"The Trilogy," three films that look at the same characters and events from three different perspectives, rewards those with the patience to see all three although the films aren't necessarily worth seeing by themselves.
By JOSHUA TANZER
They aren't sequels and they aren't prequels. The three films that make up Lucas Belvaux's "The Trilogy" require us to invent a whole new term: simulquels?
These three films happen during the same period of time to the same cast of characters, and include many of the same events, but seen from three different perspectives and reformulated in three different genres. It's a clever ploy, and yet the result is something quite strange. To get the desired effect, you have to see all three films, none of which is much worth seeing by itself.
|Written and directed by: Lucas Belvaux.|
Includes individual films: "Cavale" (On the Run); "Apr¸s la vie" (After Life); "Un couple ˇpatant" (An Amazing Couple)
Cast: Catherine Frot, Dominique Blanc, Patrick Descamps, Olivier Darimont, Jean-Henri Roger, Elie Belvaux, Hervˇ Livet, Eric Vassard, Zirek, Thomas Badek, Alexis Tomassian, Yves Claessens, Christine Henkart, Ornella Muti, Fran¨ois Morel, Valˇrie Mairesse, Bernard Mazzinghi, Gilbert Melki, Lucas Belvaux, Rapha‘le Godin, Patrick Depeyrrat, Pierre Gˇrard, Jean-Baptiste Montagut, Vincent Colombe, Anne Delol.
Cinematography: Pierre Milon.
In French with English subtitles.
Related links: Official site
|Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston at Mercer St.
"On the Run" opens Jan. 30, 2004
"After Life" opens Feb. 6, 2004
"An Amazing Couple" opens Feb. 13, 2004|
You can see the films any which way, but they will open on sequential Fridays in New York in this order: First up is "On the Run," a thriller about a political radical who escapes from prison to continue the revolution. Second is "An Amazing Couple," a comedy-romance about a troubled couple who were background characters in the first film. Third is "After Life," a loosely constructed cop film in which a detective investigates a strangely acting character from the second film without realizing how close he is to catching the bad guy from the first film. ("After Life" is best saved for last.)
Seeing all three films gives you numerous moments of mind-stretching recognition. Some scenes in parts two and three cast related scenes from parts one and two in a completely different light. Other times, we know things the characters don't know because we've already seen what they're missing. Those are the psychic rewards for watching all three installments.|
Yet, to see any one film by itself, you may be disappointed by loose construction and inadequate explanation of what's going on. The significance of characters and scenes from one part is often totally unclear until you've seen another; conflicts set up in part one aren't resolved until part three, and maybe not even then. So getting something worthwhile out of "The Trilogy" requires a serious three-part commitment, one whose rewards are not necessarily worth the effort involved.
|JANUARY 30, 2004|
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