L`Age d`Or – On “My Golden Days” by Arnold Desplechin

1- Arnold Desplechin & Terrence Malick. What these two masters have in common? if you look at this films you might not find it, but if you dig more about them you see they both consider themselves as the pupils of a master philosopher: Stanely Cavell. The effect is not about how they make movies about philosophical problems or rather filming philosophy, but in away they both inherit their own way of thinking about movies from Cavell. They make movies which many
“bear in their experience as memorable public events, segments of the experience,the memories,of a common life. So that the difficulty of assessing them is the same as the difficulty of assessing everyday experience,the difficulty of…making oneself find the words for what one is specifically interested to say, which comes to the difficulty of finding the right to be thus interested….This poses…the specific difficulty of philosophy and calls upon its particular strength, to receive inspiration for taking thought from the very conditions that oppose thought.”

2- My Golden Days is a movie about ordinary life. And it takes us to bear witness of such segments of experience, and its lead character, ironically named Paul Deadalus – played by the vibrant Mathew Amalric – difficulties of finding words to narrate what he is specifically interested to say about it, and surprisingly his fights and struggles among his friends and circumstances to find the right to be thus interested. The story which should be presented as ordinary as ” A middle-aged anthropologist reminisces about family, school adventures, a student trip to the USSR and the love of his life” turns into a contemplation on the difference of Showable/Sayable. The difficulty which is highly crafted and decorated in Desplechin`s portrayal of France in the 80s and told by the love affair of Paul with Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet). So it got presented like an ill-fated long distance affair, in which the affinity and intimacy of the relationship mostly filled by letters rather than presence of the opposite sexes and their togetherness. A new revision of -or an addendum to- the so-called genre of “Melodrama of Unknown Women” and an hommage to its flagship movie “Letter from the unknown woman“. Plus it is a prequel to “My Sex Life… or or How I Got into an Argument“.

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