A Paris Education
Panorama | Spotlight on France
Jean Paul Civeyrac’s gorgeously shot black-and-white bildungsroman is a paean to cinephilia. Etienne (Andranic Manet), a working-class kid from Lyon, has come to the capital to study filmmaking. Quickly befriending the upbeat Jean-Noel (Gonzague Van Bervesselès) and the manipulative-if-charming Mathias (Corentin Fila), two fellow film students also from the provinces, Etienne burns with desire to become an auteur and scorns all but his two pals as mediocrities (ah, youth!). As he settles into the Parisian-student lifestyle familiar from so many New Wave films of the 60s—night after night spent sitting in cafés, smoking, drinking, chasing sex and arguing about cinema, politics and art—the harshly self-critical and borderline self-destructive Etienne makes his first foray into filmmaking… Civeyrac no doubt loves Etienne and his fellow dreamers, and he certainly identifies with their single-mindedness, but he doesn’t refrain from gently criticizing their narcissism and self-involvement either. His is the worldview of a clear-eyed romantic, and that’s what gives his film its singular, satisfying frisson.
"With its pared-down aesthetic and naturalistic performances, Education recalls such… classics of French cinema as Jean Eustache’s The Mother and the Whore and Philippe Garrel’s Regular Lovers… There’s a conviction to the storytelling that can’t be denied, and no matter what your tastes are it’s hard not to be moved by Etienne’s struggle to find his voice amid so much doubt and disillusion."—Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter