Something in the Air: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Something in the Air

New York Film Festival 2012: Something in the Air


The year is 1971, the city is Paris, and the kids—hard-core leftist students who didn’t get the memo that May ’68 is, like, so three years ago—are all right. Eighteen-year old Gilles (Clément Métayer) and his fellow teen dissident Christine (Goodbye First Love’s Lola Créton) spend their time avoiding riot cops and spray-painting righteous slogans on the walls. When one of their cohorts takes things too far, the duo decide to take a joyride through Europe’s underground, hooking up with fellow travelers and avant-garde filmmakers. With its wistful nostalgia and grunge-glamour take on the era’s violent radicalism, Olivier Assayas’s latest could be chalked up as Cold Water meets Carlos. But in reality, this may be the consummate Assayas movie, as he distills a career’s worth running themes and motifs (cinephilia, youth run wild, a perfectly curated soundtrack) into one aching portrait of the political and the personal.—David Fear

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