Graduate First (Passe ton bac d’abord…)
Dir. Maurice Pialat. 1978, 86 mins. 35mm. With Sabine Haudepin, Philippe Marlaud, Annick Alane, Michel Caron. Conceived as a follow-up to Naked Childhood, Pialat’s fourth film looks at life among a group of working-class teenage boys and girls in the suburbs of a poor mining town. Less a plot-driven narrative than a series of vignettes, Graduate First endeavors to capture the texture and rhythm of the lives depicted, their listless casual sex and drug use, petty behavior, and grudging acceptance of their proscribed social roles. The least-screened of Pialat’s works, Graduate First anticipates future pieces of 1970s social archaeology like Oliver Assayas’s Cold Water and Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused.
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