Un Amour de Jeunesse

For the past couple of days I’ve been listening endlessly to “The Water” by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling. There’s something so nostalgic about Johnny’s harmony and the tune itself being folk that fits Mia Hansen-Løve’s film Un Amour de Jeunesse (Goodbye First Love) so well.

The song plays at the end of the trailer, which is heartbreaking in itself.

I first read about the movie on A Cup of Jo, and since then it’s picked up positive reviews from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Salon.com, and more. It made limited release in L.A. and New York in late April, but I’m hoping it makes it to Bay Area big screens soon too, especially as it garners more press. Even from the brief clips of the preview—like the quiet rustle of a warm breeze in tall grass as you while away a lazy summer afternoon together—and songs like “The Water” and Violeta Parra’s “Gracias a La Vida” are so evocative. I’m pretty sure I love the film already, and I haven’t even seen it yet.
 
Actually, the impetuosity of Camille’s character reminds me of Marianne Dashwood in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (and Ang Lee’s 1995 film version of that book is one of my all-time favorite movies as well). There’s the utter abandon, the tumbling headlong into first love, thinking romantically that you’d pay whatever price there is for what you perceive is the ecstasy of being with that person. And then there’s the more tempered, measured type of relationship that comes with maturity, common interests, and mutual respect (interesting that both Camille and Marianne later end up with older men).
 
 
Part of what makes the premise of Un Amour de Jeunesse so appealing is that Hansen-Løve seems to portray Camille’s earnestness without retrospective chagrin or condescension—which is how we might otherwise view our younger selves in love. The experience just is what it is: a part of what’s made a person into who she is today, not to be forgotten, but not dwelled on morosely, either.
(bottom photo via Listal)
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