51st Chicago International Film Festival Screening #6: “My Golden Days” (France)

“My Golden Days” (France)
Directed by Arnaud Desplachins

MyGoldenDays3-1600x900-c-defaultWhat a delightful experience “My Golden Days” is. It is utterly disjointed in structure (although less so when you find out the French title of the film actually translates to “Three Memories of My Youth”), it loves the sound of its own voice a little too much, and it’s about twenty minutes too long…

But I didn’t mind any of that for a second.

So, take a French coming-of-age romance, throw it in a blender with a half a cup of Wes Anderson, two tablespoons of Barry Levinson, and a pinch of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Amelie”), and you’ll have something that comes close to “My Golden Days.” The language of the film is lovely, the acting by the kids in this film is superb, it’s stunning – and utilizes the iris shutting to end scenes (as they did in silent films) to great effect. It is also manages to successfully break the fourth wall – a trick I normally hate, but in the film’s context, is perfect.

But the SOUNDTRACK! Holy crap, the OST is made up of the best songs from my youth, and if there is one thing that will bring you deep in to a film about teen romance…it’s choosing precisely the right songs. De La Soul, Run DMC, Blue Nile, The Jam, Roxanne Shante… I mean “I Just Can’t Stand It” by The Specials?! Who picks that song that doesn’t KNOW and LOVE their second album?

Anyway, I digress. It’s a lovely film that will make you want to go home and immediately touch base with the person you first fell in love with, but haven’t spoken with since before college and, alas, isn’t on facebook. Melanie Landsman! If you’re out there…I’m talking about you!

Trailer is NSFW…

Written 10/22/2015

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