This little-known first film from writer Paula Delsol was not well-received when it was released in France the 1960s. Thanks partly to its over-18 certification, the film was a commercial failure and Delsol only made one other film (although she later did some work for television).
La Dérive is very much a film of its time, with many of the characteristics we now identify with the French New Wave: almost exclusive use of natural locations, crude editing, even cruder acting, and bags of style. Whilst the film does not have the depth or impact of the films made by Delsol’s contemporaries at this time, it forcefully evokes an era when reaction against traditional values (represented by the state and the family) was gaining momentum and when women were beginning to embrace sexual freedom, thanks mainly to more effective means of birth control.
The sumptuous location photography adds to the film’s charms, even giving it a neo-realist feel in places, and the jazz soundtrack supplies another layer of poetry and existentialist yearning. There’s also a touching irony in this film, in that Jacquie’s quest for freedom will inevitably drive her into the trap of wedlock that she is so desperate to avoid. After all, the only other outcome is a life of meaningless liaisons and disappointments – hardly a happy ending.
Pierre Barouh, a popular musician of the 1960s, appears briefly in the film; he is most famous for writing and singing the lyrics of the theme song for Claude Lelouch’s Un homme et une femme (1966).
1.27GB | 1h 22m | 915×572 | mkv