Games Of Love &
Sound: C+ Extras: C- Feature: C
There is a cycle of films that are trying to capture the
new era of lost youth and youth violence has gone by mostly unnoticed and is
happening in the cinema of several countries.
Larry Clark’s Kids and Bully (the later film the better of
the two) in the U.S., Scott Smith’s Roller Coaster (to some extent) in
Canada and a few out of France. The
more recent Games Of Love & Chance (2003) is not as brutal as Petits
Freres (2000, aka Little Fellas, reviewed elsewhere on this site) or
quite as successful. Both films just
cannot seem to achieve ironic distance, instead settling for “realism” or
“naturalism” that backfires.
While Petits Freres wants to wallow in what it is showing
and is ambiguous in what it is saying about it, Games Of Love & Chance
does achieve more sympathy for the characters, though they are not always as
severely criminal children. However,
without sounding picky, this does not seem realistic enough. One believes the coldness of the children to
some extent, but director Abdellatif Kechiche falls into to many conventions of
narrative while Petits Freres loves violence and verbal overkill. There is an amazing story to be told of
those being left behind in the projects outside of Paris, one more vital than
ever to hear about with the intense protests going on in the country now, but
neither film gives us that portrait or its connection to the “real politick” of
the country. Games Of Love &
Chance breaks down into a revenge/betrayal tale we have seen too often.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is softer and
more definition challenged than usual since this was shot on tape. Maybe that was the only option, but it
proves once again that it is no match for film, all the way up to digital High
Definition. The color poorness and
tired cliché of shaky camerawork does not help. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is simple stereo at best. Extras include four trailers for other New
Yorker DVD releases and a foreign trailer for the film.
- Nicholas Sheffo