Brittany Runs a Marathon
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Wonderfully Shot. A Movie That Takes A Very Intimate Moment and Reveals The Tremendous Weight Carried By The Many People Searching For A Connection.
Very dark and sexually graphic movie
French piece of queer cinema that's not as original as it seems to think it is, but there's a lot to savor in its real-time narrative and humanistic touch.
The European Cinema is constantly progressing! It's more anthropocentric, focuses on characters and their stories. It's a breath of fresh air in the film industry with the big block busters were everything is just entertainment and no art at all. This movie was beautiful and very sweet, and very raw and honest, It was a movie about people and their stories and about love at first sight. It was beautiful. French cinema is good at this, and this time it outdid itself.
The film "Paris 05:59: Theo and Hugo" is three stories in one all melding together to tell a love story at its beginning, a coming out story as the leads get to know each other and how the French-seemingly more advanced than the USA-deal with and handle HIV and AIDES. Unfortunately it won't be a crossover film as, probably, only non-gay people and those in the closet, who are still curious about male with male sex, will go see it as Theo and Hugo meet each other at a sex club in Paris and the first twenty minutes show what's going on between others, them and their eventually getting together, graphically. It is the next 77 minutes that we follow the guys, in almost real time, and their blossoming love and problems.
The audience goes along with Theo and Hugo after they finish their first sexual encounter, leave the sex club and first bicycle then walk along the streets of Paris and look for something to eat.
We learn Theo is doing an internship in design while Hugo is a notary clerk. The latter escaped from a small Provence away from Paris while Theo was born and raised in Paris. The former learned about sex at rest stops but at heart remained a romantic and talks longingly about Mauriac and Balzac when discussing his job and wanting to become a notary and the story he hears. Theo's back story isn't spoken about that much though it is mentioned that he has a mentally disturbed father and though he has the internship he doesn't know what he wants to do with his future though he knows he would like to help public. Hugo is a romantic optimist while Theo tends to be a realist and almost a pessimist.
It is not long after they leave the club that Hugo realizes Theo did not use a condom when they were having sex and the former tells the latter that he is HIV+ but after taking meds for a long period he is now diagnosed being undetectable and though both are mad Hugo insists they go immediately to the hospital. It is here where we see that people suspected of having been exposed to the virus are given immediate preferential treatment and a 28 day regime of taking pills. It may all sound documentary style and boring but they get to know each other more, and faster, as the fundamentals are talked about and shown. Theo is mad that Hugo didn't tell him before having sex and Hugo is mad that Theo didn't ask and automatically use a condom
The thing though is that they know they have some strong chemistry that binds them together. After they leave the hospital we see them struggling with what happened and what is happening while one contemplates the future and the other the present.
Francois Nambot (Hugo) and Geoffrey Couet (Theo) have that chemistry that makes each thing they say and do believable. A supporting cast, though not very prominent, such as a lady the guys meet on the Metro in the morning or the doctor at the hospital, are not important to the film, the former, or change anything between them, the latter, though she does show caring for those in their predicament.
The directors, who also wrote the screenplay, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques and Nartineau, remember what it is to fall in love and show the little and big things that can decide in one evening/early morning whether it will go anywhere or if it will end that morning.
The only jarring note was the music by Karelle-Kunter whose bombastic style, while fitting a few scenes, takes you out of the love story at other times.
Young people should see this for both the falling in love and AIDS aspects while old people should see it to remember what it feels like to fall in love when you are/were young.
ALL Americans, including city planners, should see how Paris handles bicycles, their lanes and the stop lights having a lower light for the bike riders.
In spite of, or even because of, the first twenty minutes this is a film that shows love, sex, talk and just being human can lead people on life journeys worth taking.
Gentle first hour and half of a burgeoning relationship with elements and references to many films of this gerne.
Me encantó, una gran sorpresa
The two actors are good and have a powerful chemistry together (especially in the remarkably intense initial sequence), but what the film mistakes for authenticity is in fact a lot of artificial and painfully theatrical dialogue that unfortunately dilutes their onscreen presence.
Great film beautifully shot and the longest and most explicit gay sex scene I have ever seen in a commercially released film.