Two young men lose themselves in the cold Parisian night only to find themselves again in nature in “Atomic Age,” from tyro scribe-helmer Helena Klotz (daughter of helmer Nicolas and the pic’s co-scribe, Elisabeth Perceval). This impressionistic poeme nocture anatomizes different if related tonalities of youthful ennui and friendship, and the narrative’s m.o. also translates via the impressive nighttime cinematography and immersive soundscape. Multiplex-goers will find the story anorexically thin, but experimentally inclined auds will understand why “Age” won France’s prestigious Prix Jean Vigo. TLA picked up U.S. rights.Victor (Eliott Paquet) and his Polish poet pal, Rainer (Dominik Wojcik), take a train into the French capital for a night out. But Rainer isn’t interested in girls, and most girls don’t seem interested in Victor. The night drags on between dancing and conversations both inside and outside, where an inhospitable fog has descended. Shooting digitally, lenser Helene Louvart (“Pina”) uses color and shadows to suggest overlapping and gray areas; together with the score, by the helmer’s brother, Ulysse, and expert use of isolated sounds, this slowly elevates the tale from tangible reality to a more metaphorical plane.
A TLA Releasing (in U.S.)/Niz! (in France) release of a Kidam presentation and production, in association with Arte France. (International sales: Rendez-Vous Pics. Intl., Paris.) Produced by Alexandre Perrier. Directed by Helena Klotz. Screenplay, Klotz, Elisabeth Perceval.
Camera (color, HD), Helene Louvart; editors, Cristobal Fernandez, Marion Monnier; music, Ulysse Klotz; art director, Zakaria El Ahmadi; costume designer, Sarah da Silva; sound (Dolby Digital), Matthieu Perot; assistant director, Ludovic Giraud. Reviewed at Publicis Cinemas, Paris, Dec. 7, 2012. (In Berlin, Montreal World, London, Rio, Indie Lisboa film festivals.) Running time: 67 MIN.
Eliott Paquet, Dominik Wojcik, Niel Schneider, Mathilde Bisson, Clemence Boisnard, Luc Chessel, Arnaud Rebotini, Cedric Diomede. (French, Polish dialogue)