OSELLA AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY AT VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2012
After the success of his television miniseries Carlos, Olivier Assayas continues his exploration of the 1970s, this time on a smaller scale. Something in the Air tells the story of a group of disenchanted young leftists dealing with the aftermath of the May 1968 protests in France. At the centre of the group is Gilles, a student and painter caught in a psychological (and physical) freefall. From Paris to Italy to London, Something in the Air plunges us back into the turmoil of those troubled times. While Assayas emphasizes its autobiographical aspects, the film is no less a glowing homage to filmmaker Philippe Garrel, who is a kindred spirit of Gilles’s. The images that haunt Garrel’s work are also found here: the mixed-up artist who lives only for the love of women, the drug-addicted singer, shattered dreams, escape. While filming in the desert with a Super 8 camera, Gilles and his friends are actually shooting images from Garrel’s The Inner Scar. There is a kind of scar (that might be called nostalgia) that marks Assayas’s film, and evokes historical events and cinema’s past in a disquieting way.