Day 188: Frances Ha

Let's start talking about Frances Ha with a story.

Tons of years ago, a friend and I were listening to Modern Love, by David Bowie.  It was during college, and she is the same friend from the vampire paper. She told me about a cool scene on a movie in which the guy was running on the street, kicking trashcans and so at the sound of Modern Love, one of the first Juliette Binoche's movies, Mauvais Sang. For a reason thta I can only relate to my usual mental confusion, I've watched other of Binoche's film, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, expecting to see this scene. Of course it wasn't there. And I forgot to try and see it until this day.

In the middle of the mess that is Frances life, told by Noah Baumbach through a clever black and white cinematography, that relates to the silent era movies, there's a scene in which the protagonist is running on the street on a performative way to the sound of Modern Love. Immediately I was reminded of Mauvais Sang and its scene. I've watched it on youtube and it was clear that Baumbach made a reference to this movie here.

From this recognition on, I was more open to try and understand what I was being told by the weird and awkward Frances. It agonizing, to the point of unbearable even. I was trying to be understanding with her troubles, but it was very difficult to not judge her hectic ways, even if I was aware that it was not only her story that was being told here. It is a coming of age tale in the context of our imperfections, confusion, insecurities, mistakes, dreams. It's kind of beautiful.

From wanting to shake Frances at every 3 seconds to finally softening to her, I could take my eyes from the screen, in angst, rage, annoyance, that slowly was opening space to affection, understanding and cheering. At the last scene I was actually smiling, a long way covered in such a short time.   

Frances Ha. Directed by Noah Baumbach. With: Greta Gerwig, Mickey 
Sumner, Adam Drive. Writers: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig. USA, 
2012,  86 min., Dolby Digital, Black and White (Netflix).


  1. I wasn't so lucky and couldn't find the good references or even soften up to her. I just thought this one was really boring and just sort of hated wasting my time on it. It wasn't a very satisfying experience for me, I expected more from it, but I just couldn't connect to it.

    [ j ]

    1. I understand perfectly why you couldn't relate to it. It is truly hard, a real torture at some moments. I was on a rare good day, I guess!