FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

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The Modernist

FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby The Modernist » 01 Sep 2009, 21:51

Just copying James' post from the other film club thread to make a separate thread for this film. I haven't managed to get hold of this yet, I'll have look for it in London on saturday if I haven't found it before then.

Nikki Gradual wrote:

Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

OK, I chose this film because I really am not sure if I love it or hate, admire it or scorn it. I was hoping some other people would watch it and help me make my mind up. Some other people did watch it, didn't you?
Anyway, in so many ways it ticks all the boxes as being at the vanguard of the latest French wave that has brought us Amelie, A very long engagement et al. As with all the best French films, not that much actually happens and it is almost situationist in its observation of this doomed lifelong relationship. Also like the best French films it is darkly comic in places and has a lofty and total disregard for human suffering (brought on by other humans) which is amusing yet extremely disquieting.
On the other hand there are some directorial touches (animated sequences near the start for example) that I really can't decide whether they are superb and innovative or just distracting pretentious twaddle. Also is the ending a shitty cop out or kind of suitable? In fact, is the whole thing a lovely, thought-provoking dissection of the cruelty and insensitivity of humanity, or just a meandering piece of faux indie tosh?
Help me out here because all I know for sure is that Marion Cotillard is breathtaking in it and I'd have done anything to please her, too!

For more on the film go here:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364517/

or here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Me_If_You_Dare

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby Jeemo » 02 Sep 2009, 23:27

I will hopefully have seen this by early next week
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The Modernist

Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby The Modernist » 07 Sep 2009, 07:46

I managed to get hold of this over the weeknd (twenty quid!!) so I'll be watching it at some point in the week.

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby Jeemo » 07 Sep 2009, 12:35

Downloaded it and had a look last night, although posted as having subtitles it didnt. As I dont have any french at all, its a bit pointless in watching. Will keep looking
Image So Long Kid, Take A Bow.

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby The Modernist » 08 Sep 2009, 00:07

The story of two childhood sweethearts whose games of dare, designed to disrupt an adult world which is threatening to them for differing reasons. The dares escalate into adulthood, and become darker as they try to balance their childhood flights of fancy with the realities of real life, and more messily their attraction to one another. So Jeux D'enfants is a dark romance or nihilistic fantasy, but these contradictions are struggled with throughout and are at the heart of the film's flaws.

The film begins in a riot of kinetic digital flash pans and zooms, fast motion and various other effects. Director Yann Samuell seems as intoxicated as the kids in the film with his bag of tricks and barely resists an opportunity for some tricksy set piece.
The problem with this is that the one feels the childhood of the two protagonists is where the mysterious meanings of the film really reside and yet its over in a flash, the two kids lost in the fantastical mise en scene and delirious camerawork, so we never really get why they behave in the way they do which leaves their adult characters as merely photogenic ciphers.

Of the two leads Marion Cotillard is the more impressive, bringing a noirish danger to her character, Guillaume Canet on the other hand spends much of the time staring morosely and looking lost. This is basically Jean Cocteau (think Les Enfants Terribles) given a superficially glossy David Finscher style makeover by way of Cinema Du Look and a Renault car commercial (much of the second half of the film had the look of a car commercial to me).

The film lurches drunkenly in tone, asking us to take delight in the capricious cruelty of the couple one moment while then trying to move us in dramatic or romantic scenes the next giving the whole film a curiously hollow heart. The film never really gets to grips with its own schizophrenic nature meaning any dramatic build up is never sustained. In short they're difficult to care about or even like. And yet it is well paced, very imaginative in its refusal to worry too much about restraint or subtlety and tries so hard to succeed that I enjoyed it on a superficial level, and perhaps for this film that is enough. An unsatisfying film in many ways but not an unenjoyable one. I did wonder if it was a film that played better to younger audiences. I can imagine my twenty year old self really liking it - I might not have had the same moral objections then.

Apart from Jeemo has anyone else bothered trying to see this..? I'd be genuinely interested to hear others responses, so make an effort people!

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby cheifwhat » 08 Sep 2009, 06:23

I watched it last week at work on my laptop and really enjoyed it. Sure, it didn't mean much but it was fun quirky and darkly comic. All attributes I like in a film, I suppose that at heart it's just another love story but the journey was inventive and French in a way that amercian or british cinema never is. A good film well made. If only 'average' was always of this high a standard.


Oh, and if you want the film, I downloaded it, with srt subs, off Surrealmoviez as is mentioned in the sticky thread up top.
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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby The Modernist » 08 Sep 2009, 07:13

cheifwhat wrote:

Oh, and if you want the film, I downloaded it, with srt subs, off Surrealmoviez as is mentioned in the sticky thread up top.


Do you have a rapidshare account Rich? Most of the films I looked at were hosted in different parts on Rapidshare and it would've taken me days to d/load given the limits they have.

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby cheifwhat » 08 Sep 2009, 19:17

A rapidshare account will cost you about a fiver for a month and that will allow you time to download a bucketload of films and tv shows. I got about 80 gigs worth as a conservative estimate. You get a five give limit per day but that carries over if you don't use it all up each day.

It's worth it frankly. If you have a ten gig connection speed say you'll get a film in around ten minutes.
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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby Nikki Gradual » 09 Sep 2009, 12:59

Dr Modernist wrote:The story of two childhood sweethearts whose games of dare, designed to disrupt an adult world which is threatening to them for differing reasons. The dares escalate into adulthood, and become darker as they try to balance their childhood flights of fancy with the realities of real life, and more messily their attraction to one another. So Jeux D'enfants is a dark romance or nihilistic fantasy, but these contradictions are struggled with throughout and are at the heart of the film's flaws.

The film begins in a riot of kinetic digital flash pans and zooms, fast motion and various other effects. Director Yann Samuell seems as intoxicated as the kids in the film with his bag of tricks and barely resists an opportunity for some tricksy set piece.
The problem with this is that the one feels the childhood of the two protagonists is where the mysterious meanings of the film really reside and yet its over in a flash, the two kids lost in the fantastical mise en scene and delirious camerawork, so we never really get why they behave in the way they do which leaves their adult characters as merely photogenic ciphers.

Of the two leads Marion Cotillard is the more impressive, bringing a noirish danger to her character, Guillaume Canet on the other hand spends much of the time staring morosely and looking lost. This is basically Jean Cocteau (think Les Enfants Terribles) given a superficially glossy David Finscher style makeover by way of Cinema Du Look and a Renault car commercial (much of the second half of the film had the look of a car commercial to me).

The film lurches drunkenly in tone, asking us to take delight in the capricious cruelty of the couple one moment while then trying to move us in dramatic or romantic scenes the next giving the whole film a curiously hollow heart. The film never really gets to grips with its own schizophrenic nature meaning any dramatic build up is never sustained. In short they're difficult to care about or even like. And yet it is well paced, very imaginative in its refusal to worry too much about restraint or subtlety and tries so hard to succeed that I enjoyed it on a superficial level, and perhaps for this film that is enough. An unsatisfying film in many ways but not an unenjoyable one. I did wonder if it was a film that played better to younger audiences. I can imagine my twenty year old self really liking it - I might not have had the same moral objections then.

Apart from Jeemo has anyone else bothered trying to see this..? I'd be genuinely interested to hear others responses, so make an effort people!


I think I pretty much agree with that. Thanks for taking the time to watch and comment Moddy.
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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby Nikki Gradual » 09 Sep 2009, 13:00

cheifwhat wrote:I watched it last week at work on my laptop and really enjoyed it. Sure, it didn't mean much but it was fun quirky and darkly comic. All attributes I like in a film, I suppose that at heart it's just another love story but the journey was inventive and French in a way that amercian or british cinema never is. A good film well made. If only 'average' was always of this high a standard.


Oh, and if you want the film, I downloaded it, with srt subs, off Surrealmoviez as is mentioned in the sticky thread up top.


And I pretty much agree with that, too, which means I still can't make my mind up. Thanks Cheify!
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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby cheifwhat » 11 Sep 2009, 19:25

Well essentially there mr gradual what you are saying then is that although the adult in you found it flawed on a deeper level the teenager in you had a good time watching regardless.
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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby the masked man » 23 Apr 2010, 21:37

I finally saw this tonight! What an odd experience - it was entertaining but I'm not sure how much I actually liked it. Anyway, I need some time to chew it over, but I'll post something more substantial later in the weekend.

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby the masked man » 25 Apr 2010, 10:33

I think Moddie's review largely sums up my own thoughts. It's an intermittently effective drama, almost like the flipside of Amelie; whereas Jeunet's hit movie was an offbeat romance that played up the cuteness (so that you had to watch carefully before you noticed the central character was much more ethically problematic than first appeared), here the (anti-)romantic couple are presented as openly sociopathic.

I too found the early segments to be the most satisfying, if only because the couple's games were presented with a clear context: a reaction to a cruel world, represented by Julien's cold and cruel father, Sophie's racist classmates, and the authoritarian ethos of their school. Yann Samuell presents a bleak picture of provincial French society, and it almost seems that the pair's private games are a necessary diversion. I also found the scenes with Julien' s mother very touching; once her character exited the drama there was a clear emotional hole that Samuell failed to fill.

The adult sequences are more problematic, and Guillaume Canet's mopey performance as the male lead is not what's required. He comes across as a whiny spoilt kid (which is kind of appropriate; it's ultimately a film about arrested development) but compared to Marion Cotillard's spirited acting, he's something of a wet fish. Again, I found myself agreeing with Moddie:

M! wrote:This is basically Jean Cocteau (think Les Enfants Terribles) given a superficially glossy David Finscher style makeover by way of Cinema Du Look and a Renault car commercial (much of the second half of the film had the look of a car commercial to me).


Precisely. I thought the car commercial stuff was intentional, and I instantly thought of Fight Club. These scenes mine a similar darkly satirical territory, pointing out how advertising sells us impossible visions. Julien's problem is that he can never accept this; he comes across like some Ayn Rand hero in his misguided selfishness.

For all this, I did enjoy the movie, though I'm glad it only lasted 90 minutes. The film's hyperactivity (frantic tracking shots, loud colours and MTV edits) were somewhat tiring; watching the film was like having to babysit a kid who has just drunk too much Sunny Delight. And, yes, the ending, where two possibilities about Julien and Sophie's future are presented, did suggest that Samuell had little idea how to end the drama in a satisfactory manner.

This was a curious confection that at least made me think. One odd point I noticed: the film's soundtrack contains a single song: 'La Vie En Rose', presented in various cover versions. Interesting coincidence, than that Marion Cotillard would later win an Oscar for playing Édith Piaf....

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby It came from japan » 26 Apr 2010, 15:52

I've got this film! I'd just never seen this thread before. I remember not liking it a whole lot to be honest, despite the beginning being pretty interesting. I haven't seen it for a while but overall it seemed kinda mean. When I watch it again I'll post something more coherent :)

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Re: FILM CLUB: Love Me If You Dare/Jeux D'Enfants

Postby The Modernist » 13 Aug 2010, 12:14

bump for moving