Produced by Pascal Arnold, Jean-Marc Barr.
Directed by Jean-Marc Barr. Screenplay, Pascal Arnold, Barr. Camera (color), Barr; editor, Brian Schmitt; art director, Francoise Rabut; costume designer, Mimi Lempicka. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 15, 1999. (English , French, Yugoslavian dialogue.) Running time: 96 MIN.
With: Elodie Bouchez, Sergei Trifunovic, Genevieve Page, Dragan Nicolic, Thibault de Montalembert.
Actor Jean-Marc Barr, a regular in Lars Von Trier’s films, contributes a minor addition to the Danish iconoclast’s Dogma series with his low-budget directing debut, “Lovers.” First film made in France under the charter’s tenets of technical austerity, this chronicle of a brief but intense relationship comes up short in both the texture its raw style would appear to foster and the passion inherent in its subject. A limited future looms in festival and tube slots.
Instantly attracted, young Parisian Jeanne (Elodie Bouchez) and Yugoslavian illegal alien Dragan (Sergei Trifunovic) dive straight into a relationship. Hours of canoodling and poetic pillow talk occupy considerable time, becoming dull and rambling until some dramatic edge is introduced when immigration authorities threaten to separate the pair. Barr charts the evolution of a love story in every intimate detail against the atmospheric streets of Paris, but the feeling of all-consuming amour never comes alive. Bouchez (“The Dreamlife of Angels”) has some fine moments, but neither actor is given much to work with in the underwritten script featuring flat English dialogue, latter justified by Dragan’s poor grasp of French.