\ Hip Displeasure: Chris » Film » The Criterion Project: "Lacombe, Lucien"

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Chris » Film » The Criterion Project: "Lacombe, Lucien"

A while ago, on one of my excursions to Virgin Records Union Square, I noticed a particular section of DVDs for sale.
All sorts of genres, that would normally be placed in separate sections, were sitting there on the shelf as one.
I quickly came to realize this section was known as the Criterion Collection.
This, of course, piqued my interest.It had occurred to me, these were classic films that I had heard of but had never watched.
In fact, out of the hundreds of films in stock, I had only watched three of them.
Being a huge fan of the cinema, I wondered why I had failed to take notice of films that were highly recommended by film critics and friends.
Films that were influential to some of my favorite current filmmakers.
Right then, I knew I had to, at least, give the films in the Criterion Collection a chance.
Last weekend, began my official journey...


Louis Malle

Pierre Blaise
Aurore Clément
Holger Löwenadler
Therese Giehse

"Lacombe, Lucien" is striking in its understated portrait of how one's own interest and pride can lead to regrettable choices.
The film's major achievement is in showing the appeal that collaboration had to the disaffected youth and the underachievers in the community, as did, the attraction of unearned power.
The film tells the story of Lucien, a rural French teenager who, having been rejected by the French Resistance for being too young, joins in with the German occupiers.
As an individual without status or a sense of self-worth, Lucien becomes attracted to the Gestapo, but ultimately must be held accountable for his ignorance.
As the news on the war gets continually worse, Lucien, along with the collaborators hang out in a local hotel, getting drunk and lamenting their lot, eventually getting picked off by the emboldened locals.
Using his recent power as a bullying tactic, Lucien forces himself into a sexual relationship with a not-entirely unyielding young Jewish immigrant woman.
Unexpectedly, the two develop what seems to be a genuine, although short-lived, affection for one another.
In the end, Lucien's decisions would prove fatal.
Devastating and unforgettable.


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