Three films in different genres based around the same set of characters. Each film stands alone but once viewed as a whole the scale and skill of Belvaux's cinematic triple vision is revealed. One: A hard-boiled film-noir and a dramatic start to Lucas Belvaux's trilogy. After a bloody escape from prison political terrorist Bruno (played by the director himself) attempts to resume his campaign of bombings and assassinations. But his colleagues have now comfortably settled into a bourgeois lifestyle so he's forced to go it alone stopping at nothing to achieve his... goals... Two: Afraid that he might be dying Alain conceals the truth from Cecil the woman he loves. Despite her instincts she suspects he's lying and prefers to imagine he's having an affair. Yet is it possible everyone is in on the conspiracy including best friend Agnes? Three: Manise is equally devoted to his wife Agns and his job as a cop. He has done deals with the local crime boss too. However his troubles are triplefold: he is trying to capture Bruno dealing with the local crime boss and dealing with his wife's addiction to morphine. All these events are threatening to collide with tragic consequences... This is a powerful cinema experience and presented on four DVDs in a specially designed box set Lucas Belvaux's achievements are more evident since they offer the chance to watch simultaneously three different scenes which take place at the same moment in time. Comparisons have been made to Kieslowski's classic 'Three Colours' trilogy but 'One Two And Three' form a trilogy of outstanding achievement. [show more]
Rarely will you see a film which is a greater undertaking than this. Three films all taking place in the same place at the same time with the characters overlapping and expounding on one another. As with Kieslowski's three colors trilogy, the characters from one film see the characters of another film. The difference is three-fold: 1. The characters all know each other here, and we know each of them from a different perspective because of each film. 2. The footage from each scene, which is shared across the three films, is the same from film to film (angle, pacing, etc.). 3. That each of these scenes works within a genre and is essential to that genre.
Trilogy is a monumental achievement that has more to say about reality and the effects that genre has on reality, while simultaneously undercutting those genres, than any other film I know of.
The thing that sets this set of films apart is that each works within its genre to such an extent as to be engaging almost the whole way through on the terms of each of these genres.
The first hour of the Melodrama is a bit slow and redundant, but for a film which is based on repeating itself, this is a magnificent achievement. The comedy makes you laugh out loud, the thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the melodrama, at least for the last hour, draws you in, all while questioning what reality is and film's ability to represent that reality. Highly recommended.
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Belgian director Lucas Belvaux's ambitious debut is a trilogy of films, all set in the same 24-hour period, in which the characters' lives intertwine through a series of cross encounters and unexpected events. In 'One', Marxist revolutionary Bruno (Lucas Belvaux) escapes from prison after a 15-year incarceration, and heads off to settle some old scores and to enjoy a reunion with his beautiful ex-lover (Catherine Frot). But although he is always looking over his shoulder to keep tabs on Pascal, the cop assigned to track him down (Gilbert Melki), Bruno cannot imagine just how close to him Pascal really is. In 'Two', Ornella Muti plays Cecile, a teacher who adores her husband Alain (François Morel). But Alain is a hypochondriac, and, convinced that a routine operation he has to undergo will kill him, he keeps the operation a secret from his adoring wife. Sensing his secrecy, and coming to the conclusion that he must be having an affair, Cecile hires Pascal to track him down - but it isn't long before Pascal has fallen in love with her himself. In 'Three', Pascal finally captures escaped convict Bruno, who it turns out has been sheltered from the law by Pascal's estranged wife, schoolteacher and morphine addict Agnes (Dominique Blanc). His relations with Agnes become even more strained when he admits that he is passionately in love with her friend and colleague, Cecile.
Lucas Belvaux's TRILOGY presents the same set of characters, but puts them into three different genres of movie. ON THE RUN is a noir-ish thriller, AN AMAZING COUPLE, a comedy, and AFTER THE LIFE, is a drama. TRILOGY 1: ON THE RUNLeftist revolutionary Bruno (Lucas Belvaux), escapes from prison to the streets of Grenoble in an attempt to settle some old scores after serving fifteen years for an act of terrorism. While he is doggedly pursued by Pascal (Gilbert Melki), a troubled cop, Bruno finds that his old causes and methods of fighting for them are no longer valid. After finding that his former lover (Catherine Frot) is married and no longer a part of their old organiSation, he seeks refuge at the mountain retreat of Cecile (Ornella Muti), a close friend of Agnes (Dominique Blanc), Pascal's heroin-addicted wife. ON THE RUN eschews any outright action in favour of the dramatic emotional clashing of its tormented characters. Bare and raw, with long silent passages and only a minimal score, writer/director/star Belvaux gives us an antihero with few redeeming qualities and surrounds him with characters who are only slightly more virtuous. As with the other two films in the Trilogy, ON THE RUN succeeds on its own, but its virtues and depth are revealed in the other two works. TRILOGY 2: AN AMAZING COUPLEAlain (Francois Morel) is a middle-aged hypochondriac who is worried that a simple outpatient procedure recommended by his doctor will result in his death. Fearing that he is dying, he attempts to keep his condition a secret from his wife, Cecile (Ornella Muti), who is led to believe by Alain's strange behaviour that he is having an affair. In turn, Cecile hires detective Pascal (Gilbert Melki), the husband of her best friend and fellow teacher, Agnes (Dominique Blanc), to follow Alain in an attempt to catch him with his non-existent mistress. Pascal, however, finds himself falling for Cecile. This second film in the director's trilogy is a subtle, unconventional romantic comedy in which humour arises from generally uncomfortable situations. The overall lighthearted mood is an about-face from the tension and despair prevalent in the first film of the Trilogy, ON THE RUN. Viewing the films in order, Balvaux's intentions clarify--minor characters in the first film come to the forefront here, creating a rich, multi-layered experience in which gaps from the previous film are skillfully filled in. TRILOGY 3: AFTER THE LIFEThe final film in director Lucas Belvaux's Trilogy focuses on Grenoble cop Pascal (Gilbert Melki). Married to morphine-addicted schoolteacher Agnes (Dominique Blanc), he uses his professional connections to score pure narcotics for her. His source, however, wants Pascal to apprehend Bruno (Belvaux), a left-wing extremist who has just broken out of prison and cuts off the drug supply until Pascal can bring the fugitive in. Meanwhile, Agnes' friend Cecile (Ornella Muti) asks Pascal to trail her husband, whom she believes to be having an affair. Tired of being his wife's enabler, Pascal falls in love with Cecile. In the clutches of withdrawal, Agnes encounters Bruno at Cecile's vacation home, and he provides her with drugs. The character of Pascal comes full-circle in AFTER THE LIFE. Where he was a threatening presence in ON THE RUN (the first film of the Trilogy) and a bumbling source of comic relief in AN AMAZING COUPLE (the second), here he is revealed as a complex, tortured, and very human protagonist. In this revelation, Belvaux's film cycle reveals its true purpose--showing us, RASHOMON-like, how an event, character (or person for that matter), cannot always be understood from a single vantage point. While these three films stand alone, the serious film-goer can only benefit by experiencing each of them.