Film Scouts Reviews

"Le Fils de Gascogne (The Sons of Gascogne)"

by Henri Béhar

Imagine you're a basic Parisian student-cum-tour guide in charge of a group of Georgian singers on tour, away from their former USSR country, and some sleazily florid bloke in some caf tells you you're the spitting image of your father, whom you never knew; that he was more than a film director: one of the figureheads--and the most mysterious--of the French New Wave. Not only that, but a braided Russian film-buffette falls in love with you; every Nouvelle Vague icon you meet seems to take you for granted, or finds some resemblance to the late cineaste, and starts telling tales of his amorous conquests and the last "lost" film he made.

That is the weird, but charming, adventure that happens to young Harvey, a lean, lanky, angular innocent delightfully portrayed by Gregoire Colin, the remarkable, and troubling, hero of Agnieszka Holland's "Olivier, Olivier" (1992). Lovingly told, the tale unfolds gracefully, even though the love story and other amorous interludes drag on a bit.

A search for dad and identity, the film is also an affectionate tribute not to nostalgia but to cinema (see Pascal Aubier's press conference). One encounters the most glacial of Swiss bank executives (less of a pleonasm than it seems) trying to buy every single frame the bank owner's actress-wife ever appeared in--which is exactly what happened to Hedy Lamarr and her Austrian banker-husband.

One, more importantly, bumps into a number of luminaries from the Nouvelle Vague, from actresses Bernadette Lafont and Bulle Ogier to directors like Claude Chabrol, all playing (or mocking) themselves, all--sweet, flaky, or pathetically gullible--ready to take the youngster in their bosom.

In one word, it's FUN.

Back to 1995 New York Film Festival Reviews

Back to Le Fils de Gascogne

Back to the Press Room

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.