BYE BYE BLONDIE
BYE BYE BLONDIE. Directed by Virginie Despentes. France. 2011. 87 min. French with English subtitles.
Twelve years after her explosive debut, Baise-moi, Virginie Despentes is back with the decidedly lighter tale of two middle-aged women struggling to rekindle their teen-aged romance after three decades. 40-year-old Gloria (Béatrice Dalle) is still a volatile, art-punk drifter in the north-eastern city of Nancy. Frances (Emmanuelle Béart) has settled into a comfortably bourgeois life of marriage (to a gay man) and a career in television. With trouble brewing at work and a husband struggling with writer’s block, however, Frances impetuously summons Gloria to stay with her in Paris, searching for the magic she felt as a rebellious, love-struck teenager. Youth’s poignant intensity versus middle-aged nostalgia are evoked in alternating scenes from Gloria and Frances’ young love circa 1984, and the present. With passionate performances by Soko and Clara Ponsot (who play the young Gloria and Frances), a Lydia Lunch cameo and a kickass soundtrack (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bérurier Noir), this is a film for anybody who has ever wondered about the possibility – or wisdom – of trying to recapture their first big love.
Thursday, May 2nd, 8:15 PM INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART