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BPM (Beats Per Minute) – 2017 Campillo
- Vibrantly, Robin Campillo tells the story of the individuals behind ACT UP- Paris- an early 1990’s HIV/AIDS rights activism group.
- Much of the film is set in a lecture hall. It is like watching a great debate, authentic and intelligent. This is elevated and emotional discourse.
- The story is about the group, the collective, but Nahuel Pérez Biscayart as Sean is certainly the most dominant thread. Adele Haenel from Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) plays Sophie as part of the group as well.
- Biscayart gets a fantastic scene on a train early in the film. “I live life more intensely” as he pauses and Campillo catches the reflection on the glass.
- There is a nice formal signifier repeated at several points in the film: the members of the group dance at a club. It happens at the 25-minute mark (with the sweat turning to molecules in the air in a nice transition), the 44-minute mark, the 115-minute mark and again at the very end (143-minute film)
- A nice slow-motion sequence at the parade showing their enjoyment and camaraderie as a group.
- Campillo does use documentary footage of protests.
- Strong aerial shots of protestors in the streets, coloring the Seine red in protest.
- It is about the small intimate moments of the struggle—the details in the 143-minute, longer, running time payoff. There are several minutes dedicated to the mourning of a loss, not just the poignant moments. but the details of making coffee for each other- a silent ritual, showing love for each other.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2017