Le Clan

Film
migrate.3114.jpg

Time Out says

Crouched in a playground playhouse in preparation for one of several abortive revenge attacks, Marc (Nicolas Cazalé) is interrupted by some young kids playing cowboys; for a moment he plays along with them – only his gun is real. Shocking, affectionate and confused, the gesture suits a film concerned with the problematic acting out of masculinity in the absence of women. Marc is one of three brothers still reeling from their mother’s death: the eldest, Christophe (Stéphane Rideau), is about to leave jail; sensitive teen Olivier (Thomas Dumerchez) keeps his head down; Marc cultivates his body and nurtures his rage while their father looks on with an impotent sneer. Christophe’s release and decision to go straight is the catalyst for Marc’s further breakdown.
With a section focused on each brother, ‘Le Clan’ (co-written by Morel and Christophe Honoré, who made ‘Ma Mère’) is provocative but somewhat disjointed. Most potent is the sweltering intensity of Marc’s circle, a hypermale arena of torsos and face-offs, rituals and physical grace, which echoes Claire Denis’ ‘Beau Travail’ (1999) and even Fassbinder’s ‘Querelle’ (1982). There’s a chillier tenor to the alternative pecking order of Christophe’s new meat-packing job and a more relaxed feel to the touchingly romantic final segment, in which Olivier spreads his wings. It’s frustrating that this last gets such short shrift – it both feels abbreviated and is saddled with a distancing retrospective voice-over from another character – as Olivier’s progress offers more intriguing potential than the schematic trajectories of Marc’s machismo or Christophe’s career. Still, the intelligence and sensitivity in the portrayals of the characters makes this an appealingly abrasive portrait of a male colony.

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday May 13 2005
Duration:
90 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Gaël Morel
Screenwriter:
Gaël Morel, Christophe Honoré
Cast:
Thomas Dumeranez
Nicolas Cazale
Stéphane Rideau