Monday Morning (two kinds)

culture

On Saturday, we took advantage of one of our complimentary Phoenix tickets (we took the grand step of becoming "Friends" of the Phoenix), and went to see Monday Morning (Lundi Matin). There is very little dialogue, few closeups of the main charactors, and almost no explanation for the, often bizarre, things that happen. That makes it almost like sitting on a bench in the village and watching the world go by. If I was going for a spot in Pseuds corner, I would say that it's a parable on the balance work and life. Vincent, the focus of the film, works as a welder in a hellish factory, and it's clear that he regards work with the weary, stone in the pit of the stomach feeling that we all feel now and again, and also as a huge waste of his life (coincidentally, almost exactly the same feeling that I had this morning). So, one day, he doesn't go in through the gates, and without telling his family, goes on an adventure to Venice and Egypt.

The other way of looking at the film would be to convince everyone that the sole purpose of work is to stop the working man from smoking. There are some very funny scenes with the entire workforce trying to find ways to furtively spark up in the 'defense de fumeré' zones.

The film is full of little visual non sequiturs: a crocodile appears in a yard for no reason, Vincent's mother is corresponding with her grandson's girlfriend by Morse code, and Vincent welds a steel rose for a female co-worker. Imagining the stories behind those events is entertaining in itself. It reminded me a little of the films of Jacques Tati. I think Jacques Tati is a genius, and find his films absolutely tears-running-down-my-face hilarious, but Mr. Butshesagirl finds him as unfunny as a very unfunny thing indeed. Chacun a son gout, as they say. Despite our difference of opinion on Jacques Tati, we both found Monday Morning warm, charming and funny — in stark contrast to this particular monday morning — which was none of the above.

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