Sunday, September 14, 2008

La Tangente (The Tangent)

La Tangente
Directed by Vincent Vesco, 2008, 13 minutes

La Tangente (The Tangent) follows a young French couple as they take off on a seemingly endless roadtrip together.  The man and the woman meet when she enters a town square looking for a bus, and he offers her a ride anywhere she wants to go.  Through mostly scenes of the two driving around the country together, we see that they fall in love and have no intention of ending the carefree lifestyle they've adopted.  Conflict arises, however, when they run out of money and must resort to menial labor jobs (like apple-picking) to support themselves.  Finally the woman reveals that she is pregnant and terrified of having to settle down to have a child, but in the end they agree to keep the baby.

The story of La Tangente isn't particularly original or even engrossing, but the acting and technical elements elevate it above the typical roadtrip story.  The scenery of the French countryside is beautiful and looks very lush as a result of the cinematography.  The director captures the sense of endless possibility opened up by the pair's decision to abandon responsibility and a normal lifestyle.  There's also a little twist achieved by the editing.  Flashbacks to the woman in what appears to be a hostel give the implication that when she met the man, she was leaving another past boyfriend.  However, it gradually becomes clear that these scenes actually take place when the two main characters are together, as she discovers that she's pregnant.  The performances in the film were also quite natural and their actions didn't feel forced, unlike a few of the other films in Showcase 3.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

i saw showcase 3 also and this was one of the films i actually enjoyed. i agree - not necessarily unique or horribly engrossing, but solidly made. the acting is good, the craft is on point and while flashy at times, i never felt like it was showing off.
i do think it would have been a little more effective if it was shorter and just stopped, rather than ended. i didnt find myself caring about them having a baby, i just got the impression that the filmmaker needed a period at the end of his sentence, so to speak.