Mia Hansen-Løve (Father of My Children) creates a sprawling fictional drama about the rise of the French house music scene – exuberant, idyllic and musically heady.

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  • Director Mia Hansen-Løve
  • Producer Charles Gillibert
  • Screenwriters Mia Hansen-Løve, Sven Hansen-Løve
  • With Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Greta Gerwig, Vincent Macaigne
  • France 2014
  • 131 mins
  • Sales Kinology

We’re used to seeing dramas about impassioned French youth brought together by cinephilia or post-’68 unrest. In Mia Hansen-Løve’s (Father of My Children) terrific film, the characters’ motivating passion is house music. Inspired by the experiences of her brother – who’s also her collaborator here – Hansen-Løve gives us a fictionalised account of the French house boom that spawned Daft Punk, Cassius et al. With a loose narrative spanning two decades, Eden revolves around aspiring DJ Paul (de Givry), as he helps put the so-called ‘French Touch’ on the world dance map. A sprawling dramatis personae takes in clubbers, entrepreneurs, tormented cartoonist Cyril, and Paul’s ever-anxious mother (Arsinée Khanjian). With locations from Paris to Chicago (bien sûr!), and with cameos from real-life house names, this story of a briefly flaring idyll is a tender, exuberant, musically dizzy panorama that comes across like Flaubert’s Sentimental Education with a Frankie Knuckles remix.

Jonathan Romney

Please note this screening features strobing effects in early sections of the film.