Review by Will O’Bryan
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Monday, 10/15/2007, 7:00 PM
presentation, $10 at Lincoln Theatre
French with English subtitles
IN A WORD, My Super 8 Season, is postmodern. This French offering follows that aesthetic in that it flows along, largely bereft of any trappings of traditional storytelling. The only climax offered the audience, for example, is of a sexual, not literary, nature. There’s just not much story to tell.
Opening May Day 1968 in Paris, gay student Marc (Axel Philippon) and his budding gay revolutionary committee have just been rejected by the larger movement of radical students. ”Pederasty is a bourgeois perversion!” — delivered from a bullhorn — is the answer to Marc’s call to start a GLBT-inclusive sexual revolution. Fast forward a couple years, and we find Marc and longtime friend Julie (Célia Pilastre) hawking copies of their revolutionary rag, The Red Star, to factory workers, and otherwise mired in their visions of socialist utopia.
But there is no goal to achieve, no burden to overcome. This is simply a slice of life that includes backroom abortions, backroom sex, cruising Parisian parks, and era-appropriate flowery kitchenware and fabrics.
As an actor, Philippon satisfies, though much of the credit should go to his perfect lips. He seems natural, though his performance isn’t particularly moving. Then again, nothing about Super 8 is moving. Pilastre steals any scene, seeming to have a dancer’s body — an asset used to good measure when she floats about in her underwear, wasted when she’s buried in layers of winter clothing. The chemistry between these two leads seems genuine, though, again, not particularly moving. Some scenes are mildly amusing, some a bit hot, but the whole affair could justly be summed in heavily French accented, ”Enh.” Super 8 moves along, but it goes nowhere.
In My Last 10 Hours with You (), on the other hand, director Sophie Hyde manages to elicit an emotional response in just a few minimalist minutes. Mark (Toby Schmitz) and Jeremy (Joel McIlroy) are about to split. It’s not a messy, spontaneous end. Rather, Jeremy is leaving their home in Australia for what seems to be an extended tour of Vietnam. As the two spend their last night together, we witness rage, longing, tenderness, rejection and on and on. The interplay between the two is masterful, relying not so much on scripted dialogue, but on expressing emotion in movement, facial expressions, tears. With luck, Hyde will be doing much more in the future. — WOB