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EMPORTE MOI

SYNOPSIS:
Montreal, 1963; 13 year-old Hanna (Karine Vanasse) lives with her failed poet father (Miki Manojlovic), depressed mother (Pascal Bussieres) and brother Paul (Alexandre Merineau). Lonely and saddened by her parents unhappy marriage, Hannah's outlook changes after she sneaks into a cinema screening Jean-Luc Godard's film Vivre Sa Vie (My Life To Live). Inspired by the words of the film's free-spirited heroine, "I am responsible", Hannah gains the confidence to find her way in life as adulthood approaches.

"The spirit of French New Wave cinema is alive and well in Lea Pool's bittersweet nostalgia piece. Highlighted by a wonderful performance by newcomer Karine Vanasse, Emporte-moi is an acutely observed and vibrantly realised slice of adolescent life. What this film captures so impressively is that moment of finding hope in books, songs and movies when you're a lonely teenager. The wonder Hanna experiences following her almost accidental discovery of Anna Karina in Vivre Sa Vie shines through Emporte-moi (the title itself would have done Godard proud). The inspiration of Godard's free-spirited heroine is beautifully integrated into Hanna's story as she dances a la Karina and begins to see her image in that of the teacher she adores (Nancy Huston). Pool cleverly draws the line between idolisation and inspiration; Karina played an unhappy housewife who turned to prostitution but it is her words "I am responsible", rather than her actions, which help guide Hanna through her first real kiss and the intimate confessions of her parents. There's a natural feel to this film which generates sympathy even for its lost souls such as her father - a holocaust survivor unable to admit any failure - and her mother whose depression makes Hanna the mother in their relationship. The delicate manner in which this spirited young heroine discovers that it is indeed her life to live makes this a winner."
Richard Kuipers

"Khyentse Norbu, the tyro Tibetan director whose Cup runneth over with critical laurels, recently claimed some 40-odd viewings of the Francois Truffaut’s The Four Hundred Blows had provided him with an indispensable insight into the art of film-making with finesse. But he’s obviously not the only director who’s been meditating on the Nouvelle Vague coming-of-age masterpiece. Lea Pool’s Emporte-moi not only has numerous stylistic and content similarities with Four Hundred Blows, it’s youthful protagonist Hanna – played with miraculous sensitivity by Karine Vanasse – is entranced by Vivre Sa Vie, one of the most famous films of Truffaut’s New Wave colleague Jean-Luc Godard. Emporte-moi loosely translates to "set me free" and Hanna, much impressed by the feminine worldliness of Godard’s prostitute protagonist, is coming to grips with the paradoxes of free will, fate and responsibility. Vanasse’s astounding performance is very nearly matched by Pascale Bussieres as her fragile, sensitive mother and Miki Manojlovic who, as her chronically unemployed and intermittently abusive father, brings a masterful combination of tortured frustration, anger and pathetic desperation to a fascinatingly complex character. In the best tradition of the French New Wavers, and enhanced with her own idiosyncratic juxtapositions of grittiness and surrealistic symbolism, Pool doesn’t just present a narrative, she subtly invites us to observe every nuance and flicker of mood and insight and interaction along the way. It is an experience not to be missed."
Brad Green

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

EMPORTE MOI (MA)
(Set Me Free)
(France)

CAST: Karine Vanasse, Alexandre Mérineau, Pascale Bussières, Miki Manojlovic, Monique Mercure, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Nancy Huston

PRODUCERS: Lorraine Richard

DIRECTOR: Léa Pool

SCRIPT: Léa Pool

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jeanne Lapoirie

EDITOR: Michel Arcand

MUSIC: ECM

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Lucie Bouliane

RUNNING TIME: 95 min

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 27, 2000 (Sydney only; other cities later)







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