Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Pierre Chatagny, Natacha Koutchoumov, Rui Pedro Alves, Khaled Khouri, Mikele D.
Director: Lionel Baier
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Wolfe Video Release Date: 05/16/2006 Run time: 94 minutes
Waste of Time
Richard Nelson | Chicago, IL | 05/22/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a trusting sort, read the title of this review and stop--don't spend another moment thinking about this film. But if you must know why you should not waste 95 minutes of your life on it, as I did, read on.
Garcon Stupide has delusions of grandeur, as does its main character, a young gay lad who seeks his thrills in anonymous sexual encounters and believes he's a good photographer because he takes pictures with the built-in camera of his cellular phone.
Said lad (Loic, played by first-timer Philippe Chatagny) is pretty enough to warrant the numerous extended closeups of his face that comprise half the film--the picture on the box does not do his enchanting smile justice--but the pablum he speaks is by turns silly, nonsensical, and stupid. The plot, such as it is, takes its cue from the dialogue, and in the end it feels like a series of utterly random events have carried us to an implausible conclusion.
What ought to make the film at least a little bit palatable for a gay audience--the gritty sex in which Loic engages quite freely during the film's first half--is filmed inelegantly and, in one uninspired split-screen scene, juxtaposed with the workings of factory machinery. This is an odd place for the director to make a play at realism in a tale otherwise so unconstrained by it!
If you're looking for a good gay coming-of-age story, try Dorian Blues. You may not get to see the main character naked, but at least you'll respect yourself in the morning."
"You need to look beyond the physical"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps they should have subtitled Lionel Baier's dull and torpid coming-of-age film Stupid Movie - because that's what it is. Whatever the case, the title Garcon Stupide is pretty accurate. This is a plotless and pointless piece of self-indulgent psuedo-arty trash that purports to put a new spin on growing up gay and confused.
The title character twenty-year-old Loic (Pierre Chatagny) is not only stupid; he's dull and uninteresting, as well as uninterested in the world around him. Loic has left his middle class family to hustle on the streets of Lausanne, picking up older men and going back to their places for hot and sweaty sex - these scenes are indeed graphic and may scare off some viewers.
He sleeps rent-free at the apartment of old friend Marie (Natacha Koutchoumov), who in essence looks after him and sort of mother's him. Sex and the quick relationships of one-night stands are easy for him to understand, the encounters are often random, and don't give Loic much of an opportunity to develop intimacy with anyone, until he meets a man who seems interested in more than just sex.
The man tries to convince Loic that there is more to life than just pursuing anonymous sexual encounters and he seems more interested in exploring Loic's mind than what is inside his pants. Problem is that Loic is rather superficial and has never looked into his soul - this man's desire for a deeper relationship throws him off balance.
Intellectual shrewdness isn't one of Loic's strong suits - after all he works on an assembly line in a chocolate factory - and his attempt to understand concepts such as "impressionism" often leads to embarrassment and anger. The film really starts to go downhill, becoming almost nonsensical when Loic becomes obsessed with, and finally meets a soccer star (Rui Pedro Alves), and then acts selfishly possessive of Marie.
The sex is mostly uninteresting to Loic and to us - in fact, the images of pasty, skinny-looking, semi-tattooed men romping around on top of each other is kind of off-putting, particularly in one early scene where he videos some guy squatting on a big black something...
Director Baier uses split screen techniques to enhance the action and he irritatingly spends most of the movie shooting his actors in close-ups - particularity Chatagny as he reels off yet another boring self-indulgent confessional. On the up side, the film has an absolutely gorgeous musical score with selections from Rachmaninov nicely chosen to accompany the action; it's just a pity that the music doesn't fit that well with the subject matter.
I guess you could conclude that Garcon Stupide is about a young man desperate to connect. Loic is sexually knowing, but he retains an innocence because he's never bothered to think with anything other than his libido. There is certain compelling energy at the beginning of this movie, but the narrative rambles and stumbles and resolutely refuses to build. The sex isn't sexy, it's just repulsive and the finale when it finally comes is just too phony and calculated, and even worse - ludicrous. Mike Leonard May 06.
Mesmerizing Soundtrack, Emotionally Charged, Captivating
C. Clay | St Paul Minnesota | 10/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Garcon Stupide (Stupid Boy) is an emotionally-packed punch. The film and it's lead character, Loic, had me hooked from the start. With the exception of a few slower scenes, I thoroughly enjoyed the film from start to finish. A few laughs, intense thought and emotion, and a few tears were generated from this well directed and acted film.
The filming techniques and styles, and the soundtrack selections helped me score this a 5-star film. The direction and unique filming combined with some classical scores and the storyline all fit perfectly together.
The story itself follows the plight of Loic, a young handsome 20-year old who works in a chocolate factory by day, and entertains men of all ages by night for extra cash. In the film, he has a close loving friendship with a girl, Marie. He also develops a relationship of trust with a man he meets on the Internet, Lionel. The 2 never have sexual relations, just conversation about life. Something interesting to note: we never see Lionel. Or do we at the end? You decide.
The story line develops around Loic's desires to be someone - a photographer, a gay man, ...? He seems to have lost direction in life, and is unable to trust/confide in the 2 people who seem to care for him most, Marie and Lionel. When Marie finds a boyfriend, you can clearly see the upset and anger in Loic. He withdraws from Marie, and Lionel, and neither situation has a positive outcome.
In the meantime, he develops an infatuation of sorts with a local soccer player, who is successful, married and with child. Loic sees a life he wants for himself.
Although this is a French film (with English subtitles), we have young people like Loic all over America. And we have adults who take advantage of them - and we have adults, like Lionel in this film, who truly can be a trusted friend. One of my favorite lines spoken by Lionel to Loic is "You can be interested in someone without wanting to [...] them". This statement rings true for so many, both those near the age of 20, and those near the age of 40.
This is overall, an exceptional film - very good acting, great soundtrack, unique camera angles and film styles, wonderful story, and well-directed."
J'adorais ce film...
Jerome Y. Hebert | Québec | 09/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...which is to say that I liked the film very much indeed.
Though obviously from the mixed reviews, it isn't for everyone. (What film is? - I detested Peter Jackson's remake of "King Kong" which everyone assures me is the most wonderful thing since chocolate-smothered croissants...) But for myself, I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending "Garcon Stupide" to serious viewers, especially if they are more interested in enjoying films than they might be in critiquing film-making. I personally found the story itself sufficiently engaging that details regarding "technique" never became a crucially compelling issue.
In my opinion, Pierre Chatagny performed remarkably well in presenting a young man on the brink of adulthood (or barely over the brink) who is at the point of seriously wanting to discover who and what he is and, more importantly, who and what he can become. Lionel Baier, again in my opinion, did an equally remarkable job of directing a film that tries to portray in a brief 94 minutes a complex voyage from pointlessly mechanical self-interest and dependency to self-discoveries that promise a fulfilled and fulfilling life. Between the early scene when Loic consults a Petite Larousse and his final, decisive monologue and the film's last scene, both Pierre and Lionel manage to develop a character who is immensely sympathetic, occasionally frustrating, and completely believable. I believe that by the end of the movie both the film and Loic have satisfied the promise that each seeks to fulfill.
As to certain severely negative comments about the dialogue, I personally found the actual dialogue to be a critical factor in my enjoyment of the film. Any "dialogue problem" so far as I would judge the matter, lies in the subtitles. Unfortunately, as usual in such cases, viewers who don't understand spoken French are at a sad disadvantage. (I'm sure that most individuals who regularly view films in a language other than their own are well aware of this difficulty and will proceed accordingly.)
To sum it up, I think a viewer who is at the point in his or her life where Loic finds himself at the beginning of the film will find "Garcon Stupide" to be ... well ... a stupid film. However, if you find yourself in a position closer to Loic's in the last two scenes, I believe you'll agree that this film is well worth watching and sharing with your friends.