Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

ENTRE LES MURS / THE CLASS (2009)


Laurent Cantet captures what amounts to The François Bégaudeau Show (he wrote it, he stars, it's based on his experiences & book) in this oddly ineffective though wildly acclaimed, award-winning pic. It’s a bit more (and a bit less) than one of those year-in-the-life teacher/student tales (recent example: THE RON CLARK STORY/’06) but with a new gimmick: rather than being traditionally structured to follow the dramatic arc of a pivotal school year (ending on an uplifting note), it’s designed to play like a documentary (more HOOP DREAMS/’94 than BLACKBOARD JUNGLE/’55) using improv acting & story building techniques similar to a Mike Leigh film and the directorial stratagems of the Brothers Dardennes. But even with its untidy stories and unresolved inter-personal relationships, the situations feel old-hat and often frustratingly opaque. It’s always an eye-opener to watch a film set in one of the tourist-phobic Paris arrondissements, but the Benetton-ready ethnic mix of kids, coupled with the peculiarities of the French school system force more provocations at us than a David Mamet diatribe. Is it supposed to feel this manipulative?

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: While it feels a world away in place & time, François Trufaut’s SMALL CHANGE/’76 (L’ARGENT DU POCHE) keeps it focus on the school kids, and looks fresher than ever.

No comments: