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La vie en deux

Frédéric Baillif CH 2009 75'

So, this is me. My name's Fred, I'm 34 years old and single. Some time ago, I suffered a big blow and I'm just about starting to get over it now. There's just one small problem… and it's the problem of all singles: Sundays... Those famous Sundays when you're bored stiff… and have all the time in the world to mull things over. Why am I all alone? Will it always be like this? Fortunately there are lots of other singles my age…

Alone in his Geneva flat, a man well into his thirties does his washing and then sits down to eat his tortellini with his headphones on in front of his computer. It is Sunday; he is single. In a voice-over, this man, the director, talks about being single, something that is more and more common among those who are past thirty. He needs only look around him. Whether because of disappointment, repeated behavioural patterns or difficult break-ups, most of his friends have difficulty finding a partner. The film avoids long speeches and galleries of portraits and instead captures these single people at revealing moments – the trendy thirty-yearold buying peonies at the Saturday morning market before reading a newspaper on a terrace, or the group of friends spending a weekend of drinking and good food in the south of Europe – and enters into a part of their private lives, but without voyeurism. What is common to the characters is that they are all friends of the director. He knows them and he knows how to film them with a light touch and a good sense of humour.
With the same energy as in GEISENDORF (VdR 2006, Prix Helvétiques), Frédéric Baillif manages in LA VIE EN DEUX to give a face to the bachelor condition and, without resorting to sociology or psychology, expresses this lowly “status” in images and, above all, emotions. So when one of his friends confesses : “After the last break-up, I used to cry in the car, behind the wheel, with sad music on,” we can judge as to the success of his methods.
Visions du Réel Nyon 2009