"This is an antiestablishment film, focused on the alienation of the young and the bankruptcy of their lives. It's cruel, outrageous,bizarre and provocative portrait around two decadent characters who fornicate, steal and live according theor own behavior codes. The plot enriches itself due the presence of the incandescnet beauty of Jeanne Moreau who stars a woman back in circulation after ten years of prison. You may establish without any doubt this film is the French answer to Easy Rider but gifted with a major scope and conceptual complexity, because it trascends the anecdote. The enviable cast and the masterful direction of this promising director Bertrand Blier who ewentually who would become in a status filmmaker and one of the most gifted dierctors of his generation. Mature film from start to finish.!"
yann schinazi | colorado | 09/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
Bertrand Blier's `Going Places' is an emotionally anarchic scream of agony, it's a startling shout of revolt, a violent, radical response to morals and organized thought, it has the spontaneous madness, the gambling recklessness, the holy poetry of the few specks of beauty in junkyards. It wallows in its own excess, self-consciously quoting itself furiously as it ventures into the delirium of the unpretentious pettiness and the beauty of the ugly youth. It laughs in the face of those who are offended, it's vicious and aggressive and madly in love with itself, it's furious and violent and insane, nihilistic and rotten and crazy with a desire to shock. Blier's passiveness is the most incredible and anarchic thing about `Going Places': that indifference, that disdain for justification, that love of shock that breaks the screen open and making it ripe and alive. `Going Places' is a declaration of war but perhaps the greatest thing about Blier's film is its ultimate tenderness, it's an aimless film about aimlessness and that somehow makes it beautiful and poetic. Filmmakers like Pasolini and Godard had portrayed aimlessness in a revolutionary way, the first shooting in long, intact sequences of powerful observation and ideological realism often making very good films, the latter using the on-the-run style of American paperbacks to show a touching carelessness in films like `Pierrot Le Fou' and `Band Of Outsiders'. But `Going Places' has the feel of something completely different, Blier makes the film with instinct and it works completely, it creates its own patterns of expectedness and wallows in its improvisational feel. It's shot in self-contained vignettes of petty rebellion and moving feelings of alienation, it spirals into beautiful flashes of madness and it risks everything, Blier captures the feel of a Bukowski poem, he shows the same unhinged, candid, rebellious and ultimately tragic (but in a minimalist sense) love of decay. The film is pure and coherent, deliberately unemotional and underwhelming and still Blier's film is still, perhaps against his will, incredibly moving (in his typically underwhelming, cynical and un-definable way). Blier has made a poetic comedy about outsiders made for outsiders and it has a juvenile wisdom to it, unpretentious and unexpectedly touching. `Going Places' is a film about people who shouldn't be in a film, and Blier's ending is completely conclusive because it stays true to its own anti-bourgeois spirit, ending in mid-sentence, and yet beautifully climatic in its own way, because the film is all about that: about youth trying to escape itself, covering disillusion with spontaneous invention and cries with screams. It's a sad film about un-idealized struggles, and it covers itself up with anti-reality, but reality comes crashing through, as in a film by Bertolucci, and the characters become the contradictions of their own existence. "
Shocking and offensive but strangely lyrical and charming,
Galina | Virginia, USA | 08/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had mixed feelings for "Les Valseuses" (1974) written and directed by Bertrand Blier when I started watching it but I ended up liking it. I would not call it vulgar ("Dumb and Dumber" is vulgar, "The Sweetest Thing" is both vulgar and unforgivably stupid); I would call it shocking and offensive. I can understand why many viewers, especially, the females would not like or even hate it. It is the epitome of misogyny (or so it seems), and the way two antiheroes treat every woman they'd meet seems unspeakable. But the more I think of it the more I realize that it somehow comes off as a delightful little gem. I am fascinated how Blier was able to get away with it. The movie is very entertaining and highly enjoyable: it is well written, the acting by all is first - class, and the music is sweet and melancholic. Actually, when I think of it, two buddies had done something good to the women they came across to: they prepared a woman in the train (the lovely, docile blonde Brigitte Fossey who started her movie career with one of the most impressive debuts in René Clément's "Forbidden Games"(1952) at age 6) for the meeting with her husband whom she had not seen for two months; they found a man who was finally able to get a frigid Marie-Ange (Miou-Miou) exited and satisfied; they enlightened and educated young and very willing Isabelle Huppert (in one of her early screen appearances.) Their encounter with Jeanne Moreau elevates this comedy to the tragic level. In short, I am not sure I'd like to meet Gérard Depardieu's Jean-Claude and Patrick Dewaere's Pierrot in real life and invite them over for dinner but I had a good time watching the movie and two hours almost flew - it was never boring.
Genet would approve of this farce. And keep this in mind: it
J. mooridian, Jr. | new york, ny | 10/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How come no one told me of this movie, huh? I'm shocked that such a phenomenal movie could go under the radar for so long for me...and I'm 42. I mean I know it is a french film but there is just no excuse for this film not to be a household word universally, especially among cinephiles. That being said. Damn, what surprise and pleasure to stumble onto this. It's anarchic (nothing is owned, everything is "shared"; brutal humanism), hedonistic, spiked with black humor, and underlined with existential positivity. If all is vanity, the fight for rich life beyond rutted conventions is heroic if not divine. As two juvenile, and what AT FIRST seems to be misogynist, men bounce from trouble to trouble, with no regard for the future or the past, it reveals a philosophy that underscores every moment. It's life intensely lived and lived for its own sake. Anything related to death or fear, they bewilderedly mourn and turn away from. I personally find this the most life-affirming film I think I've ever scene. One critic called it a "hymn of life". Forget Spielberg and his life-draining sentimentality. It's childish and absurd but not fatuous; it's sexist in that gender roles are defined and yet unafraid to go beyond them; it's exploitive and illuminating; it's repulsive and seductive. Its an affront to a life of passivity!"
jcd | 08/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Too many pro and con reviews miss the main thing: "Les Valseuses" is a wonderfully original FILM. Blier's inspired move is basically to go back to the pure, powerful slapstick comedy of the silent film era, but to liberate it from its hung-over late Victorian sexual morality. The result is an anarchic and very moving slapstick sex comedy that brilliantly imbues the antic, iconic filmmaking of the silent era with a wilder, richer, more radical humanity. Not to be missed."