Friday, 28 October 2011

Scholarship French style

I mentioned in a previous post that there are two French films which have some echoes of "Scholarship".  These are 1964's "Les amitiés particulières", a film about two boys who form a "special friendship" in a French style boarding school.  This affair is complicated by the "interest" of one of the priests in the younger boys, so he breaks up the friendship.  This is based on a well known book of the same title, written by Roger Peyrefitte.

The second film is 1997's "La ville dont le prince est un enfant" based on the book "The Boys" and the play "The Fire that Consumes" by Henry de Montherlant.  The plot is identical to "Les amitiés particulières"for the first two thirds of the film before veering off into a Catholic guilt trip of stupendous length and boredom.  However the first two thirds is very watchable as the sadness is palpable almost all the way through, summed up in a stunning scene where "hope" or "happiness" is imagined as a paper plane thrown by the younger boy (Souplier) and ends up crushed in the hands of the jealous priest.  It is one of the most powerful scenes in a film I know, yet few know it.  The authors knew each other, this explains the similarities.

The films are available from (tip if you have an amazon account elsewhere you can sign in for 1 click and get it sent to you from France) Les amitiés particulières and La Ville dont Prince est enfant (at an eye watering price).  They may be available elsewhere but that is one for google.

I recommend both films, they really do resonate with Scholarship (and inspired me to think "hey, I had something like this happen to me" and decide to write a fictionalised account).

No comments:

Post a Comment