October 31, 2007

Le Premier Cri, Or Out Of Africa's Cervix


Why why why? I love the French. I love France. I lived and worked there. I set and shot my first movie there. I drive a Citroen, for Pierre's sake.

And yet, when something as hippy-dippy ridiculous-sounding as Le Premier Cri comes along, I'm left with no choice but to call total and utter BS.

Gilles de Maistre's big-screen directorial debut is a documentary that follows 10 women around the world who all give birth during a single 48-hour period in 2006: during a solar eclipse. [WHY?]

The fact that the only Westernized hospital birth takes place in Paris, and that all the other nine births are HiDef-aestheticized, Leni Riefenstahl-among-The-Beautiful-Savages-style dreamscapes makes me wonder if de Maistre's film is just a local critique of the French health care system embodied in a typically self-absorbed, romantic, nous sommes le monde, nous sommes les enfants style.

Or who knows, maybe Le Premier Cri is just the latest victim of Shawshank Redemption Syndrome, where an actually decent movie is doomed by a horrifically annoying trailer. Which reminds me, don't miss the trailer, especially if you've been wondering what Sinead O'Connor's been up to lately.

Some of the unbelievable promo copy after the jump:

Le Premier Cri - Site Officielle du Film [disney.fr]
Related: Maurice Sendak watches The Learning Channel

The Intention of The Project: This is not a fiction. It is reality sublimated in images. Embark on an unusual voyage around the planet, explore the universe of births, each as varied as we are different. That's what this film proposes.

The settings are natural, the characters true, the situations exact.

Not a re-creation, but an unequalled asset: the true stories, lived in the present, right before our eyes.

Nature For Decor:
Water, desert, ice, forest. All the contrasts offered by Nature are included in the story, as a source of dreams.

From the hot sands of the Touareg desert to the whiteness of the Siberian tundra. From the savage lands of the Maasai, to a Parisian cabaret. From a militant America to the Amazonian forest. From the sacred beauty of the Ganges to traditional Japan. From the crowded hospitals of Vietnam to a Mexican dolphin sanctuary. This is a film that takes place all at once in a unique and multiple setting, where the decor is the planet.

The Black Sun For Lighting
The destiny of all our characters cross in one 48 hour interval on the earth. Their histories unfold in one unique day of the planet: March 29th, 2006. On this day, a total eclipse of the sun plunged certain of our characters into the mysterious night, while at the same time, it was partially visible to others.


The History of Life, The History of Our Lives
Without concession, it illustrates the poetry of the passage: when woman accedes to maternity, when man accedes to paternity, when the infant enters into life.

It's a universal dramaturgy, which awakens our emotion and reactivates our memory. It mingles love and suspense, gravity and action, exoticism and high technology.

This rich fabric drawn in reality, this documentary film takes us on an intense voyage that speaks of the world, that speaks of us.

1 Comment

The French do tend to take themselves so seriously sometimes, it's painful.

Un peu "tiré par les cheveux" comme on dit...

(You're not actually crazy enough to drive an old Citroen DS back and forth between DC and NY, are you?)

[no, of course not. the 2cv is in France, so "I drive" should probably be "I have". -ed.]

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