The Clan [DVD]
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In the shadow of the French Alps, love, obsession and passion collide when three brothers in a close-knit family are forced to confront what has until then brought them together, and what will now tear them apart. Sexy French superstars Nicolas Cazalé ('Le Grand Voyage') and Stéphane Rideau ('Presque Rien') star in this epic portrait of simmering masculinity and a family unit in a fiery state of flux.
"Induces a kind of hypnotic, sensual ease... remarkable" --Sight & Sound
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I really like these actors but I think they can all be seen to better effect elsewhere. In fact Morel's next film starred the lovely Dumerchez with Catherine Deneuve in a film that also explored grief, but rather better - Apres Lui (Zone 1 only). Salim Kechiouche is in The String - also a gay role - playing alongside Claudia Cardinale, and better still, in Ozon's Les amants criminels, while Rideau is blisteringly sexy both in Les Roseaux sauvages starring alongside Gael Morel, and in the sublime Presque Rien. Le Clan should be brilliant and it certainly looks amazing - just look at that cover embrace! - but it is really an interesting failure. And there is a scene of terrible animal cruelty - I'm sure it's faked but it is very disturbing nonetheless.
Having seen the film I can't believe they're talking about the same one I saw, because this film is very good. A lyrical, sexy and moving portrayal of working class masculinity in the foothills of southern France. The film presents three sections each dominated by one brother. In the first, Marc is presented as a drug-dealing thug on a path of self-destruction. The second presents Chistophe getting his life back on track after being released from prison. The third deals with Olivier, who rejects the world of crime that seduced his brothers and embarks instead on a passionate love affair with one of Marc's friends.
Compared to Morel's impressive earlier film 'A toute vitesse', 'le Clan' is less plot based and more concerned with character development. It has clearly been made for people of above average intelligence.
In conclusion, don't pay attention to the negative reviews. See this film and judge for yourself.
Three handsome, loving, and lovable young adult brothers protect each other following the death of their beloved mother. Perhaps because of their loss, their 'feminine' sides are emphasized as much as is their masculinity. Relationships with each other and with other males are sensual and innocent, and are free of guile. The small amount of violence in the tale is all the more affecting because of the sympathy one feels for the characters, all suffering from stages of advanced testosterone poisoning.
Only a slightly corny twist to the end of the story of one of the brothers makes this less than a perfect film. The film is beautifully shot. The brothers are brilliantly portrayed, and their stories are touchingly told. I imagine that any open minded and open-hearted person will love this film.
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