Archive for April 20th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(France 2001 83m) DVD1/2

Aka. Brève traversée

No double beds

p  Jean-Pierre Guérin  d/w  Catherine Breillat  ph  Eric Gautier  ed  Pascale Chavance  m  Patrick Chevalier, Marc Filipi, D’Julz  art  Frédérique Belvaux

Sarah Pratt (Alice), Gilles Guillain (Thomas),

It’s a scene familiar to thousands of schoolchildren on trips with their teachers, the overnight channel ferry back to Blighty.  It may be from the Oostende, Zeebrugge, Dieppe, Calais or wherever, but it’s a place filled with a mixture of melancholy over a trip now finished and of liberation, for what teen doesn’t want to enjoy himself on his or her last night of freedom? 

            So here we have the premise, a return home on a trusty P&O from France to Portsmouth one unsettled night.  There are two central protagonists; one, Thomas, is a 16 year old still carrying the passport he had as a kid and making his way to England, the other, Alice, is a thirty-something English photographer returning home it seems after an escape from an eight year old marriage.  Both are lonely, both killing time before they disembark the following morning.  They meet in the café on board and end up occupying the same table.  There they talk, take a detour in the duty free shop, then make their way to their respective cabins to change for the night and they head off to the bar.  After a couple of neat brandies, the reticent Alice opens up and Thomas tries to play it cool, but it’s apparent he fancies his older companion and desires awaken which, after a brief tiff, result in retiring to her cabin to have sex.  (more…)

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