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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the threshold of adulthood in a grim town in nothern France
Last night I watched this for the second time in a couple of years, and I liked it even more than the first. There is a complete absence of sentimentality in Pialat's handling of these youths: they snog, pair off, break up, knock boots (though not necessarily in that order) and generally register complete non-interest in their futures. The film is as aimless as their...
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Elliott Markham

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MOC's Restored Passe Ton Bac D'abord
Recently released for the first time on dvd with English subs by MOC.
Interesting experiment by renowned avante garde French director Maurice Pialat with actress Sabine Haudepin & (due to a very low budget) with a cast of amateurs, mostly from the village the film was shot in.

The plot focuses on the fun & hardships of teens growing up in a small village...
Published on 29 Nov 2009 by G. Ratcheson


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the threshold of adulthood in a grim town in nothern France, 24 Jan 2012
By 
Elliott Markham (Dun Laoghaire, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Passe Ton Bac D'abord [Graduate First] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] (DVD)
Last night I watched this for the second time in a couple of years, and I liked it even more than the first. There is a complete absence of sentimentality in Pialat's handling of these youths: they snog, pair off, break up, knock boots (though not necessarily in that order) and generally register complete non-interest in their futures. The film is as aimless as their lives appear to be. It is also utterly absorbing. Pialat is a director who resists spelling out and labouring emotion. As in other of his films that I've seen, he doesn't bother with the telegraphing of time, place and character that is such a routine - and arguably redundant - element of cinema grammar. He credits the audience with enough intelligence - emotional and otherwise - not to require spoonfeeding and packaged sentiment. Whether one 'likes' these characters is utterly beside the point - they are unassumingly human, and Pialat neither judges them nor idealises them. This is a director whose films get better with repeated viewing, and kudos to Eureka for their many well-appointed Pialat editions - this is the sort of thing that helps enhance the reputation of such underrated figures.
A note on the edition itself - the print is marvellous. Lens in winter is a grim place, and the film does not prettify it, but still I would argue that the smoky, tacky bars, the Fiats and Renaults sputtering along icy streets, the down-at-heel football stadium and the chintzy domestic interiors combine to form an aesthetic as integral as Antonioini's Ravenna in The Red Desert. Like all these Eureka editions of Pialat, there is an excellent essay booklet and extras, the best of which is the documentary which takes up with the players some 30 years later. Highly recommended.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MOC's Restored Passe Ton Bac D'abord, 29 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Passe Ton Bac D'abord [Graduate First] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] (DVD)
Recently released for the first time on dvd with English subs by MOC.
Interesting experiment by renowned avante garde French director Maurice Pialat with actress Sabine Haudepin & (due to a very low budget) with a cast of amateurs, mostly from the village the film was shot in.

The plot focuses on the fun & hardships of teens growing up in a small village in late 70's France & issues around working class youth trying to find employment. This was my introduction to Pialat & I'm honestly not certain what I think. While it was fairly easy to watch, at the same time it requires quite a bit of focus. Much of the dialogue was said to be improvised with only a rough plot outline for the new actors to follow.

Has some nice extras, which help explain the film; especially the interviews. One odd fact is that an actor who plays a 30 something teacher in the film was said to be teenager Haudepin's boyfriend in real life!

MOC does their usual excellent job of restoring the print. Region free PAL.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, WELL DIRECTED, REALISTIC...., 21 Jan 2012
By 
BigK90 (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Passe Ton Bac D'abord [Graduate First] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a fine film by Pialat.

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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prends Un Bain D'abord!, 16 Oct 2009
By 
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Passe Ton Bac D'abord [Graduate First] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] (DVD)
As this was part of the Masters Of Cinema series, I was hoping for a really good movie, but sadly this is not it, Prends Ton Bac D'abord is rather depressing and at times is like a National Lampoon movie without the funnies. It seems to take itself too seriously for a teen movie, though the angst is the same today as it was back in 1979 when this was made.

I didn't like any of the characters either, especially Bernard, who was just annoying - they all seem to be set not to take their Bac (like A levels) and just do what they can to survive in a dull mining town (Lens) - with some of the cast desperate to go to Paris.

Maurice Pialat doesn't really do much to help you like these people neither, actually I am sure he's set on us not liking them, especially the way he makes the old folk flip out when the kiddies are not doing as they're told, but really this just isn't a good movie, there's no real point in it all, and we really don't see anything that would really revolutionise our world. This film doesn't even leave you asking questions, and it's not funny at all.

The DVD is good if you like this, with the "Apres Le Bac" featurette where Bernard Tronczak goes back to Lens 28 years after the film, and shows us the haunts they used. This is quite good if you like the movie, and there are interviews. You can easily turn off the subs too which is nice.

Disappointing really for this series.
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Passe Ton Bac D'abord [Graduate First] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD]
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