Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) ***Dir: Eva Husson. With: Marilyn Lima, Daisy Broom, Finnegan Oldfield, Lorenzo Lefebvre. 98 mins. Cert: 18
That self-correcting title, balancing aggressive come-on with wistful parenthesis, is about right. French writer-director Eva Husson here issues a dreamy-tender cautionary tale, unfolding over one long, sticky summer, in which merry high-schoolers pair off to poke one another, online and IRL; it’s all fun and games until the onset of syphilis. As her teens retreat into one lad’s unparented pad – oblivious to external events, like the In the Realm of the Senses lovers – Husson carefully situates their experiments within a wider, natural context: this filmmaker’s light, sweet touch is such she can even venture a funny subplot involving the school hamster without straying into urban legend territory. Satisfaction may depend on your desire to spend 90 minutes around blankly suggestible hormoneheads, but Husson – more forgiving Hansen-Løve than forbidding Breillat – nudges them and us both towards a healthier understanding of what our bits do: for her, blossoming sexuality isn’t necessarily a crisis, just a season we pass through.
Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) is now playing in selected cinemas.