Ma Vie Avec James Dean @ Image + Nation

After being contacted by Les Écrans de la Côte, director Géraud Champreux (Johnny Rasse – Les Fraises des Bois) is excited to bring his first film, Ma Vie Avec James Dean, to screens in Le Tréport, Crécy and Quend. All in the Normandy region of France. The only thing he is hesitant about is that his boyfriend and lead actor Ludwig (Tancredi Volpert – August in Berlin) is not with him.

He should realize quickly that this is not going to be at all what he expects when on the bus to Le Tréport a young passenger steals his cell phone, Sylvia (Nathalie Richard – Hidden, Never Let Me Go), the woman in charge of all this, does not show up to pick him up nor to the first screening night, the woman working at the hotel he is staying in, Gladys (Juliette Damiens – Les Fraises des Bois), is a very strange woman who dreams of being in one of his films, and the young projectionist Balthazar (Mickael Pelissier – Demain Nous Appartient) declares his love for Géraud after just one day. He not only gets a very odd introduction to the film world and a couple of days that changes his life forever.

The film should be classified as a mess. It is just all over the place with stops at romance, erotic, fantasy, and then followed by twists and turns. Despite all this, screenwriter/director Dominique Choisy’s (Les Fraises des Bois, Modern Comforts) film works. As a director he definitely has a style. He has used that unique vision and transposed it on romantic comedy seamlessly. This is no simplistic look at romance; he shows it in all its complexity and variations. Nothing is done in a conventional way which keeps things very interesting.

An interesting part of the film is how it openly (yet slyly) takes aim at big studio comedies and U.S. action films. Dismissing these films as only appealing to the mindless masses. This is an independent film and it wears that badge proudly on its sleeve.

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