“Going Places” (Les Valseuses)

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


Not that we’d ever have such a thing, but if we were to have a UR Litmus Test, this movie would be as good as any. Like it? Great! You’ve found the right place. Don’t like it? Great! You’ve found the right place, but be forewarned…

Anyway, this film a hilarious, gross sex comedy starring Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere as two young horny, brutish ids. The story is picaresque and wonderfully unpredictable. Those who ever wondered how Depardieu became a star need look no further — watch him charm, cajole, browbeat, and threaten all around him while rocking a black leather jacket and purple pants. The delectable Miou-Miou stars as the frigid shampoo girl who discovers her orgasm, Jeanne Moreau is a hot-to-trot ex-con, and a very young Isabelle Huppert loses her cinematic virginity to Depardieu.

Watching this film — scene after scene, joke after joke — I thought there’s no way this could be made today. It’s weird how these sophisticated works can simultaneously seem so innocent and naïve. But hey, I’m a Blier noob and I know some of the guyz around here are big fans of his work. PR, Fabrizio, Sax, (and everyone else) — what say you?


About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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11 Responses to “Going Places” (Les Valseuses)

  1. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    One of the greats. I think my fave of his is “Get Out Your Handkerchiefs,” though most of those ’70s ones are good. “Calmos” is wild. “Beau Pere” is…”Beau Pere.” I thought “Buffet Froid” was more fascinatingly weird than good. FWIW, my take on Blier is that he picked up (and sort of Frenchified) the concerns of the Italian pop cinema of the ’50s and ’60s. His father had acted in a lot of that stuff. I wrote about this on UR a while back. Popular Italian cinema of that period is seriously overlooked.

    Oh, I also loved “Un, Deux, Trois, Soleil.” And “Mon Homme.”


  2. Great to hear you enjoyed “Going Places.” Blier’s one of my faves. There’s a special kind of spell that he casts … Hard to describe, but it’s like a fairy tale for grown men. Ambles thru the dreamscape of the male mind, something like that. His movies have a funny tone that always gets me — hilarity, grossness, droopy poetry, absurdism, melancholy … And beauty. In their super-precise, super-controlled way they’re incredibly elegant and beautiful, even when they go completely haywire, which most of them do. Surreal classicism or something. It doesn’t matter to me that his movies are seldom totally successful, because I’m seldom happier than I am when I’m spending 90 minutes in the universe he creates. FWIW, I blogged about “Un, Deux, Trois Soleil” back at the old blog. (You’ll have to scroll down a bit to get to where I yak about Blier.) Fabrizio’s recs are great. And if you can turn up a copy of “Mon Homme,” which I think has only been out on VCR, don’t miss that one either. If all men should be forced to read six romance novels (in order to really understand the female mind), then all women should be forced to watch six Blier movies.


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      I think I have “Mon Homme” on VHS! Now that the VCR don’t work, I guess I can use it as a coaster or something.


  3. Funny that you say that “Going Places” is a movie that probably couldn’t get made today. You’re probably right. But you’ve got me musing … Because this is the kind of movie I grew up on. It seems perfectly normal to me — as far as I knew, this was what movies were, and what they’d always be. It’s been very hard to get used to the fact that movie culture of this kind (let alone sexual and artistic attitudes of this kind) have pretty much vanished. Shit that you’re happy with changes … which really stinks, and takes some getting used to. I wonder what kinds of changes will hit you younger guys in similar ways — things that you enjoyed and grew up with and took for granted. And then they’re no longer there. (Or, even more weirdly, they’re demonized.) Have you been hit by any such so far?


    • That’s a great question.

      No, I can’t say such a thing has happened to me yet. It’s kinda weird, though, that I grew up a nerd/geek and now nerd/geek culture is, in so many ways, synonymous with pop culture. Maybe I should be happy — “Yay, my guys won!” — but I can’t say I’m very pleased by that fact. (Jesus, if I see one more trailer for a comic book or zombie movie…) I mean, I like some of that stuff, but does it have to be ubiquitous?


  4. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Which is the Blier in which the two guys hole up in the woods and have a contest based on who can produce the biggest crap logs? Is it “Calmos”? I recall that the scene, as a whole, has a lightness and grace that wouldn’t be out of place in a Renoir film. Very funny.


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