Pons’ film opens in madcap, playful style. The camera crash-zooms, pans, runs around with its trousers at half mast. Amor Idiota tells the story of a self-confessed idiot, Pere-Luc who threatens to impale his penis with a fork at his birthday party. His mordant voiceover contrasts with the kamikaze edit style. Mr Pons appears to be throwing the kitchen sink at us and seeing if it will stick.
It does, more or less. Despite the reference to Dostoyevsky’s Idiot at some point, this is more rom-com than deep psychological study. Pere-Luc finds the woman of his dreams and pursues her in a suitably idiotic fashion, stalking her at her house, refusing to take no for an answer, perusing her with a manic intensity. There’s one brilliant scene where the lovers kiss for the first time in a restaurant in front of a group of gawping cyclists. However, whilst the film seems to work best when it captures this comic energy, it also succeeds in inveigling the audience into an understanding of the lunacy of love, the way it is capable of tearing down the boundaries of standard social practice. There’s something akin to the craziness of Shakespeare’s lovers, lost in the forest of Arden or a midsummer night’s dream in the way Pere-Luc whizzes around his hometown on his desperate quest. Or like Rohmer drunk on Cava.
NB: I assumed this film, showing in rep at Cinemateca 18 was recent. In the process of watching it I gradually became aware of the absence of the accoutrements of modern urban life/ love. No mobile phones. No email. No Skype. Only later did I twig that the film was from 2004. Was life really simpler a decade ago? Or is it that just a trick of the light which Pons pulls off.