Bittersweet annihilation in Sam Karmann’s Nickel and Dime (2002) September 18, 2007Posted by Richard Bolisay in Alliance Française, European Films, French Spring.
Original Title: A la petite semaine
Director: Sam Karmann
Cast: Gérard Lanvin, Jacques Gamblin, Clovis Cornillac
Among contemporary works, it is rare to find a film taking its time, having its own pace but not entirely its own world because we can still relate to it, especially if its script is beautifully-written, so poignant I thought I am seeing it for the first time but I am not, and though its trio of characters is underdeveloped and understated, it works really well because Nickel and Dime aims not to show-off but to let us feel the paranoia of living in a corrupt world and enjoying little things in life at the same time (the anomaly of life), and after a while it reminds me that I am in the Philippines, crime pays tremendously, nothing compared to French bureaucracy — like parallel lines, the difference between First World crimes and Third World crimes never meet (a pretentious guy I shook hands with a few weeks ago calls it, “Filipino films are as bad as Tribu, don’t even mention it if we’re talking about City of God“) — I cannot help but admire this film, the same way I admire Ozu’s oeuvre, for simple films are the hardest ones to make, and don’t forget its cunning reference to A Streetcar Named Desire: nostalgia is indeed fatal. * * * *