On board: a refreshing holiday comedy to see for free on Arte

On board: a refreshing holiday comedy to see for free on Arte

The film Guillaume Brac is broadcast this Friday on the channel, and also available on its website.

Update July 21, 2023: In June 2020, A l’abordage capsized the Champs-Elysées Film Festival, where we had the chance to discover On boardthe latest film from Guillaume Brac, released in cinemas in July 2021. Arte is taking advantage of the summer to rebroadcast this delightful holiday comedy this Friday. It also available in streaming on the channel’s websiteand this until August 19th.

Article of June 15, 2020: It is with the medium-length, A world without women in 2011 that both its director, Guillaume Brac and its two performers: Laure Calamy and Vincent Macaigne imposed themselves on the big screen. With this film, Brac, who passed through HEC then La Femis, used motifs (the seaside, holidays, romantic encounters, etc.) which immediately placed him in a very specific territory of French auteur cinema, of which Jacques Rozier and Eric Rohmer would be the totems. A playful, invigorating cinema where the balance of power between the characters constantly redistributes the energy of the story. Brac has since signed Thunder (shady thriller with Macaigne and Bernard Ménez) then Tales of July And Treasure Island. so here’s Boarding! which continues its festival trajectory after the Berlinale in February, it passed by the Champs-Elysées Film Festival and the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival. Under his “pirate” injunction, this boarding tells the trajectory of two Parisian accomplices, Félix and Chérif, who for the love of a young girl decide to cross France. Rain, bitumen, carpooling, breakdown, camping, river, sun and swimming…

On board immediately seduces with its freshness. No name dropping here, only new faces (all from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art with which Brac has organized workshops) and a way of understanding the game without calculation or posing. In an ultra-mapped French cinema, virgin lands are too few. This “boarding” is therefore first of all that, the conquest of a space where objects, things and bodies reveal something new from which inevitably emanates a wild purity. The word “conquest” is not to be taken in its warlike acceptance, but in this constant and deeply touching desire to go towards the other. To approach, that is to say to accost, the beginnings of an exchange, of a relationship.

A brightening horizon

Félix, the protagonist is only thirsty for encounters. It is a body in motion, intrepid, entirely turned towards others, which is discovered from the first minutes of the film. This carnal energy launches the story and allows the adventure. He thus leaves on a crush to join by surprise the loved one at the other end of France. Félix drags his friend Chérif. The latter can be seen as his perfect counterpart (round, cautious, slowed down…) To this duo will be added a third thief, crossed almost by chance, a kind of anxious and clumsy clown. From these seemingly out of tune characters, Brac will build a moving journey where the audacity of some encourages the fearful to set off in turn. The holidays allow these repeated assaults where the horizon has time to clear up as long as we dare to contact.

Brac is not Kechiche. He does not try to probe until exhaustion the fever which governs the bodies between them. He is more chaste, he is an observer who intervenes very little – at least does not claim anything – unlike the author of Mektoub, My love: Canto Uno, of which we constantly feel the irrepressible desire to penetrate the frame to set everything ablaze. We find, however, in both of them, this way of questioning society through a social mix that draws in hollow the face of a France still prisoner of its prejudices. Individuals that nothing or almost nothing predestined to meet, find a point of attachment without having to account to anyone. And especially not to the film itself, delimited by borders that the filmmakers wanted permeable. Everything is natural. The surrounding nature, omnipresent, remains untamed even if men have tried to possess it. She alone is sovereign. The water of the river as of the sea, purifies the bodies, encompasses them in all their ephemeral and primordial grace. On board, SO. After months of forced confinement, it is indeed, more than ever, to jump into the water.

On the boarding of Guillaume Brac. With: Eric Nantchouang, Salif Cissé, Edouard Sulpice… Duration: 1h35.

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