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Oh Sun, oh Sea, Let me Tell Your Beauty

Oh Sun, oh Sea, Let me Tell Your Beauty

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You may be one of those who would rather have a nightmare than a beautiful dream, because you prefer to be relieved when waking up rather than disappointed. A lady shares this sentiment with the lead character of Damien Manivel’s fresh and enjoyable first feature Un jeune poète. But she immediately feels that something isn’t quite right in her observation. Maybe any dream is better than none? They remind you that you are alive.

Rémi’s dream is both simple and incredibly ambitious: he wants to be a poet. He would like to know how to sublimate reality with words and celebrate life and tell the wonders of the Mediterranean landscape through which he nonchalantly wanders. And it’s not by chance that he’s chosen to spend the Summer in the southern French town of Sète-a famous poet, his idol, is buried in its lovely seaside cemetery.

It strikes us that Rémi has aptitudes that are bound to serve this goal-he is observant, sensitive, enthusiastic and open to discoveries and encounters. But does he have the talent? This doubt is creeping. He needs reassurance, and the certainty that inspiration is within his reach. Hell, he’d even resort to dubious methods to find it. And when artificial paradises fail him, he calls out to the trees and butterflies for support.

After all, Rémi is only 17, and everything seems new and grand. Love burns his stomach – butterflies again. Nature’s indifference to the young man’s calls feels cruel. But if the famous poet were to grant Rémi the response that he couldn’t get from the skies and the waves, perhaps his wandering wasn’t so aimless?
Something is certain: this way of making films with spontaneity and patience alike bear fruit, in the true lineage of the French New Wave. Manivel’s film is youthful and energizing. It breathes.

 

Damien Manivel
«Ho appena ottenuto il diploma, le cose serie iniziano!» Quando ho ricevuto questo focoso sms di Rémi ho immediatamente saputo che era il momento buono per rifare un film insieme. L’estate dei suoi 18 anni… L’indomani avevamo luogo, storia e titolo. Le riprese sono iniziate tre settimane dopo.

Aurélie Godet
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