L'âge des ténèbres

L'âge des ténèbres

Days of darkness

DVD - 2008 | French
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Jean-Marc, a middle-aged civil servant, failed father and closet smoker, dreams that he is a knight in shining armor who has women falling at his feet. Can he resist the temptations of his dreamland in order to carve out a life of his own?
Publisher: Montréal : Alliance, [2008]
Branch Call Number: FRENCH FIC AGE 6998mv 1
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 108 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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Nursebob
Jan 22, 2015

Jean-Marc Leblanc is firmly ensconced in a soulless upper-class Montreal suburb; doomed to a sexless marriage with a high-powered realtor who treats him like an outdated accessory, and a complete stranger to his two daughters who’d rather interact with their iPods. At his low-level government job he is just another generic drone paid to listen to the tragic stories of clients as he automatically denies their applications for financial aid. His only escape is through a rich fantasy life where he is constantly the centre of attention, whether it be for winning a landslide election or authoring a bestseller based on his meaningless life. And of course there is a group of beautiful women eager to wait on him and fulfill his every sexual need. But reality has a way of intruding into even the most pleasant of reveries and it isn’t long before Jean-Marc must face the unhappy wreck his life has become. With it’s undercurrent of helpless rage, Denys Arcand’s follow-up to Decline of the American Empire and Barbarian Invasions goes beyond mere social satire; his bitter vision of a modern dystopia going down in flames is at once darkly comical and terribly unsettling. He populates his film with hordes of blank-faced commuters glued to their cellphones while the radio drones on about murder, plague and catastrophe. Meanwhile, the government is housed in a decaying concrete monstrosity (Montreal’s Olympic Boondoggle) where employees must dodge falling plaster while being harangued by pro-ministerial slogans. With nods to Brazil and 1984 (and a sly salute to Kill Bill ) Arcand uses fantasy and embellishment to draw attention to some troubling trends; from the sinister rise of political correctness to the crushing nightmare of government bureaucracy and the abysmal state of healthcare. But there is hope amidst the pessimism, for as his marriage disintegrates and his fantasy women grow tired of him Jean-Marc receives a delicate epiphany by the shores of a quiet lake. Aside from an overly long Renaissance Fair sequence which, while germane to the film’s central themes, strays into Woody Allen territory there is not much here that is less than brilliant. Very funny...and depressingly honest.

r
Ron@Ottawa
May 14, 2014

Have to admit I am disappointed by this film from director Denys Arcand, who has done much better work. The story is about an under-accomplished civil servant in Quebec, constantly fantasizing himself to be some kind of hero and the love interest of many gorgeous women. Well, I do that too sometimes. But for a film that makes for a very thin plot. French with subtitles.

g
geomillar
May 04, 2012

Mon Dieu, I'm the first to comment on a Denys Arcand masterpiece! Arcand is a mature Woody Allen with a splash of Monty Python. This politically incorrect comedy packs a powerful punch. You'll want to watch it twice... once in the Quebec version and again in the Global version.

v
velowallah
Feb 19, 2011

Pas fort. Il y avait quelques bonnes scènes, comme celle avec Christian Bégin en animateur de "Rire Québec", mais sinon, la caricature m'a semblé à la fois trop forcée pour être efficace, et en même temps pas vraiment assez pour être drôle. Dommage que le grand potentiel de Marc Labrèche n'ait pas été davantage mis à contribution.

t
TJ_77
Nov 25, 2010

C'était trés bien! Interesant! J'ai aimé ses fantasms! Un bon film de Quebec.

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Ron@Ottawa
May 14, 2014

Sexual Content: Some brief nudity and references to sexual situations.

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