Back to Reality

Last night, I went to see Cedric Klapisch’s latest film, Ma part du Gateau, at Odéon in St Germain. I watched the flashy life of a golden boy trader in London/Paris alternated with that of a fired factory worker from Dunkerque. The film accuses the speculative nature of trading as the source of the closing of the factory in Dunkerque, pointing an accusative finger to the trader for acting without a conscience. The trader is living fast, ready to tear out of any situation with his silver two-seater mercedes in this us-against-them scenario in the working world. When the film was over, I heard the voice of a man behind me muttering “what a load of nonsense” while others were clapping. I turned to see a blond middle-aged man in a pin-stripped suit and designer glasses with his eye-brows raised at his equally middle-aged wife. My first thought: banker.

I would have loved to have heard his full opinion (there is a lot to say about the film), but even ease-dropping was excluded in the human flow to the exit. I walked out of the cinema into the busy life in the heart of St Germain. There were cars driving down Boulevard St Germain, busses, scooters, Vèlib bikes and all kinds of people chatting or walking around. As I headed homewards lost in thought, I tried to imagine all these people in a dualistic world as presented by the movie. I had barely walked a minute when I saw the banker couple again, now in an animated discussion about the film: the man was clearly not impressed. But then: the blinking of the indicator lights of a silver two-seater Mercedes parked full out on the sidewalk. Right there at Odéon! The couple gets in and drives off. I could not believe my eyes. They had their car parked on the sidewalk for the full duration of the movie? Really? Here? For THAT movie? Life can give you clichés which are so hard that they would never work in literature or film. Or perhaps are even too crass for a blog..

(Picture: Ma Part du Gateau)


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