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A small seaside town and its stretch of shingle beach, which, in the winter, gives the town a lunar quality. While in the summer a crowd of vacationers and regular visitors are attracted to its shores bordered with a row of bright and colorful huts.
A shingle processing factory operates at one end of the beach. Marie, an attractive young woman, works here. Her boyfriend, Paul, is a grocer in winter and lifeguard in summer. Worried about his mother, Rose, who gambles away her retirement fund in the casino’s one-armed bandits, Paul has trouble coping with Marie’s dreaminess and suffocates her with his awkward affections.
A feeling of discontent progressively overtakes Marie. The vacationers she meets as the seasons go by remind her that in her youthful dreams she imagined herself somewhere else. Albert, obliged to take over the family shingle factory, works his way out of his job. With his smart sports car, he looks exactly like a Prince Charming.
“Seaside” recounts the life of a little town in the Baie de Somme, with its vast stretches of beach, little brightly painted houses, its casino. It bustles with life in summer but is deserted the rest of the year when the only activity is work at the old shingle factory. This chronicle takes place over four days (summer, winter, spring, summer) and the lives of a gallery of characters, each embodying a facet of the small town – workers, vacationers, wealthy folk – are painted through “impressionistic” touches. Paths cross, lives brush up against each other, depending on individual stories and social backgrounds. They’re ordinary lives, when dramatic events are often followed by more mundane moments. Each day takes us to a new place in each of the character’s lives. In this cyclical movement, some characters see their existence profoundly transformed, while others are barely affected. The fragmented storytelling style, be it by shifting from one character to another or from season to season, allows us to measure the effect of time on people who, like the “indestructible” stones, transform as they rub up against each other. No matter who they are, all of them must submit to the rhythm of nature and time. The factory, beach and casino are all places that weave ties between the characters and tell the tale of small, faraway and unusual town where life is the same as anywhere else, except that, in the laying bare, perhaps we get to see it more clearly. “Seaside” is a film full of atmosphere, and above all, a film about people and the things of life.
Full credits (8)
Executive Producer :
Sound recordist :
Press Attaché (film) :
Production Designer :
Production language :French
Production country :France
Original French-language productions :Yes
Nationality :100% French (France)
Production year :2001
French release :04/12/2002
Runtime :1 h 28 min
Current status :Released
Visa number :98.085
Visa issue date :20/11/2002
Production formats :Super 16
Color type :Color
Aspect ratio :1.85
Audio format :Dolby SR
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