Le Mari de la coiffeuse (1990)

“Le Mari de la coiffeuse” (the hairdresser’s husband, free translation)


Intimacy and a love scene

Intimacy is what this is all about. The love scene has nothing to do with sex, though is part of it. The moment when Mathilde throws herself off the bridge, the whole sequence, from the lovemaking on a chair to her sudden escape in the middle of the storm is so apparently casual that becomes incredibly heart breaking. It has a place in my memories as one of the strongest scenes i’ve seen.

This film pictures spontaneity, though it uses completely unrealistic plots, scenes, dialogs, situations, etc. How is that made? Through the mind. What happens is spontaneous not in real life, but in our, each one’s imaginations. Asking a woman to marry us, making love with her while she washes somebody’s hair, those are fantasies, emphasized by the Indian spontaneous dances, and the completely darkness shed over our male character’s past.

The french are really good in this kind of every day life comedic dramas, which apparently are naturalistic but rationally are unrealistic (this kind of film making is in the origin of the phenomena Amélie Poulain). I suppose these films will hold themselves based on three fundamental elements:

. female seductive characters (Audrey Tatou was seductive for the innocent side, Anna Galiena is for the mysterious side, i personally prefer Galiena)

. cinematic capacity to deal with abstraction in plot elements, abstraction in character’s definitions and apparently absurd elements (this motivates imagination in filming scenes in new ways, french new wave was good in this, these post directors like Leconte learned the lesson i think)

. an image conferring unity to remember after you’ve seen the picture (here it has to do with light, the inner set and hair, which unites all the scenes) The light here is once more the fruit of Serra’s magnificent work. His approach has all to do with this cinematic mood; i had praised his work in Blood Diamond, i reaffirm my admiration here; he really can adapt to the circumstances, be himself and solve the problems without being excessively noticed.

My evaluation: 4/5 This is french equivalent to “la teta i la lluna” (which would happen 4 years later) and i recommend its viewing.

This comment on IMDb


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