Ma vie sexuelle

Arnaud Desplechin (France, 1996, 178 min.)

The full title of the film is actually Comment je me suis disputé... ("ma vie sexuelle"), translated as My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument in the US. The lengthy, somewhat rambling title is representative of the kind of film it turns out to be, a non-linear, exploratory meditation on the moments of indecision, passion, and change that make up one's life.

Paul Dedalus (Mathieu Amalric) is a philosophy PhD student at a sort of crossroads, unsure of whether or not to complete his dissertation, unable to commit to his current girlfriend Esther (Emmanuelle Devos), or any of his past lovers, with whom he considers re-starting things.

As Paul urges Esther to apply to school to become a translator, they make a late-night dash to a photobooth to get ID pictures for the application. He urges her to be "Not too austere, not too promiscuous, either" (a little bit of strange translation), and she does a little of both. She takes a few photos fit for the application, and then flashes the camera for a photo to give to Paul.

Contributed by Brian

Paul gives Esther his advice on how to pose for the photos.
More advice, as Esther fixes her hair.
I think that qualifies as 'austere.'
Esther is finished, and they stand outside to wait.
Paul pulls out a pack of cigarettes.
Even though it's movie-land, they've got to wait their four minutes.
Esther looks at the other photos on the booth as Paul holds the rest of her application.
Esther pulls out the finished photo strip.
She looks at the third shot and the top of the fourth shot. Excuse the interpolated DVD image.
Esther explains the last, more 'promiscuous' photo.
Paul takes a look at the first two
And then sees the last one, his souvenir.