Thursday, March 29, 2012

Les Fameux Gars (2012)

The promotional English title is The Notorious Guys, although I feel that the film wouldn't make much sense, or better, wouldn't seem as funny, to an audience deprived of the knowledge of the French language to say the least. Having said that, I still wish it to be sold in English-speaking countries all the same. I actually just came back from Utopolis, our one and only cineplex in Luxembourg City, and I was thinking that me and my friend were probably the only non-Luxembourgers and non-French who were watching the film (as soon as I went online, I discovered that there was at least one more).

Even if parody is not my thing, I was curious to watch the film that created quite some buzz ever since it was in production this summer, at least for people involved in the production industry. Many of them who have worked a bit or a lot in the movie industry in this tiny spot, were featuring or were involved in the film, after all; acclaimed Luxemburgish director Andy Bausch (not that I knew how he looks like, but he introduced himself in a scene), the Equinox Studios guys and Isabelle Dickes the wonder-wardrobe-master, who became a Portuguese mama for the film are names you cannot miss, for instance. Then others, like Nilton Martins -his killing line "Lussemburgo! Schifflange!" made me burst into laughter more than once-, and Sirvan assisting the machinist -do you have any clue what does a machinist do exactly in film-business? Do help me with that, cause I always fail to understand what are the machines he deals with- I just happen to know and I hope they will find their massive audience soon.

Les Fameux Gars are three plus one crazy pupils, not only crazy, but also disobedient and in need for a special school. Which makes me remember that they are plenty of those in Luxembourg. From my experience, children in special schools are a mixture of not very bright kids but also of lazy, easily distracted, disobedient ones. Kids that come from a delicate family background, let's put it this way. I find most of these kids nice and creative, and I'd name it plain unfair to have less chances in their lives, instead of intensive counselling, but that's a different story. The film guys, a tad too old for pupils anyways, are totally nuts, ready to make jokes instead of give in to knowledge and eager to exasperate their lovely young teacher. One of them has fallen for her, though, so he tries to be quiet and behave, until he gets her, that is.

The main demise here is a school trip to Portugal, but many subplots are put together, add to that some bizzare day-dreaming trances in which the protagonist Diego Castello falls into and you got it. It is a guilt-free farcical ninety minute spoof. It parodizes unimportant cause which find ardent supporters, just for the sake of it, creative school directors that don't give a damn about their pupils, then it parodizes niggers' talk and rap fashion style and many things that I don't recall now. Moreover, it references local themes, like Portuguese immigrants, the Schleck brothers, a certain TV cook et cetera. The film is totally shot in situ, which brings about even more laughs, especially when you see the school bus arriving in Portugal, where a Cactus poster features in the background or when they try to choose a balloon to fly away, always in Portugal, but with Luxemburgish advertisements on it. What I'm trying to say here is, simply, the more you get, the more you laugh. Context is quintessential here, and the comedic elements deriving from the situations can be enough for those who can't get the rest of it, but, oh well, I wouldn't like to be one of them.

One more thing: People, why do you leave when the credits start scrolling down? What's the hurry? You've missed some funny stuff here, namely on the animal "Platypous" and its relation to a Greek word, which Greek word? One last thing: I have to admit -and I feel terribly ashamed- that this one is the first Luxemburgish film I watch in Luxemburgish territory. The first ever was Nuits d'Arabie (which was screened in a festival in Athens back then). Noticeably, both of them are produced with some help for Luxembourg Film Fund. Nice. Please, don't throw stones on me for not having watched anything by Andy Bausch yet -I badly need it, but never find time for it (whoever has DVDs of his films, he can volunteer to educate me, though). And the bottom line is: good for Adolf El Assal that his first feature makes people laugh; I see potential there and I eagerly hope he'll raise more money to make his next film -which means that you have to go and watch it, your money will be well-spent.

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