Screening at the 43rd New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, September 24, at 11am.
Whereas Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers explored some of the wildness of the Paris student revolt in May of 1968, this slow-moving and austere film directed by Philippe Garrel takes a much more easy-going and austere approach. Twenty-year old poet Francois (Louis Garrel) finds himself and his friends on the streets doing battle with the riot police who are trying to restore order to the streets of the city where Molotov cocktails and being thrown and cars are turned over. After the exhilarations of the protest, he is chased by the police and must run for his life. Afterwards, Francois tries to make sense of it all. He turns from political concerns to more personal ones when he starts an affair with Lilie (Clotilde Hesme). But when she has sex with another man, he is unhappy and then curious about how he compares with her other lover.
The poet spends a lot of time with Antoine (Julien Lucas), an opium smoker who is rich. In perhaps the most curious scene in the film, Francois is arrested for refusing to serve in the military as part of his national service obligation. His lawyer claims that since he's a poet, he can best serve his country with his imagination. Francois is set free. Try to imagine such a thing happening in America during the 1960s when thousands of young men evaded the draft. The black-and-white cinematography of William Lubtchansky fits the mood of Regular Lovers perfectly.