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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Faubourg 36

Faubourg 36 (Paris 36), 2008
(source: picpusdan)
no copyright infringement intended

A man is charged with murder. He is Pigoil, the aging stage manager at Chansonia, a music hall in a Paris faubourg. His confession is a long flashback to New Year's Eve, 1935, when he discovers his wife is unfaithful and Galapiat, the local mobster, closes the music hall. Over the next few months, Pigoil loses custody of his beloved son, Jo-Jo, and must find work. Pigoil and his pals take over the Chansonia as a co-op; Galapiat is momentarily benign. Their star is the young Douce, a girl from near Lille for whom Galapiat lusts. She in turn falls in love with Milou, a local Red. There are ups and downs, but mostly ups - but what about Jo-Jo and what about the murder?
(source: jhailey)




Faubourg 36 (Paris 36), 2008 (trailer)
(video by UniFrance)


Several years ago I had the occasion to watch Les Choristes and it anointed my soul. I was curious to see also other movies of director Christophe Barratier, and so I came on Faubourg 36 (known also as Paris 36): not only the same director, also the same leading actor (Gérard Jugnot). It has a different approach than Les Choristes, while communicating the same French charm. Better said, the charm of the French movies made before the arrival of La Nouvelle Vague.

Let me explain. The plot in Les Choristes had a crystal clear consistency. A music teacher was coming to a school and was struggling to make a choir against all odds. Eventually he was succeeding. Here in Faubourg 36 the plot is rather a pretext. Actually we have several micro-plots evolving in parallel, loosely connected (each one not having the pretension to be taken too seriously, rather sort of tableaux vivants). The aim is to recreate through these micro-plots the atmosphere of the epoch of the Front Populaire, the Paris of 1936. It is a faubourg at the outskirts of the city, people live in misery struggling to make the ends meet. Now things will begin to change, with the arrival of the leftists at power, these people of the faubourg feel that their time has come. There is a talk in town about unions preparing the general strike, there is much more talk about the first paid vacancies, to be spent at the seaside. A small music-hall in the neighborhood went out of business, the actors occupy the site and try reviving the thing, a young singer joins them and steals all hearts. It will not last long, meanwhile the political right plays ugly, wishing to have the power back whatever it takes. But the remembrance of that unique atmosphere will remain forever, with its enthusiasms and naiveties, and with the soaring of its popular culture: its movies and chansonettes, defining so well the spirit of the epoch. And that's what Faubourg 36 is doing brilliantly: it brings the feeling of the French movies of that time, of the music of the period, and through them that unforgettable year, 1936.

A special note for the cast: Gérard Jugnot makes me wish looking also for other of his movies, Pierre Richard is great in a role very different than his past comic creations, Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu very good as the bad guy (you need also a bad guy in a nice story, for the balance), Kad Merad is a very solid actor, and of course the two lovers are sweet, Nora Arnezeder and Clovis Cornillac. Then the music, original tunes created nowadays, while sounding very 1936. Adorable!




Faubourg 36 (Paris 36), 2008
Nora Arnezeder chante Paris, Paris (par Reinhardt Wagner)
(video by John Dow)


Moi dès que je suis loin de paname
J'ai les poumons tout essoufflés
J'ai le coeur bouffés par plein de larmes
et le corps comme tout exilé

Le plus loin qu'sois aller c'est la Marne
C'était pour suivre un petit beguin
Moi dès qu'il n'ya plus de vacarme
J'm'ennuie l'silence ne m'vaut rien

Paris, Paris
T'es ma seule famille
Paris, Paris
Y'a qu'chez toi qu'mon coeur brille
Paris,
Si j'te revois pas dès d'main
Paris, je vais mourir
De microbes chagrin

Paris, Paris
tout l'temps
Tu m'entortilles
Paris, Paris
Je rêve qu'tu m'déshabilles
Paris,
Si j'te r'vois pas dès d'main
Paris, je vais mourrir
De microbes chagrin

Ce qu'il fait bon a chaques terrasses
Boul'vard Nouvelle .....et Italiens
Là où nous les ptits mecs quand on passe
Nous boivent comme panachés urbain

Dans ma petite chambre au 6éme
J'attends qu'on vienne me dorloter
Dis Paris c'est toujours toi que j'aime
Mais qui va te remplacer

Paris, Paris
T'es ma seule famille
Paris, Paris

Y'a qu'chez toi qu'mon coeur brille
Paris,
Si j'te revois pas dès d'main
Paris, je vais mourir
De microbes chagrin

Paris, Paris
tout l'temps
Tu m'entortilles
Paris, Paris
Je rêve qu'tu m'déshabille
Paris,
Si j'te r'vois pas dès d'main
Paris, je vais mourir
De microbes chagrin
(source: antimon90)



(Cinéma Français)

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