Wednesday, November 16, 2016
BANG GANG (A MODERN LOVE STORY) (2016)
Written & Directed By: Eva Husson
Cinematography By: Mattias Troelstrup
Editor: Emilie Orsini
Cast: Finnegan Oldfield, Marilyn Lima, Daisy Broom, Lornezo Leferbvre, Fred Hotier
In a small town of France, life seems to be still and somewhat boring for a group of teenage friends, who day in, day out, are asked to cope not only with the usual issues in the life of a high school student but also with the search for love and sex. How do you blow the steam off, when you are a puzzled, sexually-frustrated youngster? Eventually, a party is thrown on a Saturday night and the solution is about to be found in a very simple idea... A game of truth or dare that will be rapidly transformed into a mandatory, dare only, series of sexy challenges between friends, will provide the means to unfold the true self and hidden potential in everyone present. Beer, drugs, spin the bottle and the "Bang Gang" revolution is born. But what deceptively appeared as a way to deal with boredom, strained family relationships, emancipation and above all liberty, quickly turned into the biggest scandal, a mockery of a modern fairy tale, a story of a child given a toy, not knowing what to do or how to play with it.
It would be easy to characterize this film as a more extreme of teen shows like SKINS. Where here seems to be more sexual shenanigans amongst the drama than story. I believe the difference between porn and On Screen sex scenes in a movie is that with porn you see all aspects In real time and is quick and easy. When you watch it in a film we are used to the characters and somehow can see it as either more romantic or sensual and erotic because it seems more like a private moment we are intruding upon and witnessing, watching. No matter how graphic, violent and even quick it might be. It could even be the theme of the film.
Maybe it is because it is fantasy or we look to cinema as a stand In at times to teach us how love and romance as well as relationships are supposed to go and be like. It might also be because who we watch are so attractive and movie stars that we think we know and also know we will never see them like this naturally ever so this is our best chance.
The director and director of photography certainly knows how to film the sex for maximum Intimacy with the audience and between the characters. Though it seems there is no romance or lead up. The sex is done more out of attraction and a shortcut to the regular things. It might be partly to get each character to like the. It might be the raging hormones are so strong they can’t help themselves eve as they know better.
While the films characters just seem to hang out and occasionally have sex. It seems they turn their parties are made into more or less orgies happening over the summer, over a spurned love. At least the character of George seems to make them begin to become that way. As she seems more betrayed that the guy she likes and her best friend hook up. That she chooses to make sure that the one she is interested in and gave herself to understands that sex can mean nothing and to show he didn't hurt her will just hook up with anyone. More importantly make him watch
The film opens up with a rowdy party that seems full of the usual debauchary and then generally reveals so much sex out in the open that for some teens they are even bored or so used to it they play video games next to the action with more interest in the games. Others are so excited to be next or get in on the action. While others are fascinated by what they see. That rather then try themselves to get some action going they film the actions of others with so much concentration and interest it is almost like they are doing it themselves or at least in on the action. Where they are getting their own sets of pleasure from.
The film shows how sex can be a distraction from all that is wrong in one's Life. More of a hobby or activity to pass the time. Done more out of boredom to add excitement to a gathering. That can easily become an obsession or addiction. Especially when you are young and can gain access to it with relative ease. It can be acquired by so many as an escape.
As it is something that will always be around and thought of as necessary. As you know it will always be in fashion, in vogue so to speak. You know their will always be popular and watched. Which can influence desire and lust.
Where you wonder are you doing it for yourself or for others to like you, find you attractive. Please them for personal favors. To gain leverage or have some kind of power over them.
At first the film seems to start off slow. As we get to know the main characters we will see throughout. Set up their personalities the five of them. As they are also the only ones who we get a glimpse of their home lives also. Then as the film continues on the sex scenes seem to come in abundance. As it seems at first this is to shock the audience to see how far the film and the actors will go. But also it seems to get the audience used to these scenes and activities. To tell the difference between love scenes and sex scenes. Just as the characters must learn the difference between sex and making love. Both are intimate, but only one involves emotions, care and making a true connection. So that the film can use those moments as truly romantic
The film is vivid and visceral like an extravagant sexual fantasy. That is treated as a trapping of youth and some scenes playing out more like a music video without the music. Where as it seems the film time to time tries to be atmospheric and gritty. It always comes off as pretty as a fashion shoot. As the film tries not to come off or seem exploitive. Trying to make it seem like there is a reason for all of this. It still comes off that way. Even the title shows that the film obviously wants to be provocative.
Not that the film doesn't have it's fair share of coming of age cliches. Losing your virginity to that special one and thinking you were special and that it was romantic. Romantic more for those times. Then usually the guy ends up being a player. Then one has consistently to have to watch him with others. So that here having sex with others sneers like competition and revenge. As well as a kind of self destruction or self defense. Especially when hurt and in the film. When Laetitia’s best friend sleeps with the same guy and treats it non-chalantly. As she wants her virginity taken away after watching him take her friends. It seems just to get rid of it.
More of the extreme scenes pepper the background of party scenes. As the films cinematic photography knows how to blend wild situations and subject matter to something more sexy and seductive rather than obligatory and nasty.
This film is like a wet dream for director Larry Clark (KIDS, BULLY) though this film is accessible, watchable and has a story. It aspires for artistic credibility. As it has excellent framing and angles with very impressive shots. Though still leaves you with a bad aftertaste. As you feel wrong watching it.
It also seems a wet dream of teenage youth. Going through puberty. Who if there are any in the audience. This provides that fantasy of always thinking foreign films were all full of sex, nudity and hot girls. The films some of us used to read about In the back of TV GUIDE, for a summary and what the ratings were for or meant knew nudity and sexual situations were a goldmine. But what exactly was meant by adult situations and graphic sexuality. Here there is very little substance or drama to get in the way of what they are looking for. No having to hold the fast forward button down for too long, nor having to read too many subtitles. That is why the film comes off more like soft core porn doubling as artistic cinema. That seems to go along with films like MA MERE and BATTLE IN HEAVEN. Which seem to get lost in story, sexuality, seduction, lust and on screen sexual action.
Though as the film goes on and on, you can't help thinking of the random std's that must be being passed around. As it just seems unhygienic and gross. Where you wouldn't want to imagine how bad it must smell at these parties and let's. it even get started on the random bacteria.
The irony of how one girl gains a reputation for daring to sleep with two guys at one of the parties with all the wanton sex going around by all others at the party Or more once the public knows or witnesses who might not be privy to the actual parties to judge by the glimpses or people they see on screen getting it on. The films then takes a surprising turn in how the second guy whose virginity is taken during this act. Now knows how her character felt about thinking something was special but just was something to do randomly and how that begins the love story that is included in the title. Though the film made you believe we were watching one from the start of the film or that it would blossom between the characters he originally came to see at the party. It showcases how the characters just get lost in the situation. Falling in love as she becomes the damsel In distress, but the both of them feeling like victims at first. Which leads to their sort of happy ending. Reminds one of KIDS the movie when that film came out. Though it seems harder to shock now. Where as that film was raw and gritty. This one is pretty. They both show non chalant sexual Activity though not as much in the former. This film isn't as much a cautionary tale and not as open to streetwise culture and characters.
Times have changed between the two films also. As before it was more about reputation and tales. Now as everyone's phone is a camera it is much easier to document, film, share and inform. So there is no escape and it is around forever.
It's not even about an individual being, so much as wanting to be part of a crowd. You are invited but still interchangeable. When it seems like so many want to be an individual. They are more toys for one another to play with, with little regard and no feelings involved.
Though treated more as a scandal as the truth comes to light about the parties, that became a moment and lesson In Their youthful lives. As the film winds up it offers differing points of view and meanings for each of the main characters.
How easy it seems to get rid of your problems and the ailments plus physical and biological consequences that come into play.