Olivier Assayas

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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Olivier Assayas Desordre/ Disorder (1986)

L'Enfant de l'Hiver/ Winters Child (1989)

Paris s'Eveille/ Paris Awakens (1991)

Une Nouvelle Vie/ A New Life (1993)

L'Eau Froid/ Cold Water (1994)

Irma Vep (1996)

Last August Early September (1998), one of his best,

Demonlover (2002)

The period film Les Destinees Sentimentales (2002) is an adaptation of a Jacques Chardonne novel.

Clean (2004) is an old-fashioned melodrama. While professionally crafter, the film feels somehow false. There is no sense of real despair and decay in the scenes that depict (or try to depict) the decadent milieu of the music business. The story feels cold and didactic as it documents the protagonist's rise from the gutters. The only moments of authenticity come with the grandfather figure. He stands out as a giant in a movie of mediocre characters.

Lee and Emily (Maggie Cheung) were briefly rock stars but they have been largely forgotten. They and their manager check into a Canadian motel and then enter a club where a sexy blond is performing with her band. The manager has an argument with Emily, who refuses to accept the fact that's no longer a star. When the concert is over, the manager chats with the sexy blond, an old friend of Lee, who is surprised that Lee is still wasting his time with Emily. The manager replies that Lee is too much into drugs. Back at the motel Emily buys drugs and has an argument with Lee, who is an anxious middle-aged man aware that they latest recording is mediocre and that's why the record label doesn't want to release it. She leaves the motel room in the middle of the night, stops in a parking lot, takes drugs, sleeps in the car till dawn. When she returns to the motel, the police are there: Lee died of a drug overdose. She gets arrested for drug possession. The manager comes to visit her to tell her that now the label wants to release the album because Lee's death is good publicity, and the money will pay for her debts and her lawyer, but he never wants to see her again (he knows that she's the one who bought the drugs that killed Lee).
Meanwhile two police officers went to talk to an enderly man, and he told his wife something terrible, and they (Albrecht and Rosemary) are taking care of a little child named Jay: those are Lee's parents, and Jay is Emily's son. WHen Emily gets out of jail, she visits Albrecht and gladly accepts that the court has assigned her son to the grandparents instead of her. Not only that: Albrecht asks Emily not to see the boy for several years to give the boy a chance to grow up in peace.
She leaves for Paris, where she used to live before meeting Lee. She takes a job in a restaurant run by a friend but she is permanently intoxicated and eventually loses her job. A friend, Jean-Pierre, is trying to put her in touch with her old friend Alexis, but they find him dead (probably another overdose) in his apartment. Emily is also relying on Alexis to get her in touch with rock star Tricky: Emily hopes that Tricky can convince Jay's grandparents to let her get custody of Jay, but Tricky ignores her. Meanwhile, she's been trying to get a job with her old boss at a television station, but the only one who cares for her is the secretary, Sandrine, who was a fan of her show six years earlier when still a teenager and still has fantasies about her.
Albrecht is in London to authorize the release of three albums of Lee's music. His wife gets sick and is hospitalized, forcing him and the boy to prolong their stay in London. Albreacht and his wife obviously love each ther very much and he's very worried about her illnes.
Sandrine's boss Irene is an old friend but knows her well enough to know that Emily would not stop doing drugs. Irene admits she's in love with Sandrine, who was her lesbian lover for a while. Now Irene is jealous that Sandrine left her for another woman. In fact, Irene locked Sandrine in her bathroom before leaving the apartment. Sandrine leaves furious with Emily. At Sandrine's place Emily admits that she used to be Irene's lovers before she met Lee.
Albrecht calls Emily, and tells his wife about it. His wife hates her and would rather not talk about her, but he reminds her that they are getting old and some day they won't be there anymore for Jay. ALbrecht accepts to come and see her in Paris and to take the boy with him, and doesn't tell his wife who would never approve. Emily realized that she needs to change life if she ever wants to get Jay back. Her connections pay off and she is hired by a boutique. Now she's excited that she's going to see Jay again. She loves the boy. What she doesn't know is that the boy hates her because his granma kept telling him that she killed Lee: Jay believes his mother killed his father. When they arrive in Paris, the boy refuses to see her and she is devastated. Albreacht talks to Jay man to man and finally Jay accepts to spend a day alone with his mother. Emily takes Jay to the zoo. The boy tells them why he hates her. The boy also knows that his granma is dying. She tries to explain to him how much she loves him. And she succeeds so well that Jay is ready to leave with her for San Francisco, where she has been offered a unique opportunity to restart her singing career. She is ready to steal the child, breaking the word she gave to Albrecht, but Albrecht happens to catch them just when Jay is picking up his passport from the hotel. Instead of being upset that she betrayed him, Albrecht congratulates her on the decision to quit her boutique job but offers her a different deal: she can go to San Francisco but leave the boy with him until his wife dies, and then they will rebuild their lives together. She accepts.

Boarding Gate (2007)

L'Heure D'Ete/ Summer Hours (2008) is one of his best movies.

Carlos (2010) was a three-part miniseries about a celebrated terrorist of the 1970s, Carlos the Jackal.

Apres Mai/Something in the Air (2012)

Clouds of Sils Maria (2015)

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )