A Night in the Fields

A Night in the Fields – A journey into adolescent masculinity, identity and friendship

Une nuit, à travers champs

A Night in the Fields (Une nuit, à travers champs) is available from 21st February on Amazon Prime, Peccadillo Pod and Vimeo.


Rite of passage: an official ceremony or informal activity that marks an important stage or occasion in a person’s life, especially becoming an adult. (dictionary definition)

We all have moments in our teenage years forever marked by the term rite of passage. For many of us, these moments, occasions or activities are spaced out over several years as we find our feet in an encroaching and unavoidable adult world. However, for others, the term rite of passage can relate to a single night or day – a point in time where everything suddenly changes. These events can be joyous, scary and random and are often sparked by an adolescent need to spread one’s wings and fly despite the risks. Of course, some of us take things slowly and never experience this ultimate rite of passage rush. But for Anthony (Jérémy Gillet) and Dylan (Félix Lefebvre), hormones, money and a teenage drive for adventure are about to change everything during one eventful night in a small French town.

Our story opens at a local swimming pool as Dylan taunts his best friend, Anthony, about his new speedo’s. But Anthony is busy staring at a local girl swimming with her friends just metres away. Dylan is less than impressed with his friend’s wide-eyed stare, pointing out that he should talk to her or give up and have fun. Its clear Dylan sees Anthony as a hopeless romantic and favours a more direct and aggressive approach. But it is also clear that Dylan’s teenage bravado hides more than a few insecurities that leave him in awe of Anthony’s shy, quiet yet confident persona.


A Night in the Fields (Une nuit, à travers champs) ©NQV Media

As Dylan and Anthony leave the swimming baths, Anthony notices the girl from the pool being harassed by her ex-boyfriend in the car park, and in a fit of rage, he approaches the boy and punches him. The girl quickly thanks Anthony and offers her number for his heroic actions. However, the minor drama of the swimming pool encounter is a mere pre-curser to the rite of passage yet to come, as Anthony and Dylan meet the girl and her friends before crashing a popular nightclub in town for the first time.

Over a short runtime of just fifty-five minutes, writer and director Guillaume Grélardon takes us on a journey into adolescent masculinity, identity and friendship that is nothing short of exquisite in its complexity. Both Anthony and Dylan reflect two opposing teenage male archetypes who rely on each other for security, hope and brotherly love. The result is a short film rooted in raw honesty and sublime performances while also digging deep into the very constructs of modern male identity.


Félix Lefebvre also stars in Summer of 85


Félix Lefebvre’s Dylan is electric, energetic, wild yet, insecure. Here Dylan’s vision of masculinity is built on the back of his violent older brother. At the same time, his view of women comes from a porn based world of male dominance and ownership. However, despite this outward confidence, Dylan is still a mere boy, play-acting his way through his teens the only way he knows how.

Meanwhile, Jérémy Gillet’s Anthony is more confident and quiet in his masculinity. He sees himself as a defender of women, his attitudes toward care and responsibility built from his role as a young carer to his mother. But beneath this calm surface, Anthony is a cauldron of repressed anger that occasionally bubbles to the surface. Both boys attempt to define what it means to be a man by learning from each other, while both also lack any positive male role models in their lives. They contradict each other yet are also entirely reliant on one another for support, learning and belonging.


You may also like The French Boys Quadrilogy


Grélardon’s screenplay builds on themes of masculinity, friendship, place and purpose, also found in classic coming-of-age films ranging from Stand By Me (1986) to Murmur of the Heart (1971). However, in A Night in the Fields, these themes find a modern voice built on today’s male teenage experience and the social challenges of defining what it means to be a young man in the 21st Century. Here the boy’s friendship is far more than a fleeting teenage encounter; it’s what makes both boys whole. This is never more clear than in the final scenes of A Night in the Fields. Here the turbulent world around Dylan and Anthony disappears as their bond becomes even more significant than the day before, both boys one and the same as their early teenage life takes a final bow.


A Night in the Fields
A Night in the Fields (Une nuit, à travers champs) ©NQV Media



  • Our Star Rating
4

Summary

A Night in the Fields (Une nuit, à travers champs) builds on themes of masculinity, friendship, place and purpose, also found in classic coming-of-age films ranging from Stand By Me (1986) to Murmur of the Heart (1971). However, here, these themes find a modern voice built on today’s male teenage experience and the social challenges of defining what it means to be a young man in the 21st Century.