Last weekend I finally bought Lorber Films’ Bluray of Bertrand Blier‘s Going Places. What a pleasure in every department. This is one of the great anarchic comedies of any culture or era, and the film-like Bluray made me feel like I was watching it fresh and new. With the exception of a 40-second passage of dupey, sepia-colored footage, the transfer is clean and robust from top to bottom.
From my September 2011 riff called “Going Places Forever”:
“Going Places (’74) is one of the most curiously seductive films ever made about loutish, anarchic, groin-driven swagger. Gerard Depardieu and the late Patrick Dewaere are a pair of easygoing counter-culture brutes who fall into a series of sloppy impulsive adventures, and yet never act in what you’d call an especially harsh or cruel manner. They’re dopey animals in a sense, and in another a couple of social adventurers looking to see what they can get away with.
“Let’s steal this or fuck that…anything we want. We’re young and brash and can always get it up, etc. What else matters? We’re bulletproof. What does her underwear smell like? Aaahh…she’s very young! Well, 16 or so. It’s like she just took them off!
“They steal scooters or cars or food or money, and are constantly on the hunt for poon. They’re careless cads and improvisational jerkoffs, kicking around to kick around and see where whim takes them. And yet they’re boyishly innocent on some level, and are nowhere near smart or mean or ambitious enough to become serious criminals. They’re just playing it by ear. They love sex and chasing after women, but they don’t have the first clue what women are really about or what they want. And, being boobs, everything these guys get into either backfires or turns out unexpectedly or delivers some kind or fake-out surprise.
“The film itself is like Depardieu and Dewaere, ambling along without seeming to have any particular plan, and in so doing it gradually charms you into taking their side or least not wanting to see them get caught. It gives you an idea of what a hooligan high can feel like, to break the law and laugh and not give a damn. It’s quite a trick. I don’t think any American film about small-time bad guys has ever managed the same kind of mood or chemistry.”