Something in the Air

Après mai

Olivier AssayasFrance122 minutes201214AColourFrench

View Something in the Air during the Something in the Air preceded by Quartier des enfants rouge event.


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).

FrenchComing of AgePoliticsHistoryNext Wave