Coffee At The Movies
Another trip to the video store led us to two completely different movies, one a short that is long on thoughtful ideas and the other a full-length feature that takes a wry look at religious and racial differences in Paris.
CAFÉ AU LAIT (Métisse) 1993
French director Mathieu Kassovitz's first film is a droll film that's part poetry and part predictable story about a métisse, a female light-brown black woman named Lola (Julie Mauduech) with two lovers, both of whom she purports to love. Neither men, played by Hubert Kounde and Kassovitz, know of one another, and their backgrounds are played against stereotypes: Kounde plays Jamal, a black Muslim who is a wealthy, smart, and sophisticated son of a diplomat, and Kassovitz's Feliz is a poor, uneducated slob trying not too hard to make a living as a bike messenger. The men soon learn about one another and that their beloved Lola is pregnant and also recognize that she may not be the sweet darling they first thought her to be. With Kassovitz's light directorial touch, the story turns on a comic heel, and even the potential "Crash"-like racial tensions play out with humor while still getting a message across. French-Belgian in French with English subtitles, 94 minutes.
IT'S JUST COFFEE (2003)
For the coffeehouse crowd, this film is a slice of déjà vu, a re-run of hundreds of conversations held over a cup of coffee anywhere in the world. Written and directed by Aaron Mosher, this intelligently rendered short lets us in on an intense discussion between brother and sister that is fresh and new even though the topics are as typical of any we've had or overheard. Each has a different point of view of their relationship, and different views of subjects as critical today as they were more than a decade ago: materialism vs. environmentalism, practicality vs. ideology (and which one) and all coming to an unresolved ending. This seems natural; after all talk is just talk until we take action. This is a brief paean to coffee as that constant conduit to conversation from the British penny universities to the neighborhood Dunkin' Donuts. Stars Jena Girouard and Kevin Rendon. American, live action short, 18 minutes.