IDFA 2016, The Graduation

One year, a long time ago, I spent Christmas and New Year’s with a French family. The food and wine were great but what I couldn’t take for long was the continual arguing. Not arguing like I’m used to (“Why didn’t you turn right at the stopsign?”) but true passionate arguments about ideas, themes, philosophies. It was a way of life for this family, staying up until 4AM, hashing out every detail of a concept – racism, or foreign policy, or a certain poem. Nothing was exempt from the endless examination of minutiae.
This seems to be a phenomenon of French cinema as well. A red balloon? Let’s examine it until it bursts from boredom. Imagine now endless discussions about potential students in the country’s foremost film school and you have an idea of what this movie was like. ENDLESS discussions. We followed the audition process for the young hopefuls, listening to every single syllable they uttered get autopsied ad infinitum by the jury. The most amazing thing about the scrutiny they bestowed upon every applicant was how seriously they took it. Like a cat, they seemed unable to find any humor in the surreal gymnastics they had to perform. It was 90 minutes of interminable, self-obsessed and self-aggrandizing adjudication. Torture.


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