Something in the Air
EXEC PROD Christopher Granier-Deferre
PRODS Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz, Sylvie Barthet
SCR Olivier Assayas
CAM Eric Gautier
ED Luc Barnier
PROD DES François-Renaud Labarthe
PROD CO MK2 Productions / France 3 Cinéma / Vortex Sutra
After the mammoth artistic triumph that was Carlos, Olivier Assayas switches gears to tell a loosely autobiographical coming-of-age story that combines the artistic, sexual and political yearnings of a group of young people in 1971 Paris with the still-fiery aftermath of May 1968. Nostalgic without being at all sentimental, Something in the Air burns with the passion of youth, when limitless possibilities and confusion hold equal sway.
Gilles (newcomer Clément Metayer), is a 17-year-old Parisian high-school student trying to reconcile his left-wing activism (nightly slogan-painting) with his artistic endeavours (painting and drawing). When he meets the political firebrand Christine (Lola Créton), he sees a kindred spirit and the two become a couple. When summer arrives—and with it increasing violence in the streets—the two of them join a group of friends for an Italian sojourn filled with luxuriant parties and fierce political debate. Where do they go from there?
"Made with the bittersweet clarity of hindsight and the assurance of a director in peak form, Something in the Air is Olivier Assayas’ wise and wistful memory-piece on the revolutionary fervor that suffused his young adulthood. Conjuring the mood and attitudes of 1970s European counterculture with pinpoint detail and nary a shred of naive romanticism, this tender but dispassionate semi-autobiographical drama offers a gentle rebuke to the celebratory spirit of many post-’68 movies, capturing how political zeal gives way to confusion, compromise and a dawning sense of personal identity."—Justin Chang, Variety