Author Topic: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)  (Read 2966 times)

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Punch

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Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« on: September 05, 2014, 11:39:12 AM »
+1


Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.

really anticipating this one, ive herd nothing but great things
"oh you haven’t truly watched a film if you didn’t watch it on the big screen" mumbles the bourgeois dipshit

Punch

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 07:58:48 PM »
+4
There is a dismal lack of great coming of age stories about black girls. There’s Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn” or Leslie Harris’s “Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.” or Dee Rees’s “Pariah” - but try listing at least six off the top of your head; you’ll likely come up short. Why? Perhaps because black girlhood is a kind of myth. Black girls don’t get to experience the awkwardness of adolescence, the discovery of budding sexuality, the gradual blossoming into womanhood.

Black girls are women before they hit puberty, thrust into a kind of pseudo-adulthood by a world often unable to view them outside the context of hard-fixed stereotypes. When they grow breasts and ass in adolescence they’re warned not to be “fast”, while they’re simultaneously sexualized and exoticized and encouraged to view their sexuality as their only source of value. They’re dismissed as too aggressive and angry, while taught that to be anything other than “strong and independent” - vulnerable, playful, carefree - is to be the opposite of who they are. It’s a distinct kind of in-between, so rarely explored in any kind of substantial way.

This year, we got a movie called “Boyhood.” It was beautiful. It was also heralded by many a critic as the film of a generation, a “universal” story chronicling twelve years in the life of a young white boy growing up before our eyes over the course of three hours. But, like so many stories that focus on young white males, it’s been heavily read as gender neutral, an everyman tale that everyone should be able to relate to.

But while in many ways a soaring cinematic experience, “Boyhood” didn’t resonate with me, a lifelong Richard Linklater enthusiast, the way I thought it would. It wasn’t wholly alienating, but there were few points of entry, few moments where I could detach myself from the experience of watching the film and actually experience the film. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s one of the main reasons why Céline Sciamma’s “Girlhood” is so vital.

Sciamma is known for her past forays into the female coming of age story with “Water Lillies” and “Tomboy,” but here she shifts her focus exclusively to a 16 year-old black girl, Marieme (Karidja Toure), as she grapples with her own state of in-between, dealing with bad grades at school, a crush on a boy from the block, and the menacing violence of her controlling older brother.

While the film’s French title “Bande de filles” can be translated to “Girl Gang,” naming it “Girlhood” for the English market is its first playful and defiant gesture. Here, Marieme, a dark-skinned black girl living in the ‘hood just outside of Paris, gets to be the universal everywoman, the singular point in the narrative with which we must constantly be engaged.

Marieme becomes friends with a tough group, led by the savvy and charismatic Lady (Assa Sylla), who introduce her to a world of shoplifting, drinking and drugs, and YouTubed street fights. Gratefully, Sciamma does not turn this into a kind of cautionary tale, an ethnographic foray into the lives of wild packs of “ratchets”. The girls are not condemned or dismissed for their bad behavior, or held to a higher standard that in their white counterparts is so often romanticized (think “Palo Alto”, for instance.) Instead, their actions are presented without bias and without judgement.

There’s a scene halfway through the movie where Marieme and her three friends rent out a hotel room to party - they put on shoplifted club dresses, drink whiskey and soda, smoke blunts. The scene isn’t about the dark path Marieme is headed down. It’s a scene about friendship, about autonomy, about the brief exuberance of being young.

Rihanna’s “Diamonds” begins, and we watch the four friends sing along for its entire duration, the camera never pulling away. It’s a simple, universal moment. But it’s one that for every black woman will resonate with a kind of burning nostalgia. In a movie landscape where there are so few depictions of black girls getting to be black girls, it’s a moment of pure cinematic joy.

There is so much to praise in this film, from its elegant cinematography, to its naturalistic and captivating performers. But the highest praise that I can give this film is in its deft ability in capturing the unique process of growing up that so many black girls, especially those of low socioeconomic status must navigate. That struggle between embracing both our hardness and fragility, our strength and weakness. And so, again, “Girlhood” is vital, a reminder that there is so much more to be said, so much more beauty and complexity to be explored, in the coming-of-age story.
 
BY ZEBA BLAY. Zeba Blay is a Ghanaian-born film and culture writer based in New York. VIA Shadow and Act
"oh you haven’t truly watched a film if you didn’t watch it on the big screen" mumbles the bourgeois dipshit

jenkins

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 08:54:00 PM »
+1
^post deserves the xixax news feed kinda thing, imo

max from fearless

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2014, 05:32:18 AM »
0
Punch, thank you so much for that post. One of the best things I've read on here. Gonna check this out with a vengeance. I liked "Water Lillies", missed "Tomboy". But everything you said, about the lack of black girl coming of age stories - a resounding YES.

Would love to hear your thoughts in general on Claire Denis' "35 shots of rum"....and how that fits in the black girl coming of age canon. Thanks again...

Punch

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2014, 08:02:51 AM »
0
sorry i didnt write that, i thought i gave proper credit i fixed it now
"oh you haven’t truly watched a film if you didn’t watch it on the big screen" mumbles the bourgeois dipshit

max from fearless

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 08:28:14 AM »
+1
Just read it again on Shadow and Act and thought; "Yo, Punch! Is that you!?!"

Nonetheless Zeba went in and I now need to get her to join xixax...

jenkins

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2014, 04:16:34 PM »
0
what punch is experiencing is what i call the "mel condition" in which i'm told about a fantastic and exciting feature well in advance andbut i don't digest all its particulars until a future day

céline sciamma! she was previously mentioned three times in this thread, but i was making some crazy assumption about not being familiar with this director. i've seen and admired both water lilies and tomboy. i also watched girlhood's trailer for the first time today because i thought its subtitles were new, yet the trailer sits there with subtitles in punch's first post

imo the comparison between this and boyhood is a marketing ploy that's possible because boyhood is existing in a flowered state. each movie taken as a symbol for a person, it strikes me as menacing to pit them against each other, i think they should each be left to do their own thing. although i think the marketing angle will be beneficial for this movie's future

saying, i don't know if it's going to better than boyhood or not, but i'm quite positive that this will be a good movie. excited

Drenk

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2014, 07:17:06 AM »
+2
I don't think that Girlhood is a perfect movie, but it doesn't matter. It's a strong one. And, beyond all "serious criticism", I have to talk about my silly emotions. I cried and laughed. This sweet and violent portrait of a young girl who doesn't want to be what everyone expect her to be, a young girl who seeks freedom (or freedom seeks her), of what friendship can offer you, a window to exist in another way, a way to escape.

Bodies are living, they're warm, dancing or desiring, and it's a joy to watch it; dead bodies aren't dramatically better than living ones.

Sciamma keeps getting better with the camera, some shots are wonderful, they always have meaning.

And, once again it's personal, but it looks like France. When they take the trains, when they wait for the subway, where they go shopping (actually, there are scenes in the movie at the place I was watching the movie.) I'm glad to think that people who aren't from France can catch a glimpse of what it is to live around Paris. Documentary aspect? A little. Sciamma enjoys watching her characters live.

I can't express everything I think about this movie in english, I'm struggling. It's not exactly what I want to say. I wrote something in french yesterday night, past midnight, exhausted, and I want to post it too. It's useless but I like the dichotomy.


Bande de filles était merveilleux, ça m'a vraiment percuté, violemment, un très beau film, âpre et aérien. Le parcours de cette jeune fille, figurante dans sa propre existence, qui va utiliser sa colère, sa rage, pour secouer les choses et rentrer dans le monde, le faire sien, est sans concessions. Que ça soit la douceur ou la violence. La légèreté ou les coups. Avec ça, ce groupe de filles, qui passe et qu'elle intègre, qui lui offre un vent d'air frais. Qui la font réaliser qu'elle peut être autre chose. Qu'elle est autre chose. Dans ce temps décisif où l'on est en lutte permanente avec qui l'on est, ce qu'on devient...

Le film traverse l'enfance et, progressivement, nous le fait quitter. Le dernier mouvement du film crée de la nostalgie pour ce qui est passé ; rien que pour cela, je trouve, il est nécessaire. Le film dégage une force, une volonté de vivre. De se détacher. On ne sait pas quel est l'horizon. Mais on le traverse.

Sciamma s'intéresse aux cinémas, aux images, clairement. Les passages importants sont glorieux, avec un motif musical récurrent. Comme pour La Vie d'Adèle, chaque plan large est marquant. On passe tellement de temps proche des personnages, de leurs corps, que ces respirations, ces élargissements, marquent la mémoire. Les personnages passent de la colère aux rires souvent dans la même scène, ce qui les rend vivantes, trépidantes à suivre. On est également en immersion, plongé dedans. Et, comme je l'ai dit, le personnage principal, joue le rôle de figurant, qui observe. Et peu à peu se lâche. S'ouvre.

Ce film n'a pas peur des corps. Et ce ne sont pas des cadavres. Ce sont des corps vivants, chauds. Parfois, on respire fort. Les corps s'affolent. D'autres fois on danse, ou affinités.

Surpris à quel point la bande de filles, bien que centrale, joue un peu le rôle de protecteurs, d'havre.

Et Diamonds existe pour ce film. Sia, définitivement, est toujours là pour me détruire. Après Adèle, des femmes qui dansent fera encore partie cette année de mes meilleurs souvenirs cinématographiques. Mais ici, malgré les affronts, il s'agit de libération.
I'm so many people.

Drenk

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2014, 06:48:31 AM »
0
Trailer for the soundtrack which is a trailer for the movie.

I'm so many people.

jenkins

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Re: Bande de filles(GIRLHOOD)
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 03:26:27 PM »
+1
she joins a gang -- the scene of her meeting the gang and joining the gang is a dreamy believable example of how the movie excels -- and there's some guys mentioned right from the start, but the great thing about the gang is how friends support each other and help each other come closer to being the people they want to be

life's a cruel game you have to win by working together, right, or at least that's helpful, although i appreciate reclusive types and loner-rebels, but my point is the movie opens with women playing football, there's electronic music and women celebrating a game of football,

and you pop that game open and out comes the movie, out comes friendship, rihanna's diamonds, the idea of living for a dream, freshly chiseled from a fresh teenage perspective, and this is a way to look at the world in 2014, and i adored it

céline sciamma crushes it imo. "crushes" like here's this topic at its most cinematic. her previous movies have demonstrated she can accurately portray a complex character, without using exaggerative messages or reckless tone, and here she's the right person at the right time

i haven't mentioned things like when the girl fights began i felt reminded of marian cotillard in rust and bone. usa has to be a little embarrassed because france is way ahead in appreciating the cinematic possibilities of naturalistic street fights

 

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