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Shipwrecked On Route D 17

A leisurely exercise in comic minimalism peppered with funny sight gags and quasi-surreal concepts, "Shipwrecked on Route D 17" is a minor amusement well suited to fests and tube dates. Longtime critic and occasional filmmaker Luc Moullet's canvas is an ultra-modest cousin to Otar Iosseliani's behavioral comedies, but with more dialogue.

With:
With: Patrick Bouchitey, Iliana Lolic, Sabine Haudepin, Mathieu Almaric, Jean-Christophe Bouvet.

A leisurely exercise in comic minimalism peppered with funny sight gags and quasi-surreal concepts, “Shipwrecked on Route D 17” is a minor amusement well suited to fests and tube dates. Longtime critic and occasional filmmaker Luc Moullet’s canvas is an ultra-modest cousin to Otar Iosseliani’s behavioral comedies, but with more dialogue.

Pic starts like a tongue-in-cheek docu on an isolated valley in the southern French Alps — “The population of 1,000 under Napoleon has dwindled to 100 people and a preponderance of sheep” — but quickly morphs into a comedic view of human nature. When rally driver Paul (Patrick Bouchitey) gets stuck and his vehicle requires towing, his co-driver (Iliana Lolic) sets out for help. Meanwhile, a camera crew attempts to shoot an incongruous Western, and an army patrol led by a preening, deluded officer (Jean-Christophe Bouvet) becomes convinced it’s hot on the tail of an Iraqi plot. (Pic is set during week one of the Gulf War.) Sample gags include a restaurant that accepts only credit cards and an irate land surveyor who accuses a tripod-toting cameraman of infringing on his geological territory.

Shipwrecked On Route D 17

France

Production: A Gemini Films release of a Gemini Films/La Vie Est Belle Films Associes production, with participation of CNC. (International sales: Gemini, Paris.) Produced by Paulo Branco. Directed, written by Luc Moullet.

Crew: Camera (color), Pierre Stober; editor, Isabelle Patissou-Maintigneux; art director, Roland Mabille; sound (Dolby), Jean-Daniel Becache, Cedric Lionnet. Reviewed at Le Racine, Paris, June 11, 2002. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Patrick Bouchitey, Iliana Lolic, Sabine Haudepin, Mathieu Almaric, Jean-Christophe Bouvet.

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