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Purely Coincidential

There's a wonderful idea buried in the aggressively tedious home movie that is "Purely Coincidental." Partly staged documentary, starring and collectively perpetrated by a group of six male pals who have known each other since the 1960s, pic will find support in France, where Romain Goupil is an appreciated figure.

There’s a wonderful idea buried in the aggressively tedious home movie that is “Purely Coincidental.” Partly staged documentary, starring and collectively perpetrated by a group of six male pals who have known each other since the 1960s, pic will find support in France, where Romain Goupil — 1982 winner of the Camera d’Or for “To Die at 30” — is an appreciated figure, but prospects for travel are slim.

When an illegal alien tells Goupil that a Paris currency exchange is actually a white slavery front, Goupil and pals launch “Operation Potemkin,” in which they rig a stroller with a hidden video camera and conduct their own clandestine surveillance.

This sounds lively and the idea of direct citizen intervention has the ring of excitement, but Goupil is mistaken in assuming that anybody else wants to see so much quasi-random footage of his lifelong friends, however admirable their political stance.

Endeavor does pick up considerably in final 15 minutes but urging viewers to endure the preliminaries is akin to saying “Keep watching — the part where the paint is completely dry at the end makes it all worthwhile.”

Purely Coincidential

Directors Fortnight / France

  • Production: A Les Films du Losange release (in France) of a Les Films du Losange production with participation of CNC and Canal Plus. (International sales: Les Films du Losange, Paris.) Produced by Margaret Menegoz. Directed by Romain Goupil.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Goupil; editor, Nicole Lubtchansky; sound (Dolby), Sophie Chiabaut, Dominique Dalmasso. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival, (Directors Fortnight), May 17, 2002. Running time: 86 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Alain Cyroulnik, Romain Goupil, Olivier Martin, Nicolas Minkowski, Jean-Baptiste Poirot, Christian Portal.
  • Music By: