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Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)

June 30, 2015

Eden-Pauline-Etienne

When calling Eden one of the more directionless portraits of a life and movement, one must clarify that this is not meant as a bad thing and that the lack of direction refers only to traditional expectations of narrative for what’s essentially a biopic of sorts. On its surface, Eden seems to be simply telling the rise and fall of one particular man in one particular music scene, in this case the French house or “French touch” scene that took off in the early 1990s. Director Mia Hansen-Løve is concerned less with a narrative of modest success followed by years of toiling away, and instead with the yearning for youth, to recapture something that seemed like it was only just there.

Her biggest concerns are capturing bodies and faces in a lived-in atmosphere. Eden has something in common with another 2014 premiere, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, in that the mission statement (of sorts) in the latter is something found throughout the details and storytelling approach of Eden. At the end of Boyhood, Linklater’s protagonist Mason philosophises that life is all the little moments, and the greatest strength of Hansen-Løve’s films is how she does so much with so little. The economy of Eden’s scenes have a great poetry to them, distilling a wealth of emotion and character history into the briefest of exchanges, many of them physical gestures…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages

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