Shot on video, and matted for the standard 1.33 screen ratio, “Public Affairs” just isn’t going to travel outside Gaul. A satire on television and politics, pic is entirely concerned with local themes and problems, and as such will mean next to nothing abroad. It still could have been watchable purely as an interesting piece of mock-doc filmmaking, but on this level it is unremarkable.
Philippe Roberts (Jean-Quentin Chatelain) is a director working for the ARTE TV channel (a co-producer of this film). He’s assigned to make a film in a series titled “Masculine-Feminine” (the title of a very good Jean-Luc Godard film back in 1966), and chooses to make a segment called “Bed of the Nation” inspired by the collapse of his own marriage (his wife is seeing another man). He sets about auditioning to find actors to play, more or less, himself and his wife, and then shoots the film, which is filled with references to French politicians and issues. For the uninitiated, nothing very interesting emerges.