Braquer Poitiers – Castle Life

Bewildering film is Claude Schmitz’s, to which you shouldn’t be afraid to give time. In order to see Poitiers and its no-hopers.

By Perrine Quennesson

Reading time 3 min.

Braquer Poitiers


Once upon a time, a short film : Braquer Poitiers. Claude Schmitz directed it after meeting Wilfrid Arneuille on his previous film set : Rien Sauf l’Eté. The man was hanging there, on this Belgian beach and ended up as an extra in the short. But he had a thing the director immediately noticed. Moreover, he offered him to be in the next film in his home, almost a castle. Claude Schmitz was willing to do it on one condition : Wilfrid should produce and take the lead role. From there, with a storyline fitting on a paper towel, Schmitz and his crew went to Poitiers, creating the film as he was shot.
What is it about ? Thomas and Francis, two crook halfway between Pieds Nickelés and Joe Bar Team, hold Wilfrid up, carwashes and castle owner. Against all odds, he is pleased with the company brightening his solitary life, and allows them to steal in the fund. Soon, Hélène and Lucie, two southerner friends, get along to enjoy the summer in Poitiers.

Most of them are nonprofessional actors
close to what they really are.

Mostly made with still frames capturing stolen instants, the disjointed story doesn’t matter. Braquer Poitiers, is attacking the city of course, but mostly aim the look at the city. On what precisely ? The characters. Most of them are nonprofessional actors close to what they really are. Somewhere between Georges Lautner’s Quelques Messieurs Trop Tranquilles and Guillaume Nicloux’s The Kidnaping of Michel Houellebecq and the following Thalasso. It is a cliché for a cliché, Belgian rednecks for southern skanks for disconnected bourgeois… Making emerge an absolute truth. This truth is actually necessary to the community, needing bonds to build a group, in the face of all oppositions. Even though, as it is here, conditions are not optimums. Some kind of desired Stockholm Syndrome until it is broken by the individual over the group. Unfortunately, the last part, added to the short film, seems like a protrusion. A bit forced, not really necessary, it takes a bit of charm off of this realistic fiction or fictional reality. We don’t know anymore. Moreover, Braquer Poitier is a opportunity to meet Wilfrid, real high and fake naive, cornerstone of the very rohmerian film. Also an opportunity to review Jacques Brel.

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