Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|To the Extreme|
Actors: Sébastien Roch, Julie Depardieu, Jérémy Sanguinetti, Christine Boisson, Aurélien Wiik
Director: Etienne Faure
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Studio: Wolfe Video Release Date: 03/15/2005 Run time: 110 minutes Rating: Nr
Choices and their ramifications
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The French title of this film is IN EXTREMIS (though translated as TO THE EXTREME) and means 'in desperate circumstances, especially at the point of death'. Rethinking the story of this interesting but problematic movie in those terms after viewing gives the cinematic effort more poignancy. This is a tale of the impact of family, loss of parents, dissolution of the core unit has on us all: in this story we are asked to exam the 'in extremis' state of such trauma.
Thomas (Sébastien Roch) is a hedonist, a handsome young man whose parents died in an Alpine accident, and a man who sleeps with both sexes in a confused state of true identity. He lives with one of his female lovers who has a young teenage son Grégoire (Jérémy Sanguinetti) whom he loves as a son. When the mother accidentally dies, Grégoire wants Thomas to be his guardian. Thomas' lifestyle does not lend itself to fatherhood and though he deeply loves Grégoire, by law and by proclivity he cannot assume the role of foster parent. Even with the aid of his prostitute sister Anne (Julie Depardieu) he is unable to keep the disappointed Grégoire from being sent to a prison-like orphanage. Thomas finds solace from his lover Vincent (Aurélien Wiik) and from his excursions into the bohemian all night orgies where he attempts to forget his promise to be available at all times for Grégoire. Eventually Thomas' devotion to Grégoire overcomes his hedonistic addiction and results in his aiding the boy's escape from the orphanage to move with him to the home in Ibiza his deceased parents owned. The story has a bizarre but touching ending, which comes totally unexpectedly, and revealing it would ruin the impact and message of the film.
Director/writer Etienne Faure ('Prisonnier', and 'À la recherche de Tadzio' which is included on this CD and traces the life of the actor Bjørn Andresen who played Tadzio in the film 'Death in Venice') directs his actors well but is less successful in finding the interaction of flashbacks, fantasies, graphic indulgences and superimposed poetry inundated with noisy music. But given these distractions the film still makes a simple case for the significance of family - genetic and extended - and therein is the power of the story. This is obviously the work of a young director with copious ideas about film and as such one can forgive many of the early experimental indulgences because the heart is in the right place. In French with English subtitles. Grady Harp, May 05
Characters not exactly likeable, but direction more to blame
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 04/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The main character in the 2000 French indie film "In extremis" (To The Extreme) is Thomas, a self-absorbed 20-something bisexual part-time hustler (and full time "party boy") who is sexual relationships with a male and several women, including his own sister Anne, who works as a prostitute. One of his affairs is with an older neighbor single mother of a 13 year old son, and he is there to comfort the son when the mother passes away suddenly. The boy wants to live with Thomas, but he has neither the focus nor the maturity to care for him, a fact that is recognized by the authorities who send the boy to an orphanage.
The film is quite pretentious and faux "arty" with scenes of Thomas with his bohemian crowd, and of nightmare-like flashbacks of him wandering on a snowy mountain looking for his (and Anne's) dead parents. Unfortunately, the entire film seems sureal after a while, and one really doesn't connect with the characters, despite some decent acting from the young actor who plays 13 year old Gregorie, and the promise of Gerard Depardieu's daughter (Julie, who plays Anne) in the cast. Better direction could have made it a much better film.
In French with English or Spanish subtitles (which likely were a plus, since I doubt even someone who speaks fluent French would have caught every word of the mumbled dialogue), cinematography is a pleasant positive. Some male and female partial nudity, simulated sexual acts, but surprisingly not very erotic."
A Film That Redeems Itself in the End
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 10/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film gets off to a rocky start and will require some effort on your part to figure out what is going on in the beginning although it gets a lot better and in the end is quite moving. Thomas (Sebastien Rich) has lost both parents in an accident although they left him with plenty of money. He sleeps with women and men in twos, threes and orgies on occasion. When his friend dies and leaves a young son (Jeremy Sanquinetti, whose acting puts the other actors to shame) with no other family, Thomas is faced with the unlikely possibility of getting custody of the youngster, something the boy wants desperately to happen.
The film suffers from all those scenes shot in almost totally darkness; furtermore, in what seems to be a requirement for these sorts of French films, the action eventually takes place at the sea (Ibiza) although the footage in this portion of the movie is quite beautiful-- as is the soundtrack.
Not to be missed is the director Etienne Faure's short on Bjorn Anderesen as an adult discussing his role as Tadzio in Visconti's brilliant rendering of "Death in Venice," one of those rare times when the film is as good as the novel or novella in this case. Seeing briefly the beautiful shots from that film and hearing the lush Mahler made me want to see the movie again and reread the Thomas Mann book as well."
Jonathan W. Lafleur | Rockland, Ma usa | 07/07/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"this movie shows you the life of an oversexed guy and gets boring after the first 15 min"