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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artists Only
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...
Published 20 months ago by Doug Anderson

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tried to like it.
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...
Published on May 27, 2010 by John Romeo


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artists Only, June 5, 2013
By 
Doug Anderson (Miami Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Regular Lovers (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. The film has been compared to Jean Eustache's Mother and the Whore (1973) and that makes sense as Garrel and Eustache were longtime friends. Its also been compared to Bertolucci's Before the Revolution (1964) and Dreamers (2003) and that makes sense as Garrel shares Bertoluccis fondness for Stendhal esp for Fabrice in Charterhous of Parma. But again, the film looks and feels more like a Bela Tarr film than a Eustache or a Bertolucci. In the DVD extras Garrel mentions that film should be a testamment to something, but this film feels less like a testament to actual history than like a testament to that history as it is filtered through the youthful romanticism of a poet. The film does not feel like it is located in an actual time and place but in a kind of fantasy realm. The revolution may have failed but these kids seem to have realized, at least for a short while, their own brand of utopia...held aloft by youth and opium vapors. The problem with this utopia is the problme with all utpias. They never last.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms Louis Garrel as a great actor., March 6, 2007
This review is from: Regular Lovers (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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tried to like it., May 27, 2010
By 
John Romeo (tampa, florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Regular Lovers (DVD)
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Kids Those Days, February 7, 2007
This review is from: Regular Lovers (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. Romance, perhaps the ultimate bourgeois indulgence, is what is most to blame for the end of the revolution here. And I guess the real question remains: Was it all inevitable? They are started off with the most noble of intentions, but eventually human nature takes over. Free love morphs into ownership, not liking work morphs into not liking starvation.

If all these new urges blindside our characters (who I could never connect to) they can hardly be blamed for not trying. They wanted to feel good so if they had to do drugs or have sex or overthrow a government to do so then oh well. Far better that than those religious zealots who work so hard just to deprive people from feeling good. The film as a whole was not that good though. Way overlong at three hours it kept my attention for maybe two. But subtract the plethora of scenes that involved nothing more than opium smoking and you might have a winner on your hands. And don't think Gerrel didn't have "The Dreamers" on his mind when he made this. Throughout the film there are only two lines that are spoken with the character looking directly into the camera. The first, "Bernardo Bertolucci." So he called out a master and lost a duel, can't blame a guy fro trying. **1/4
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Regular Lovers
Regular Lovers by Philippe Garrel (DVD - 2007)
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