TRAVOLTA AND ME (1993) [Feature]

France (MIFF 1995 )
Director: Patricia Mazuy

Travolta and Me captures that rare sense of being a teenager, frustrated by the adult world and slave to new emotions. Patricia Muzays striking second feature, full of incisive observation and flabbergasting twists is set in the Champagne district of France in the 1970s when Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees and The Clash made teens dream.

On a bus seventeen-year-old Nicolas (Julien Gerin), a long-haired boy who reads Rimbaud and Nietzsche makes a bet that he can have any girl he wants. His choice falls on the intense Christine (Leslie Azzoulai), sixteen, whose parents run a bakery.

Mistaking Nicolas' interest for a great romance, Christine falls hard for him and they make a date for the next day. Young Azzoulai communicates a frightening willpower behind her vulnerable, girl-in-love exterior and Gerin makes a dangerously attractive Nicolas, whose self-destructive streak rubs off on everyone.

Amusing naturalistic dialogue and rapidfire pace hold the attention and the films climax is totally unexpected.

Mazuy depicts a kaleidoscope of teenage emotions pushed to the extreme and, in all their raw passion, never psychologized away Eric Gautier's camera stays close to the characters, except in a few lyrical long shots that punctuate the film.

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