run-ins with different people: a Syrian owner of a foodshop, a chambermaid on the first AM metro. They deliver brief, sad life sketches with smiles on their faces, to which our couple absorbs quietly without judgement. There's something lacking over-all in retrospect but it does leave you with a buzzy, hopeful conclusion. **1/2

-Jeffery Berg

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