By Mónica Delgado
It would be simple to say that L’Amant D’Un Jour it’s a film that plays with the concept of infidelity, but Philippe Garrel goes beyond that. A twenty-year-old (Esther Garrel) returns to the father’s house depressed after a breakup. There, she discovers that her father (Eric Caravaca) is living with a girl of her same age (Louise Chevillotte) who turns into her confident and protector. The film starts from these two relations, the one that just ended and one that is slowly growing, and from the dialogues that focus in the reasons that sustain the romance and trust. From there, it builds on the concept of fidelity, and delves in correspondences and generational distances.
In a particular dialogue of this film, the daughter asks the father about what he understands by fidelity (expecting a profound answer, given that the father is a philosophy teacher), however, he answers that fidelity “is only a word” without further meaning. For the father, the relationships hold together through a different kind of bond, like comprehension and empathy, and not this kind of “blind loyalty”, especially when talking about a physical fidelity. However, through these premises Garrel starts to deconstruct some preconceptions, given that the father is in favor to desacralize some pre-established ideas on amorous bonds, and looks to subvert some paradigms, but the result and reality turns out to be very different.
Garrel returns to his previous ghosts: variations on the topic of love, its transformation, but never its denial. Through a porous black and white, the French filmmaker applies all of his measured sentimentality and proposes an ambivalent character to remember, the one played by Louise Chevillote, showed in a kind of Nouvelle Vaguesque-splendor.
QUINZAINE DE REALIZATEURS
Director: Philippe Garrel
Producers: Jean-Claude Carrière, Caroline Deruas-Garrel, Philippe Garrel, Arlette Langmann
Music: Jean-Louis Aubert
Cinematography: Renato Berta (B&W)
Cast: Éric Caravaca, Esther Garrel, Louise Chevillotte, Laetitia Spigarelli
ARTE France Cinéma / SBS Productions