Ma Vraie Vie à Rouen

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The video diary is possibly the easiest form of DIY film-making, but it's a demanding format to fake - or watch. Asking actors to pretend to be 'unnatural' in front of the camera smacks of bad faith. Ascaride, familiar from her films with Robert Guédiguian, is sent into paroxysms of giggles as Caroline, whenever teenage son Etienne (Tavares) turns on his new camera, and it rings very false. In one sense, this is a very naked style: Ma Vraie Vie may be a fake, but edited in camera, in effect, it can't hide its fakery behind the artifice of conventional cinema, behind mise-en-scène, music or montage. The story sneaks in while you're drifting. Etienne is 16, an ice skater and a virgin. This will be 'the year of love', he tells his best friend. Meanwhile, his voyeuristic hobby is becoming an obsession, much to the irritation of those around him. It's a film about gazing: about why we film what we film; what we yearn to express but cannot put into words. The longer you give the movie, the better it works - but you do have to meet it more than halfway. At the very least, it's another adventurous departure for Ducastel and Martineau, whose first film was a musical about AIDS, and whose second was the road movie Drôle de Félix.

By: TCh

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Screenwriter: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Cast: Ariane Ascaride
Jonathan Zaccaœ
Hélène Surgère
Lucas Bonnifait
Frédéric Gorny
Jimmy Tavares
Nicolas Pontois
Frédéric Sendon
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