CANNES 2014: PARTY GIRL BY MARIE AMACHOUKELI, CLAIRE BURGER AND SAMUEL THEIS

This entry was posted on May 16th, 2014

By Mónica Delgado

Three debutant filmmakers come together to extend the life on the big screen of Angélique Litzenburger, a 60 year old ex-nightclub dancer, who finds herself in the dilemma of keeping a lifestyle or changing it for a marriage proposal from one of her clients. Party Girl sets all its dramatic weight in the especial figure of Angélique, a real John-Wateresque character, that assumes in fiction a re-representation of herself, and to spread a little of that fresh and jolly way of her nocturne rutine.

The young Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis filmed this portrait film, that is set on the french-german border and that kicks off with a good spirit, focused on capturing the joy and vitality of these women, pole dancers and escorts under the music of Chinawoman and neon lights. Quickly, Angélique turns into the plot’s axis, especially since her indecisions after the marriage proposal, in her adolescent driftings and her violence attacks. However, the history then makes a turn to easy drama, with the arrival of the long lost daughter, losing the energy of the beginning, and turning the search of the character who resists happiness towards a direct happy ending.

As it happens with Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria, Angélique character is one of those who constantly oppose change and that in their old age show that humanity that keeps anchor in the past, living life with flirts and love possibilities (that the filmmakers show through old photos hanged in walls) and an linear mise en scen. And of course, keeping this sublimation with a precise soundtrack, that achieve a well-deserved aura to the characters’ surrounding (especially in Angélique and her boyfriend’s scenes)

What is very particular is that a movie like this, of very conventional cut, achieving its objective to do a simple portrait and without any more pretentions that just showing the ambivalences of this 60 year old character against a marriage proposal, is the film selected to open Un Certain Regard. However, the expectation for what is coming the next days remains, as a possibility that the quality and surprise level climbs, or maybe the opposite. 

Sección: Un Certain Regard
Directors: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Producers: Denis Carot, Marie Masmouteil (Elzévir Films)
Script: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Cinematography: Julien Poupard
Editing: Frédéric Baillehaiche
Francia
2014