#1: Months after seeing Philippe Garrel's near-masterpiece Regular Lovers, a few key images have haunted me, which is saying something when one considered the disheveled character of this three-hour fever-dream. When I first saw the film, I puzzled over Garrel's decision to insert a brief sequence of our May '68ers in French Revolutionary garb, rolling a pilfered cannon into position. Sure, okay, Garrel is drawing a concrete parallel between these acts of rebellion. But in retrospect, I think Garrel is also emphasizing a specific meaning in his poetic, rather indeterminate title. I had taken "regular lovers" to refer both to the boys and girls of the barricades, who fall into and out of bed with one another somewhat (but not entirely) casually. They're trying to bring the revolution into their sex lives, trying to absorb it through their pores. Also, Garrel seems to want to underscore their typicality. Yes, May '68 is a singular historical event, but his film depicts it from inside its day-to-day fumblings. It was just some people trying things out, after all, and they themselves possessed no special powers apart from radical dissatisfaction and some provisional analytical frameworks.

But the title also implies periodicity. These amants were passionate about freedom, not as a lofty ideal but as an itch that had to finally be scratched, deep beneath the skin, even until it bled. Lovers like this, Garrel seems to be saying, are special, but luckily they show up in our midst with regularity as well. And of course, if he didn't think they might emerge again soon, the '68 legacy wouldn't need clarification, much less preservation. Regular Lovers is an innervated mood piece, its very film grain registering a swirling, fitful energy. It's showing us precisely what we'd forgotten we most need.