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Something in the Air [Blu-ray]

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Clément Métayer, Lola Créton, Felix Armand, Carole Combes
  • Directors: Olivier Assayas
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: French, Italian, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Aug. 2013
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CQ5OQS4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,764 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

1970: Gilles, a young Parisian student, is taken in by the political and creative turmoil of the times. Through a haze of wild parties, social activism and romantic encounters he and his friends will partake in some of the most defining moments of the post-war period.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 May 2013
Format: DVD
Apparently semi-autobiographical for the director Olivier Assayas, and entitled "Après mai" in the original French, this film recaptures the sense of confused anger and scattergun resistance against injustice which persisted after the famous Paris riots of May 1968.

Gilles is in his final year at the lycée with ambitions to be an artist, also caught up in street protests, demonstrating against the police and pasting up militant posters. We gain a vivid sense of being young in the 1960s, the sudden sense of freedom to question and attack the accepted values of society, to travel, drop out, and play with fire - a constant theme in the film - experimenting with drugs at the risk of self-destruction. It shows the uncertainty and fragility of first relationships, which one may come to value when it is too late, or, in the case of the women in the film, even when thought to have been freely chosen, prove to be a trap into some aspect of stereotyped or conventional behaviour

The film is visually very beautiful - the view over the valley where Gilles meets his first girlfriend, the apparently liberated artist he would like to be. It is also very French in portraying the heated philosophical debates and the ambience of the dry, traditional approach to teaching in school, the chickens running along the street past the old stone houses, the leafy courtyard gardens with paint peeling on the sills as the men discuss making films to show soldarity with the workers. It is well-acted and most of the main relationships are quite sensitively developed.

On the downside, apart from being about thirty minutes too long with a clear need to edit some scenes sharply, the storyline is too fragmented and meandering, at times hard to follow.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Almost 20 years later, Assays returns to his own adolescence, which he examined expertly in 1994's "Cold Water". As if to make it clear that he is coming full circle the main character (clearly based on Assayas himself), and one of the key supporting characters bear the same screen names as their counterparts in "Cold Water".

This grew on me considerably on 2nd viewing. Because I knew not to expect a straight- forward plot, but something much more episodic and tonal, I stopped focusing on the story, and took in all the details, and the mood. I found the film much funnier the second time, catching Assayas' gentle mocking of the over seriousness of these petite-bourgeois youth, at the same time that he captures the sad beauty in adolescence's naiveté and out sized passions.

"Something in the Air" focuses on politics, art and sex, taking place 3 years after the May 1968 riots, as the high school kids of that moment try to live in the spirit of revolution that was already starting to fade into factionalism (some of the film's best humor documents the absurdly intense rivalries between groups who mostly share common goals, and the insane parsing of every word and idea to examine if it was the 'right' thing to foment revolution).

There are some truly great sequences. An early scene of the kids battling the cops is exciting, raw and immersive. And there's a sequence at a party that's pretty breathtaking. Throughout, Assayas uses perfect music from the period, without using the same 6 songs every film about the late 60s/early 70s seem to fall back on. And the photography is striking throughout. If the film isn't quite a masterpiece it is touching, funny and worthwhile work from one of the most interesting voices making films right now, one who can go from the near operatic "Carlos" to the quiet and intimate "Summer Hours", bringing each their own unique style. Assays is a true auteur, but he hasn't let that trap him into a single style or tone.
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Format: DVD
Something was certainly in the air for nearly a decade from the mid-sixties, when rebellion amongst educated youth spread across the world like wildfire. For the activists at least, it was a period of idealism, that was genuinely driven by the hope for a progressive, liberal and equal society. However naïve and misguided that discordantly chaotic movement seems today, the ideals it pursued have unarguably changed our world for the better. Those who were in some way part of that revolt would find ’Something in the Air’ more appealing than those who were not. Particularly, for the disheartened socialists, who are powerless against the ever increasing inequality in today’s consumerist society, this would be a poignant and nostalgic reminder of a utopian dream, which was not shattered by anyone else but through dogmatic infighting amongst themselves. It is a story that comes from the heart, originating from actual experiences of the writer - director, Olivier Assayas. Consequently, it is as real as a film can be, and is a honest portrayal of the ideological disparity between various factions of the movement and its demoralising bearing on the young militants, who drift away in various directions, doubting themselves and forlorn.

Some critics say that ’Something in the Air’ is overlong, and others disregard its protagonists as spoilt-rich kids. I disagree, for there is nothing superfluous in the storyline and because this particular revolt was instigated by college and university students, who were rarely from deprived backgrounds in those days. What no one can deny though is how lyrical the movie is. At its core is a touching elegy to the lost loves and wishes of a forgotten generation, who tried but failed to build a better world for the benefit of all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Assayas' Rich Evocation of the World That Shaped Him 6 Aug. 2013
By Doug Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Something in the Air (aka Apres Mai), 2012: As the French title suggests, this film is less about the spirit of 1968 than about the slow but sure dissolution of that spirit. Assayas sets his film in the Paris of 1971 and focuses on a group of high school students whose main form of entertainment is covering their school grounds with revolutionary posters and graffiti at night. Assayas captures the excitment the kids feel when printing subversive literature and riding their mopeds to the site of yet another of their revolutionary night raids, but its also clear that he views them as hopelessly privileged and therefore more than one step (and social class) removed from the realities of working class conditions and revolution. The film is supposedly about Assayas' own youth but if this is a memoir it is an extremely strange one because we never get very close to the main character, Gilles. Its as if Assayas wants to revisit the era but is hesitant to revisit (or reveal much about) his earlier self. All we ever really learn about Gilles is that he knows that he's less interested in being a participant in the events of his youth and his time period (both of which he knows to be vanishing things) than in articulating a response to life in general (he seems to be living his life not in the moment, but in preparation to become the artist that he knows he wants to be---but he treats this self-awareness as a kind of curse that separates him from his friends). The way Gilles articulates that response to himself is through paintings, but the way Assayas articulates that response to us is through music. Its abundantly clear that the art form that matters most to director Assayas is music (and perhaps what he really wants to do here is not revisit or at least not directly confront his earlier self--that would be too painful, difficult--- but revisit the atmospheres and music that shaped his younger self and laid the groundwork for his current one). This story is not told with words--the characters say very little of interest to each other--- but with images and very carefully chosen musical selections that imbue those images with a very wistful form of youthful longing and tell us exactly how it felt to be a very sensitive/observant/self-aware 17 in 1971. The first selection we hear is from Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs called "Terrapin" which plays as we watch Gilles paint alone in his bedroom studio for the first time and the last selection is Kevin Ayer's "Decadence" that serves as the ultimate articulation of what it must have felt like to have been so young in such a time and to have been the only one not to have believed in any of it (in revolution, in love, in youth itself) and yet still be so young and have so much of life ahead of you. If you can forgive the lack of characterization, this evocation of Paris (and other European locales) in 1971 is a visual and sonic marvel. Other songs featured on the soundtrack: "Strings in the Earth & Air" (written by James Joyce and performed by Dr. Strangely Strange), "Know" by Nick Drake, "Abba Zaba" by Captain Beefheart, "Air" by The Incredible String Band, "Why Are We Sleeping?" by The Soft Machine, and "Sunrise of the Third System" by Tangerine Dream.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My appreciation grew on a second viewing 13 Dec. 2014
By K. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Almost 20 years later, Assays returns to his own adolescence, which he examined expertly in 1994's "Cold Water". As if to make it clear that he is coming full circle the main character (clearly based on Assayas himself), and one of the key supporting characters bear the same screen names as their counterparts in "Cold Water".

This grew on me considerably on 2nd viewing. Because I knew not to expect a straight- forward plot, but something much more episodic and tonal, I stopped focusing on the story, and took in all the details, and the mood. I found the film much funnier the second time, catching Assayas' gentle mocking of the over seriousness of these petite-bourgeois youth, at the same time that he captures the sad beauty in adolescence's naiveté and out sized passions.

"Something in the Air" focuses on politics, art and sex, taking place 3 years after the May 1968 riots, as the high school kids of that moment try to live in the spirit of revolution that was already starting to fade into factionalism (some of the film's best humor documents the absurdly intense rivalries between groups who mostly share common goals, and the insane parsing of every word and idea to examine if it was the 'right' thing to foment revolution).

There are some truly great sequences. An early scene of the kids battling the cops is exciting, raw and immersive. And there's a sequence at a party that's pretty breathtaking. Throughout, Assayas uses perfect music from the period, without using the same 6 songs every film about the late 60s/early 70s seem to fall back on. If the film isn't quite a masterpiece it is touching, funny and worthwhile work from one of the most interesting voices making films right now, one who can go from the near operatic "Carlos" to the quiet and intimate "Summer Hours", bringing each their own unique style. Assays is a true auteur, but he hasn't let that trap him into a single style or tone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Liking Olivier Assayas 21 May 2014
By Frank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this director through his production of 'Carlos.' I loved the story and the film photography. This movie, 'Something in the Air,' like most art, is a subjective affair. I liked the story because it speaks to me of my younger days. Among the dimensions that fascinated me was the fact that I didn't know the actors, but liked their (natural-looking) performances. The photography was also very enjoyable to me. I streamed this movie through Netflix, but knew that I had to have it 'in the flesh' to play and study.
4.0 out of 5 stars My appreciation grew on a second viewing 11 Dec. 2014
By K. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
Almost 20 years later, Assays returns to his own adolescence, which he examined expertly in 1994's "Cold Water". As if to make it clear that he is coming full circle the main character (clearly based on Assayas himself), and one of the key supporting characters bear the same screen names as their counterparts in "Cold Water".

This grew on me considerably on 2nd viewing. Because I knew not to expect a straight- forward plot, but something much more episodic and tonal, I stopped focusing on the story, and took in all the details, and the mood. I found the film much funnier the second time, catching Assayas' gentle mocking of the over seriousness of these petite-bourgeois youth, at the same time that he captures the sad beauty in adolescence's naiveté and out sized passions.

"Something in the Air" focuses on politics, art and sex, taking place 3 years after the May 1968 riots, as the high school kids of that moment try to live in the spirit of revolution that was already starting to fade into factionalism (some of the film's best humor documents the absurdly intense rivalries between groups who mostly share common goals, and the insane parsing of every word and idea to examine if it was the 'right' thing to foment revolution).

There are some truly great sequences. An early scene of the kids battling the cops is exciting, raw and immersive. And there's a sequence at a party that's pretty breathtaking. Throughout, Assayas uses perfect music from the period, without using the same 6 songs every film about the late 60s/early 70s seem to fall back on. The photography is striking throughout. If the film isn't quite a masterpiece it is touching, funny and worthwhile work from one of the most interesting voices making films right now, one who can go from the near operatic "Carlos" to the quiet and intimate "Summer Hours", bringing each their own unique style. Assays is a true auteur, but he hasn't let that trap him into a single style or tone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 Aug. 2014
By Gordon curtis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
A brilliant film, and the only one I can think of that gets the age group (high school) right.
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