Thursday, May 20, 2021

Movie with Abe: Spring Blossom

Spring Blossom
Directed by Suzanne Lindon
Released May 21, 2021

There are many descriptors that, throughout history, have defined people and have more recently been categorized as social constructs. Chief among them are gender and race, two elements that tend to separate more than they do to unify, and though both do serve crucial functions in identifying who people are and how they behave, they often do more harm than good. There are other features that some define as equally irrelevant yet can seem more problematic when they are ignored, like the age difference between two romantic partners. Those who see a sixteen-year-old girl and a thirty-five-year-old man together and find it perfectly acceptable may not be calculating the vastly disparate life experiences they’ve both had and the potential for emotional damage that exists.

Suzanne (Suzanne Lindon), like many teenagers, is not satisfied with people her own age. She finds little pleasure in being at school and surrounded by those like her, and seeks out other distractions to keep herself interested and engaged. She meets Raphaël (Arnaud Valois) at a theater where he is starring in a play and is immediately entranced. As they begin to spend time in one another’s company, they realize that there is a shared beauty in the world that they see, something others might not understand and which enables time to move at a certain speed when they are alone and immersed in their own dynamic.

This film’s title is indicative of a change in Suzanne as she meets Raphaël, and its original French title actually translates to “sixteen spring.” For Suzanne, there is little else that matters in the world than discovering herself, which in this case happens through the art and introspection of this alluring older man. The acceptability of the romance speaks more to European culture where such an affair might not seem as stark or uncouth, but there is also a sophistication to the nature of their relationship that is far more emotional than it is physical.

This film, more than anything, is an astounding debut from writer-director-star Lindon, who in real life is twenty-one years old. The daughter of actor parents, Lindon brings a maturity to this film and her approach that is wildly impressive, creating a cinematic experience that is deeply captivating, allowing the audience to be just as involved and drawn in as Suzanne is. At just 73 minutes long and without a clear endpoint in mind, this film doesn’t manage to be positively emphatic or fully memorable, but it serves as a strong indicator of a very productive and worthwhile future for Lindon both behind and in front of the camera.


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