Olivier Assayas’ Something In The Air (Après Mai) is released in British cinemas today. The film is the director’s follow-up to the remarkable Carlos, one of our ten favourite movies of 2011, and while our complete review can be found in the upcoming issue of Periodical, we felt it only apt to comment on just how vital a piece of cinema it really is here on the pages of the site too.
Here’s an excerpt.
The film is at it’s most interesting when it acts as a discourse on the syntax of a revolutionary cinema. Within the film the characters discuss the approach towards bringing their argument to the everyman, with Gilles apprehensive about the groups decision to use the language of what they deem to be “le petit bourgeois” as the best vessel with which to deliver their message. Instead Gilles proposes that a new way of thinking deserves, nay demands, it’s own language, with progress triumphing over convention. It’s telling that in retelling his own story, Assayas has chosen to use the traditional cinema language to which he has since grown accustomed. In this sense Après mai acts as a confessional of sorts, on the futilities of youth. Assayas has since admitted that he himself took very little from the more complex and esoterically constructed political films of the early-1970s, and has specifically singled out the work of the time of Jean-Luc Godard as being particularly impenetrable.