Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time Out

One of those great French films that break down barriers and show us a portrait of domestic middle-class life that is instantly recognizable. After an education and life spent immersed in a somewhat chauvinistic Anglo-American mindset, where the culture of Latin Europe is almost completely ignored or at best downplayed, to see a portrait of life so familiar, here on the frontier of the western world in Spokane WA, is a revelation.

Time Out is the story of Vincent, a consultant/bureaucrat type…etc who loses his position and cannot bring himself to tell his family. The film examines the interlude between positions and the evasions and turmoil of Vincent's life. One of my favorite scenes is of Vincent walking, in the dark, along the outside of the building housing his old firm, watching his former colleagues give presentations and so on. I guess one has to walk in those shoes to know what it feels like. You may feel like your work is dull and repetitious at times, but when seen from the outside, it seems like everything.

This film has an emotional honesty and resonance not typically seen in your typical Hollywood production. Again, to feel that this person could be me from a culture I’ve always been taught to regard as so foreign, so yesteryear, gives the lie as to our supposed dissimilarities. The makers of this film are depicting a world of values and practices more true to my own than almost all the homegrown crap I’ve seen lately. Crap that at times meets its goal of providing entertainment, but doesn’t enlighten. Time Out does just that.

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