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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blogging the Hulu Plus Criterion Collection: The Bakery Girl of Monceau

The Bakery Girl of Monceau

Another short. This one by Eric Rohmer who did some writing on the Jean Luc Goddard's All the Boys Are Called Patrick. The Bakery Girl of Monceau was made in 1963 when the French New Wave was at its zenith.

The story is surprisingly complex but realistic. A student in Paris develops a crush on a girl he keeps bumping into. Finally he works up the courage to speak to her and they make a date. But when the day arrives the girl is no where to be found. The student looks for her everyday. For food he stops at a neighborhood bakery. There's a young girl who works there and they develop a bit of relationship. They move to flirting.

The student then begins to resent the Bakery Girl and he resolves to break her heart the way his own was broken. He asks her out. Finally she agrees. His plan is to stand her. But on the day he finally runs into his crush from earlier. She had a bad sprain and was off her feet for a few months. They meet and have dinner. The student stands up the bakery girl. He eventually marries his crush and he never sees the bakery girl again.

There's a lot that happens in this short that runs around 20 minutes. Eric Rohmer is known for his complex characters and this is a fine example. The student is obviously wrong. We're not meant to sympathize. But we're not meant to demonize either. This is story is made of small, even petty events and actions that can have lasting effects. The student may have done some bad things but fate plays a role in the story as well.

The photography is good. The best shots are of the bakery girl. As the student notices her she is framed and shot beautifully. The camera mimics the desires of the character.

This is a fine example of a short subject. It has excellent camerawork and a script that rewards analysis.

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