Passe Ton Bac D’Abord (1979) – The Ordered Nature of Chaotic Lives

For his fifth feature film, Maurice Pialat returned to northern France to take a second look at the disaffected youth that inspired him to make his first full-length film L’Enfance Nue (1968).  A spiritual successor to that film, Graduate First initially comes across as a work that is almost free form.  A work that takes its pseudo-documentary, cinema verite stylings to their logical conclusion by refusing to place a coherent narrative onto the lives of Pialat’s characters.  However, as with Nous Ne Vieillirons Pas Ensemble (1972), Passe Ton Bac D’Abord is a film that draws upon a deep, narrative structure that suggests that, while the lives of these young people may seem chaotic and random, these are the kinds of lives that people have always lived.

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