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Tchao Pantin 1983
Description: Lambert, a burned-out case, works the night shift at a gas station, rarely speaking, living alone, drinking. Bensoussan, raised in foster homes, actually a small-time pusher for a bar owner called Rashid, comes to the station needing a spark plug for a stolen Moped. He and Lambert connect somehow, and a several days later, they go for a drink. The young boy is too cavalier, and when he swipes Rashid's fancy motorcycle a couple of times, he's expendable. Lambert decides to avenge the young boy and seeks notification from Lola, a punk who knew Bensoussan. With surprising perseverance, she pierces Lambert's shell; he begins to feel again, says Lola his story, and finds fresh enthusiasm for life.
Released: 21 Dec 1983 Director: Claude Berri Writers: Alain Page (novel), Claude Berri (scenario), Alain Page (dialogue) Actors: Coluche, Richard Anconina, Agnès Soral, Mahmoud Zemmouri Genres: Crime, Drama
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See Agnès Soral dans "Tchao P on youtube.

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See Charlélie Couture - Les nuits on youtube.

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Tchao Pantin Reviews:

"Tchao Pantin" is a nice movie. Its characters are all down to world and have true feelings. Lambert, the burn-out alcoholic who works at the gas station befriends Bensoussan, a small-time pusher. The storyline goes on about their friendship, but breaks off into a fresh lvl when Bensoussan is killed. Lambert's not sure to risk his life and avenge him, but the perseverance of Bensoussan's recent girlfriend, Lola, convinces him. Even though the film might run a tiny slow at times, it nevertheless exceeds in giving off exciting vibes (action and nice dialogue). It's an interesting film about a somewhat awkward relationship, but it works. It's the greatest thing about it. Side note, I'm just a tiny confused about the game and what it stands for. Anyway, you could really check it out, and you might even see an adaptation of it in a several years.


Director Claude Berri was often criticized for having tried this "film noir". However, I am not sure if "Tchao Pantin" is a proper movie noir. After all, I wonder if this misunderstanding is the reason, why this film is rated only by a several hundreds of people, and, most of all, why it is still not accessible on international DVD. The latter is the more astonishing, since Coluche has in French almost the status of a saint. But it is even worse: In the U.S., there is now not one Coluche-movie accessible on DVD, although he acted at the side of Louis de Funes, Isabelle Huppert and another international stars. Coluche definitely needs to be reborn for the international audiences; he was a truly special clown, comedian, actor and an outstanding human being, who is revered for nice reason in France.People who know about Coluche's short life may wonder if he is really acting in this movie, or if he did not rather bring a nice part of his personality into "Tchao Pantin". Yet, however it may be, two more reasons did not create it easier for this unbelievable and sublime film to create its method around the world. First, the game which is not translated in English, because it is not translatable. A "pantin" is a jumping Jack, and most folks do not understand, why Coluche is a jumping Jack. Consequently, the game has been newly invented in many foreign versions. For example, in German, it is named "Am Rande der Nacht" ("At the edge of the night") and thus settled into a borderline region which has many times proved to be a reservoir of imagination in literature as well as in film. Second, from the assumption that this is a movie noir one would interpret what Lambert-Coluche is doing in this film as a series of revenge. Is it really so? In order not to spoil the movie, allow me just tell that Lambert realizes, after having killed the murderer of Bensoussan, that behind the tiny fishes there are bigger fishes. Consistently, Lambert then goes after the bigger ones, until he reaches the mission where he finds himself trapped in the net of these fishes. However, Lambert does not seek for easy revenge. He is obsessed by the concept that he can exterminate evil by consistently going to the end. Charles Sanders Peirce wrote: "He who would not sacrifice his own soul to save the entire world, is, as it seems to me, illogical in all his inferences, collectively. Logic is rooted in the social principle". Lambert is consistent, no doubt, and I am convinced that this film substitutes ethics by logic. However, there are the paradoxes that arise from logic proper, and in the end the assassin gets killed. Does "Tchao Pantin" mean that in society somebody who strictly follows logic is a jumping Jack?


Sometimes, the "magic" of cinema seems to take keep of us.The two main characters are superb. So is cinematography. Everything is "in the dark, humid, without hope". Lanky Lola (1.78 m), while providing the inevitable love interest, is quite gelid and stolid, so her beauty (rain scene!, she awakening chez Lambert!) is not overtly "too much".Bensoussan is a stupid kid, while Lambert... what a script! This could be needed viewing for budding plot writers. He speaks seldomly, bluntly, seemingly without passion, globe wearily, like a philosopher who decided to toss the globe aside, as "a useless hypothesis". Gradually we receive to know his intentions, which are not clear from the beginning (he's a master at deception :)!), but create sense afterwards. Unlike many Hollywood commercial thrillers, that test to be witty and only end up being preposterous. Or "revenge" movies alla Stallone and Bronson, without any emotion because there's nothing to "balance" the killing spree.This is a "cartesian" movie. "Clear and disc tint" ideas. If issued by a "gas station clerk", well, that's the master's disguise!The Paris we witness is not the postcard's or Bardot's: everything is seedy, "the system" is rotten, like the copper Bauer's synthesis near the end: "There'll everytime be other one".The ending is fine! Seldomly had I thought: "this could end right here", and it did.IMDb reviewers accept on Bruno Nuytten (DP)'s work. Luckily enough, I hadn't read those reviews, and while watching even the first mins I said: "what a nice 'atmosphere'". That's a nice work: noticeable even without "knowing it's something important".Berri doing this shows a hidden potential. Pity he didn't do more of the genre! Maybe he "needed" all this "sun drenched Southern France" to create one "night" film...I accept with IMDb reviewers like gregory-joulin about its two-part structure, and with Bob Taylor that probably the first part is the best. But I admit it: I felt more with the second. "Plot holes"? Many. But who won't remember the "murder by the tiny filling station" or the method he swiftly avoids Bauer's questioning. Unassuming, without hesitating, thus lethally. Just like what follows suit...I liked his "method of interrogation": breaking the mobster's motorbike (not the man). And the method he answers to Bauer on why he was't working: (seeming concerned) "With all that happened, I had to take a several days off". (About this film) Lambert would just quip: "Watch it".



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