L’AGE ATOMIQUE follows what begins as a pleasure-seeking journey into Parisian night life and ends in abandonment and disillusionment in a remote forest at dawn. What are Victor and Rainer looking for when they take a train into the seemingly claustrophobic centre of Paris at night? The artificial paradise of a night club, amusement, sex, drugs, but also oblivion. Full of profound sadness and gloom, this is not the Paris of rationality and light, but a latently dangerous place where tedium, frustration and boredom, ephemeral flirtations and chance encounters can suddenly turn into aggression, violence and emotional breakdown. We follow the friends on their trip through the night which becomes increasingly charged with an unexpressed eroticism through gay gestures and prolonged eye contact. Thematically as well as formally, the L’AGE ATOMIQUE is reminiscent of films by Robert Bresson, or even Gus Van Sant. Throughout all this, the director, Héléna Klotz, does not pretend to fully understand her characters – something fundamental and mysterious remains which defies explanation – but invites us to take a closer look at objects and people.
by Héléna Klotz
with Eliott Paquet, Dominik Wojcik