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Regular Lovers

5 customer reviews

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(May 22, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Winner of numerous international awards and garnering universal acclaim worldwide, Philippe Garrel's Regular Lovers (Les Amants réguliers) is a rapturous paean to France's near-revolution of May '68 and its aftermath. Shooting in lustrous black and white, Garrel and legendary cinematographer William Lubtchansky capture the era's ambiance with an opulent intimacy that suggests an apocryphal French New Wave opus, while sparring overtly with Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial The Dreamers. Leading a young cast who look and act uncannily period-perfect, the director's son Louis Garrel (The Dreamers, Dans Paris, Ma Mère) confirms himself as one of the hottest new French performers of the moment. Garrel the younger plays François, a student-slash-poet grappling with the tumult--and the doomed romance--of the infamous Parisian riots. After the movement implodes, everyday reality hits with a crash: François is hauled in for draft-dodging, falls in love with aloof sculptor Lilie (Clotilde Hesme), while the well-heeled Antoine can only pass the opium pipe. Regular Lovers is a stunning re-imagining of a misunderstood "golden" age, painstakingly crafted with a combination of bitter nostalgia and an austere yet romantic vision of Paris by night and day.

- Stunning new transfer, in the film's original full screen theatrical aspect ratio
- Venice Film Festival Press Conference with director Philippe Garrel, stars Louis Garrel and Clotilde Hesme and producer Gilles Sandoz
- Philippe Garrel filmography
- French theatrical trailer
- Optional English subtitles
- Extensive new essay by film critic Kent Jones

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Louis Garrel, Clotilde Hesme, Julien Lucas
  • Directors: Philippe Garrel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MTFDH4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,908 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Regular Lovers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on June 5, 2013
Format: DVD
With its black and white cinematography, long languorous shots, and minimal dialogue this film looks and feels more like a Bela Tarr film more than a neo-new wave (or new wave homage) film. Although Regular Lovers is set in 1968, director Philippe Garrel and his lead actor Francois (played by Philippe's son Louis) are more interested in poetry than in politics albeit the poetry of political and romantic disappointment.

The majority of the film centers around Francois and his group of artsy friends who, despite their revolutionary leanings/flirtations, all live together in a posh uptown apartment paid for by their rich opium-eating friend Antoine. Everyone, except Antoine, participates in the street riots but it doesn't take much to dash their hopes in revolution and for the most part they listen to music and smoke hash and opium and try, mostly unsuccessfully, to form meaningful relationships with girls.

They all dress like Romantic poets. The talk is heady. They are all prematurely tired of life. Francois quotes Alfred de Musset to his new girlfriend Lilie, a sculptress. Antoine plays Nico. They all lay around on Moroccan couches as if waiting for the century to be over.

Garrel allows his actors to be young and dreamy. He wants them to be. Even when Francois is on the barricades he smokes hash and falls asleep and dreams he is in the Paris of 1879 instead of the Paris of 1968. His one and only night as a revolutionary is spent sleeping on the rooftops of Paris. He always seems half asleep. Half in love with easeful death. So its no surprise that his girlfried should be seduced by another and that he never sees it coming.

Garrel is utterly romantic. There is no irony in his view of these artsy kids. He cares about their passions because they are his own.
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Format: DVD
First and foremost to notice is that this is an "art film" and one that is very self-consciously so. Even the fact that it was shot in black-and-white rather than in colour might suggest that to many filmgoers as, also much more certainly does so, its homage to the spirit of an era, that of the student revolts in Paris in 1968. It pays tribute, as well, to film makers of and before that time in Italy and France, making in various ways such artistic and social connexions. The film, however, can seem interminable, at least at times, even to someone who is basically in sympathy with its aims and with its aesthetic. The action, whatever one loosely could call that in this work's context, is sporadic and rather disjointed.

This movie from Artificial Eye (the European DVD edition viewed being Fusion Media Sales VFC-318) was made on a low budget. Aside from the b&w photography which is symptomatic of that, the use of music and the sometimes barren stretches where there is no ambient sound behind the acting, also are indicative of low budget. When music does occur it is, by far, usually a solo piano which one hears, on the rather clangourous-sounding instrument recorded; for that matter, the use of piano, although better in tune, even reminds me (to be facetious in making such a far-fetched comparison) of the keyboard meanderings (on out-of-tune piano and on electronic organ or synthesiser, variously) in Troma Entertainment's cult blood-and-gore ballet-themed grindhouse film, "Bloodsucking Freaks" (one of the numerous titles by which that work has been known), but even Troma's movie had more variety in its music, more cleverly integrated (albeit less tuneful), within its soundtrack than "Les Amants réguliers" (a.k.a. "Regular Lovers") happens to have.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Berlinale on March 6, 2007
Format: DVD
I recently saw this at the Cinema Village in NYC and was stunned by this evocative, opium infused, gorgeous film.

Shot in stark black and white by the great William Lubtchansky, the film is a vivid evocation of a misunderstood golden age when young people thought they could change the world merely by taking to the streets. It's a powerful antidote to the insipid, uninspired THE DREAMERS, the film it's often compared to. A very personal Proustian reminiscence and a very public conjuring of ghosts, the film is simultaneously celebratory and melancholic. Given the right frame of mind, it's absolutely rapturous.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Romeo on May 27, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It was better on the second viewing, but... Although it has some lovely moments, parts one and two are so long that one cannot sustain interest without heroic effort. As one reviewer already pointed out -how many long hashish smoking scenes do we need? As for the street battles, I actually found those in The Dreamers more gripping than the interminable ones shot in this film. For me, the girl (Clotilde Hesme) and not Louis Garrel (who I thought only brilliant in the scene when she moves on) is really the reason to invest any time and effort in this film. Her beauty and acting are perfect and the only character who touched me emotionally whenever she was on the screen. The black and white cinematography is mostly gorgeous, but the Bergmanesque ending was totally lost on me. Fellini would have been a better choice!
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8 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chris Roberts on February 7, 2007
Format: DVD
It is nearly impossible to discuss this film without referencing Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" as they both take place during the students revolt in Paris back in 1968. "Regular Lovers," while not nearly as good, does have a lot going for it, most of all credibility and teeth. Filmed in black and white the cinematic gloss found of "The Dreamers" has been stripped off to reveal a period of anxiety and fear along with hope and love. This is certainly not a tale of rich kids prancing around Daddy's penthouse while reality transpires outside their bubble. These kids take their fight seriously. Cars are torched, cops are hated, and murder by Molotov Cocktail is always within arms reach. But more than that director Philippe Garrel wants you to think about what comes after revolution as it never lasts forever. According to him you can either sell out and join the middle class or you can die. And at least if you die you can be considered just.

The early part of the film does focus on the day to day of fighting a violent battle for change. The main point of contention seems to be a government that tries to coerce its young people into military service and throw those in jail who do not fall in line and become killers. Garrel is on the right side but his portrayal of both sides is a little. . .well. . .black and white. The police are fascists and the revolutionaries are pacifist poets. As the story moves along though these two icons begin to bleed into one another. And as the youthful flames of anger cool with age suddenly the poet and the fascist find themselves having a conversation about art. Kids, who earlier in the movie would never again talk to a person who had been smeared with the tag "a bourgeois," would begin taking on responsibilities that looked quite bourgeois.
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