Opening 17 Jun 2021
Sixteen-year-old Suzanne (Suzanne Lindon) lives with her parents and sister in Paris. She doesn’t connect with her classmates. They are boring; their conversations in a favorite café are unappealing. Suzanne is “tired of everything.” Her father is understanding. The text of a song which accompanies one scene tells it all: She is “hanging around the square, wearing an impudent white shirt, waiting for something to happen.” Naturally, something “happens.” In front of the theater on the way to school she meets Raphaël (Arnaud Valois), a 35-year-old actor. They “connect,” and spend time together, also sitting in a café, or standing on an empty stage in his theater. They seem to agree on everything in their rare conversations, in an otherwise rather silent movie. Is this a serious love affair? After all, she has exchanged the white shirt for a red sweater. Will she share her thoughts with her mother?
Seize Printemps, entitled Spring Blossom in English and Frühling in Paris in German, is a slow silent film, with many close-up scenes of actors staring into space. No one even talks on a mobile phone, which is unusual these days. This leaves the viewer wondering What? Why? Huh? Although not a film for general entertainment, perhaps the viewer can identify with some of the situations. I recommend the film as an opportunity to experience Suzanne Lindon, the daughter of French actors Sandrine Kibertain and Vincent Lindon. At first glance, she does not come across as a film-star beauty, but still, she plays the leading role. Even more important, she wrote the script at age 15, and then directed the film at age 20. Seize Printemps premiered in over nine film festivals, including Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastian, and, of course, Hamburg. (Becky Tan)