Friday, 20 July 2007

The Decline of the American Empire / Le Déclin de l'empire américain

Director: Denys Arcand (Les Invasions Barbares / The Barbarian Invasions, Stardom, Jésus de Montréal)
Cast: Rémy Girard, Pierre Curzi, Louise Portal, Dorothée Berryman, Daniel Brière, Yves Jacques, Geneviève Rioux, Dominique Michel
Canada, 1986

Seen: Aug 7, 2006 via Rogers Direct.

Reason to see: It's on List of 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen, its Canadian and I loved the sequel Les Invasions Barbares / The Barbarian Invasions.

I walked into this film with almost no frame of reference, beyond what I noted above in my reason to see. I really really loved Les Invasions Barbares / The Barbarian Invasions which makes it a hard act to follow, or would it be to begin? I thought the settings where great, and the frank sexual/relationship discussions throughout the film very interesting, and very forward thinking for a film that came out in 1986. Some topics it broached with ease are still considered taboo, getting more generally known, but still on the fringe. The ensemble cast was wonderful at creating a believable, simple yet also complicated group of friends. That aspect of the fiml was a real treat. But throughout the film I kept on thinking "What does this have to do with the title?". Although it was addressed from time to time through intellectual discussions the overwhelming presense of the film seemed to be about the life and times of these friends. I thought it was interesting but it didn't capture my heart like the sequel did.

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was interesting, I wished I had liked it more
I don't think I'd watch it again
Would I recommend to? I'm not sure.

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© Shannon Ridler, 2006

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