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October 27, 2015

Tu dors Nicole

tu dors nicole 1.jpg

Stephane Lafieur - 1014
Kino Lorber Region 1 DVD

"You're sleeping, Nicole", would be the English translation. Mainly what Nicole is doing is trying to get through Summer in an unspecified town in Quebec. Her age isn't stated but it would appear Nicole's a couple years out of high school. She's working at a thrift store that by appearances would less of a career path that simply something to do. Otherwise, Nicole spends what seems like most of her time at her parents house, where she still lives, helping in the maintenance while the parents are on vacation, and listening to her brother, Remi's rock trio perpetually practicing.

This is a low key film with small comic moments. Nicole gets a credit card, and unsurprisingly reacts as if she's received free money. The credit line is almost immediately reached with the purchase of a trip for herself and her friend, Veronique, to visit Iceland. What do they plan to do there? "Nothing", is the reply. Nicole further elaborates that the lure of Iceland is that she and Veronique would be doing nothing somewhere else. Nicole is also pursued by Martin, a pre-adolescent boy, whose body has yet to catch up with his very adult voice. While Nicole is in a space where she is not quite an adult, Martin persistently woos Nicole by assuring her that in the future, their ten year difference in age will make less of a difference. Yet Martin is not yet ready to totally give up on being a child when he plays cowboy to Nicole's Indian after financial necessity forces Nicole to return to babysitting.

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The film takes place in what appears to be a remote suburb, with a few middle class houses, a few cheap apartments, a handful of places to go, and lots of empty spaces. Most of the shots are from a stationary camera, with a some lateral tracking shots. One shot has the camera tracking away from Nicole with what seems like a music score, only to have the camera track end on the band in rehearsal. The film was shot in black and white which suggests that what we see is a memory or dream. Much of the look of the film was influenced by the photographs of Robert Adams' Summer Nights, Walking. There are moments devoted to those nights when it is too warm to sleep. For Nicole, stepping out for late night walks in the neighborhood may simply be a part of a greater restlessness for something she's not able to articulate.

The DVD includes a couple of very short, deleted scenes. Both are lightly humorous, but their omission does not impact the narrative.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 27, 2015 06:05 AM