Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Clément van den Bergh, Emmanuelle Bercot, Yves Verhoeven, Lokman Nalcakan, François Roy
Director: Claude Miller
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian, Mystery & Suspense
In Class Trip (La Classe De Neige), Nicolas is an insecure child plagued by visions of disaster. His peers tease him, or ignore him, while his teachers are frustrated by his lack of social skills. Nicolas leads a lonel... more »
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 04/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Class Trip" ("La classe de neige") is a psychological thriller about fourteen-year old Nicolas (very well played by Clement van den Bergh), sent to a school in the French Alps. Although his teachers are supportive, Nicolas is withdrawn. He gradually develops a friendship with fellow student Hodkann (played by Lokman Nalcakan). Nicolas seems consumed with shocking memories, or are they wild fantasies? Artificial limbs, children abducted for organ harvesting, paramilitary attacks on the school, freezing to death in a car, his own funeral, missing children, hostile fathers, and monkey paws granting wishes all make appearances. Nicolas quietly tells Hodkann and some others parts of the story. What is true and what is not? What to do about it? The suspense builds quite masterfully to a satisfying conclusion.While this film seems to be marketed as a gay film, it is really a thriller. Nicolas may have a mild crush on Hodkann, but it doesn't go further than that. The two skin scenes are not gratuitous and are tasteful. The acting (especially by van den Bergh), the interesting screenplay, and the fine cinematography all make this a suspenseful psychological thriller."
Grasping for Reality in a Child's Mind Fraught with Delusion
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"La Classe de neige (CLASS TRIP) is terrifying little film that sweeps the viewer into a world so altered by a child's viewpoint that finding the story is a detective game - and a fine one at that! Director Claude Miller adapted Emmanuel Carrère's novella by the same name and out of this tale of 'everyday macabre' he has created a horror film that stands along with 'Diabolique' as pinnacles of French cinema.
Nicolas (Clément van den Bergh) is young, enuretic son of overbearing parents (Father François Roy and mother Tina Sportolaro) who is denied the companionship of his classmates on a bus trip to a ski resort by the father's insistence on driving him in his car. Nicolas is a loner, a child who has many phobias, and who (we learn) has been exposed to many 'strange' situations. His father is a traveling saleman of prostheses, samples of which he keeps in his trunk. This arrogant father has at times been abusive, and at time coldly hostile, but he is the only person with whom Nicolas can relate.
Once at camp Nicolas discovers his father departed before unloading Nicolas' suitcase. The kindly school teachers Miss Grimm (think of the fairy tales!) Emmanuelle Bercot and Patrick (Yves Verhoeven) help Nicolas adjust and the class ruffian Hodkann (Lokman Nalcakan) not only loans him pajamas but befriends Nicolas in other ways. Nicolas confides to Hodkann his father's strange occupation and soon the two exchange many stories that intertwine. When a child near the ski resort is found dead, rumors abound about bizarre men who kidnap young children in order to remove their organs for the transplant black market. Nicolas has nightmares which include invaders to the class trip, memories of his father, prostheses becoming body parts, etc and one night as he tries to correct the results of his bedwetting, he gazes out the window at the first snow, walks into the snow locking himself out, and is discovered the next day in Patrick's car (yet another source of future nightmares).
Nicolas and Hodkann bond and attempt to solve the mystery of the dead child and this adventure leads to some terrifying events - and we never know which of the tales is true and which is the product of Nicolas' fragile, twisted mind. Suffice it to say that the ending is disturbing and leaves the viewer with the fear to turn out the lights!
The cast is superb, the musical score as composed by Henri Texier with a lot of help from movements from the Rossini 'Petite Messe Solennelle', and the cinematography by Guillaume Schiffman is extraordinary, moving smoothly and frighteningly between imagined incidents and reality. This is a fine study of the fragile and fractured mind of a child and the elements that are both the etiology and the sequelae to delusional thinking. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, August 05
Spencer Gorman | I can hit the Liberty Bell with a snowball | 12/23/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I gave this film one star for the interesting soundtrack and another star because I would feel badly having to give this no stars. The film is billed as a Horror film but in reality it is a psychological thriller and not a very good one. A young lad is taken to his class trip by his father to join the rest of his classmates in the French Alps. The kid is troubled to say the least, he wets the bed or so we are led to believe, and he has these very odd dreams. His father leaves him off forgetting to leave his suitcase. Without his own clothing and having to borrow another kid's PJ's he is left to his innermost fears. His dreams MIGHT be predictions of what is going to happen notice the word MIGHT.
There is an eerie soundtrack and some pretty good acting but this film goes nowhere fast. I am fond of French Cinema and have watched quite a bit both in French with and without English subtitles. This film is not helped by the subtitles and it is just as bad without them. If a film has a good plot I am game. If a film has a mediocre plot I can still deal with it as long as the other elements are strong enough to carry the film like great acting and good character development. Unfortunately, this film is so disjointed that even with some good acting and an eerie score it simply leaves me with nothing.
I think our main character wets the bed because he is scared of how I am going to review this film. I realize that developing a character for a small boy is a tall order. The kid is really good at blank stares. The film reminds me of one of my least favorite American films of all time "DONDI" where the kid has one big line and does the same line over and over again I can't remember the whole line but it always ends with "GI BUDDY". The kid in this film always has this cold stare. He uses this stare in just about every scene after awhile I just grew so bored with this kid that I hoped he would stop having these dreams and go to sleep so I would not have to see him staring into space another time. The editing of the film is also problematic. There are always Police about and Police in this boy's dreams at some points we do not know if what we are seeing is Real or a Dream. Are these police part of the film and why does everyone always whisper in these films. Does the writer really think that kids can't guess that an adult is hiding something? I liked the acting of the two teachers in the film. I grew to find that the had some talent but due to a poor script they were limited as to how much they could add to this project. Those who felt that this is a great film must be deprived of great film or dreaming themselves and merely thinking they saw this one. If you don't believe me, go ahead and buy this, but remember I told you so...SG"