Chacun sa Nuit

February 7, 2010By Nick HammondArchive

Incestuous Intimacy

The film’s characters drop their clothes at every opportunity. Photo: © La Fabrique Films

It is a sad fact that much French cinema these days is afflicted by what seems to be terminal laziness. Unfortunately, Chacun sa Nuit is no different. Apparently inspired by a true story, the story revolves around Pierre (Arthur Dupont), his sister Lucie (Lizzie Brocheré) and their three close male friends, whose incestuous intimacy is rocked by the discovery of Pierre’s dead body.

The film’s title provides a glib answer to the motiveless murder of Pierre, which in turn allows the directors, Pascal Arnold and Jean-Marc Barr, carte blanche to give the film a meandering, structureless identity.
Rather than attempting to understand the various characters, they punctuate the film with amorphous flashbacks that are indistinguishable from the main narrative. Pierre’s bisexuality, for example, which might have been explored to give us a clue to his identity, is used simply as some kind of exotic backdrop.

All five central characters drop their clothes at every opportunity, ostensibly to show what free spirits they are but in reality to give the long-suffering spectator a diversion from the muddled storyline. A village idiot, à la Manon des Sources, is even thrown into the mix.

Viewers are urged to see Larry Clark’s much better film, Bully, which is probably the main inspiration for Chacun sa Nuit.

Nick Hammond

© 2006 Paris Update

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