Late August, Early September

by Emon Hassan on May 11, 2008

It’s like getting struck by lightning twice, and both have one thing in common, Mathieu Amalric. I don’t have a thing for the guy, no. But let me explain. I’d sorta realized some things when I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Then I watched this Charlie Rose interview with Julian Schnabel. In it he’d mentioned seeing Amalric for the first time in Late August, Early September, by Olivier Assayas.

Without thinking much, I’d put it on Netflix queue. When the disc arrived, it was broken in half – my first since I’ve become a member 4 years ago. There were discs that were scratched out, skipped, but never one broken in half. I realize now it was a metaphor for something in my life; it seemed more of a sign that night. Netflix shipped a replacement right away and I finally watched it this morning.

Wow! If “Diving” made me realize some things, “Late” emphasized it. I don’t think I can remember watching a film where all the characters did, felt, or said things that I could relate to. It’s a very naked film, everything laid bare. Most of all, if I’d seen this a day sooner I wouldn’t have felt the same way. It was almost as if I was meant to watch it today, this morning, after I’d come to terms with myself about some things. I saw people in it I knew in real life, I heard people say things I’ve heard people close to me say, and I saw how people misunderstand relationships, much like I do most of the time. What we go through is not unique. Lots of others go through the same things, whether it be scared of loving someone or receiving it, whether it be about feeling out of place, or whether the work you do should have a greater meaning etc. You see now what I mean about the broken disc. Nice one, God.

My religious experience aside, I loved the way it was written, shot, performed, edited, and scored. No blah blah dialog and no hammed up performance. No forcing you to feel a certain way with cleverly scored music. In short, and as much as I refuse to use that word these days, it’s perfection. What matters, in the end, is that it did what a great film does – be it that it was me on a Sunday morning – and that is, it hit me at the right fucking time.

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