I went to the movies with my French class yesterday. We watched a French movie, surprising, I know. Personally I’d actually really looked forward to it because I’d stumbled upon a trailer of it before I even knew we were going to see it. I hadn’t been able to buy the film anywhere since it wasn’t out yet, so when our teacher said we’d watch it I was like “hold up, what did you say the title of the movie was again?”. I thought it was an awesome coincidence.
The movie is called 120 battements par minute (120 Beats Per Minute) and it’s about this activist group (ACT UP) in Paris in the 1990s who’s trying to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and demand action from the government. ACT UP consists mostly of members that are gay and HIV-positive, and the movie follows the main characters Nathan and Sean, who are both members of this group; Nathan a newcomer and Sean a radical regular. Sean is HIV-positive while Nathan is not, and throughout the movie we get to see their relationship develop, Sean’s fight with his disease and everything the activist group goes through.
I thought the film was quite interesting and it shone a light on what used to be a huge issue. An issue I had been aware of but had never really known that much about. While most of my classmates thought it was too long, with a bunch of unnecessary scenes and waaaaay too much nudity and sex, I thought it was good (Though I will admit that the one sex scene between Sean and Nathan, that felt like it took 20 minutes, was a lot even for open-minded, unbashful little me). But really, that’s one of the things I love about European films. The scenes are often longer which makes the film seem less rushed compared to a lot of American movies and they’re not as shy when it comes to expressing sexuality. This has at least been my experience when I’ve watched European films.
Very few of my fellow students actually enjoyed the movie. Instead they thought it was boring, kinda weird and they didn’t understand a lot of things. Personally I don’t think you’re supposed to understand everything. And if you try to analyze and get everything it will kill the movie for you. I didn’t get everything either, I just decided that was okay and to just enjoy the movie as it was. Without trying to wrap my head around why they did that, or why they were suddenly partying, or what purpose it served that they went to the beach that one time.
I mean, it’s like with music. Most people don’t listen to a song and think, huh that’s weird, why is he/she singing that/like that? Why are the drums playing that rhythm? etc. They just listen to the goddamn song, interpret what they want from it and accept that it’s basically just what the artist and producer thought sounded good.
Why can’t it be like that with movies too?
Guys, these were just some of the thoughts I had yesterday after watching the film and experiencing my peers reactions. What are your thoughts on this? Whether you agree or not I’d love to hear your opinion!
I also hope you enjoyed reading (even if the post was a bit different than usual) xx
Au revoir mes amis!