Sunday, January 26, 2014

Parpaillon - A Delicious French Film

A clip from Parpaillon.
Picture a lady cyclist, dazed, in the middle of the road, hugging a bruised knee. 6 cyclists come along, fall in a heap. The guys dust themselves off and get back on their bikes, weaving around the fallen lady, oblivious to her predicament. But chivalry isn't quite dead. A solitary cyclist eventually comes to her rescue. He throws his bike down and rushes to her side.

Entrance to Col du Parpaillon tunnel. Photo credit: Wikipedia
This is one episode in Parpaillon, a 1993 film by French director Luc Moullet, that chronicles an exhausting cycling race up graveled Col du Parpaillon, a pass in the French High Alps. There are delicious scenes, highlighting joie de vivre. Characters include: older guys dressed in tweed, kitted packs, single women, a couple who are unabashedly in love and are exuberant when they spy a dark tunnel, and a guy who cheats, aided by a vehicle and another who is pampered by his wife—at least I think it's his wife (read on to see why). Several riders become fed up with their bicycles and discard components and water bottles in a particularly humorous manner.

The film captivated me from start to finish. It had to—I watched all hour and twenty minutes in French (it is without subtitles) on Vimeo. I can only imagine how much more delightful it would be if I understood the language.

3 comments:

  1. I was disappointed with the ending, but did enjoy the beautiful scenery and colorful characters. Too bad it didn't have subtitles.

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  2. We're in the process of watching this now. We should finish it tonight. Thanks for sharing it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Randy. I'l be interested in your take on this film since you enjoy bicycle flicks about as much as I do.

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