Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Class NYT Article

Anissa mentioned this (at least I think this is the one) article in The New York Times by Manohla Dargis in class when we watched The Class.  The article has a pretty good take on the problems with François's teaching style.
...Mr. Bégaudeau is playing a fictionalized version of himself developed through weekly workshops, improvisations and a shoot that lasted a full academic year. Like Mr. Cantet’s shooting style in this movie, he initially comes across as free-flowing, even loose, a guy whose jocular teasing suggests that he wants to be seen more as a friend than as an authority figure, one of us rather than one of them.
He isn’t, which proves this classroom’s most difficult, painful lesson.
 François gives the impression of being the cool teacher but at the end of the day he still has to take control of his class at certain points, revealing himself to be more like the other teachers than the students think he is.

The article also tells us what exactly this movie is -a hyper-realistic drama (Dargis compares it to the HBO series The Wire).
...Mr. Cantet, who shares the screenwriting credit with Mr. Bégaudeau and Robin Campillo, tends to keep his ideas more strategically nestled in the unassuming guise of a documentary-inflected realism that plays a lot like life because that’s precisely where it comes from.
It is an overall favorable review and links to audio of an interview with the director Laurent Cantent.

Here is the trailer in French with English subtitles.  Do you think it captures the essence of the movie?


  1. I enjoyed catching up on your blog this morning. I'm wondering if I can access The Class on Netflix?

  2. I don't think it's on the stream, though you can check. I know some people have gotten it through the DVD delivery service.