DIRECTOR: Maurice Pialat | WRITER: Maurice Pialat | NARRATOR: Jean-Loup Reynold | France
Maurice Pialat’s meditation on the post-World War II changes visited on the Parisian working class suburb of Courbevoie. An unnamed narrator (Jean-Loup Reynold) describes his childhood in the town before the war and tells us how the destruction caused by the war was continued afterwards when what was still left standing was knocked down and replaced with soulless apartment blocks and concrete. “Landscape, in general being bad we go about to abolish windows, [si]nce there is nothing to look at,” the narrator says in the subtitles’ translation. What had been a poor but lively suburb is now an artificial place, filled with people whose lives are guided by decisions made in boardrooms and by advertising. Special emphasis is placed on the physical distance of the suburb and its inhabitants from Paris. Not a groundbreaking short, but the images are arresting and the editing (Kenout Peltier) is excellent.