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MODS

  • Mods
  • Mods
  • France
  • 60.0 mins
  • Festival: 2003
  • Section: Concorso Cineasti del presente

The film
«In 1965, at the Eurovision contest France Gall sang: «My heart is recorded in my grooves» (Wax Doll, Sound Doll). Mods plays these grooves in repeat mode, to let the echoes resonate, echoes of the eternal adolescent refrain: rage, frustration, fear.» Serge Bozon’s succinct description of his film is spot on. Like a diamond stylus in contact with a vinyl record groove his characters spin round and round, prisoners of the campus walls. Edouard, a student and inveterate seducer there, is ill. What’s wrong with him? Worried, the school headmistress, looking like a 19th century English governess in her Peter Pan collar, writes to his two inseparable brothers. They come to the campus, disturbed at being pulled out of their own world, and are equally disturbing for the students, ersatz mods casually leaning against the wall, in a pose which recalls those 60s’ single covers. «We are soldiers», «it’s our job» the brothers keep repeating like a broken record. The 60s are very present in this atemporal film. First, in the title, which refers to the «mod» movement of young working-class teens in the 60s, fans of the Who and the Kinks: as portrayed in Franc Roddam’s Quadrophenia (1979), one of the best cinematic reflections of that era. Rather than use the English music of that time, which Serge Bozon thought made it too datable, he preferred American garage-punk, of which he is an avid collector, and which he uses in the film’s five unexpected and stylised choreographed numbers. Second, Bozon readily admits the nods to Nouvelle Vague auteurs: Godard (the way the dialogue is performed), Truffaut (the chief medical officer looks like Jean-Pierre Léaud), Rivette (the unfathomable plot), Rohmer (the relationships and love intrigues). And this mysterious illness of Edouard’s? Love, revealed to him by a young girl, which might conclude, as in France Gall’s words: «But one day I want to live my songs without fear of boys’ love».

Production Year: 2002

Production country: France

Runtime: 60.0 mins

Subtitles:

Screenplay: Axelle Ropert

Cinematography: Céline Bozon

Sound: Laurent Gabiot, Melissa Petitjean

Editing: Cyril Leuthy

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