10 November 2021

Robert Guédiguian's Rouge midi (1984)

Guédiguian wished he'd made this film first rather than Dernier Été for its more autobiographical element, although I can't see that it matters. But I had to watch this film twice to get the hang of what was happening, although that's partly my fault as I've always had problems with relatives and different generations. All the same, Guédiguian has a casual, no, nonchalant approach to realism, which is one respect where he differs from being a Ken Loach from the south of France: he's not too fussed about people not looking about forty years older than they're supposed to be, and as for grandfathers re-appearing as their grandsons, well who cares? Frankly, not me when I get the idea of what's going on.

This is said to be the story of three generations, and I suppose it is if you discount the present one. So the great-grandfather arrives from Italy in L'Éstaque with his family, but watch out for generational advances. The daughter Maggiorina (Ariane Ascaride) is quickly wooed by Jérôme (Gérard Meylan), who may have the odd dalliance but remains with his wife. Their son Pierre (Pierre Pradinas) will marry Céline (Frédérique Bonnal), and a scene before that will show them in a post-coital position in the countryside, Pierre foregrounded with his leg raised to conceal both his and his girlfriend's genitals.

Pierre and Céline's son Sauveur (Adbel Ali Sid) grows up and is forced to tell his aged grandmother Maggiorina (with a wrinkle-free neck) that her husband Jérôme has died, and Sauveur (now in the unlikely shape of Meylan) looks back on it all and leaves Marseilles at St Charles on the SNCF for, say, Paris? I loved the film, but did I get it all right?

No comments: