Olivier AssayasFrance122 minutes2012ColourFrench
View Something in the Air during the Something in the Air preceded by Quartier des enfants rouge event.
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Assayas' most explicitly (semi-)autobiographical film, Something in the Air is set in the Parisian suburbs in the early 1970s, where young idealists and activists — including Assayas' stand-in, aspiring artist Gilles (Clément Métayer) — drift into and out of the various left-wing groups that seek to continue the struggle of May '68. (The film's French title, which translates as After May, echoes that of Assayas' memoir A Post-May Adolescence.) Torn between two women — the ethereal Laure (Carole Combes) and the politically committed Christine (Lola Créton) — as well as between the spectre of revolution and the siren song of art, Gilles attempts to find his own voice amidst a landscape of heedless, hard-partying bourgeois, humourlessly hard-line ideologues, and the stodgily conservative old guard which the winds of May failed to blow away. Crossing Cold Water with Carlos, Assayas brings a sympathetic yet unfailingly lucid eye to a complicated historical moment that is often overlooked in favour of the explosive events of the late '60s. "Made with the bittersweet clarity of hindsight and the assurance of a director in peak form" (Justin Chang, Variety).