Ken 💙’s review published on Letterboxd:
Out 1 is a powerful and overwhelming opus caught in between the last breath of French New Wave and the first breath of modern cinema. With a runtime of 13 hours, Out 1 sure looks like one big intimidating motion picture to not only film fans but general audiences so it is not to obvious to say that ever since the film's 1971 premiere it has only been screened 5 times to the general public (not including film festivals) and even to this day remains a kind of myth in the filmmaking landscape. Even with the availability of home media and streaming, not many has got the chance to see Out 1 in its full glory... thats when I came in. I got to experience this French New Wave cult classic last night with one sitting through 13 hours and it was definitely journey. The film follows seemly disconnect lives of two theatre troupes who are rehearsing on two seperate plays, Colin who solicits money from cafe patrons as a deaf and mute man playing irritating harmonica tunes and Frédérique who steals money through variety of deceptions. One day Colin gets a mysterious note containing cryptic messages that leads him on a search for a secret society that through out the 13 hour affair would lead him and other characters to criss cross one anothers' stories as new characters are introduced and old ones fall apart. Out 1 is a hard film to describe as it is to watch but by the end you find yourself so intimately connected to these characters as if they are real people that you are more surprised than relieved when it ended. The film ultimately is about people and their hopes and dreams and the true reality around them, there is not much conflict or atleast one that would immeditately bring them all together. Instead we are treated to just lives. This is more apparent with the direction and editing of the film which takes a more documentary style approuch and the lack of music and heavy improvisation helps us to be consumed and ultimately hynotised into the world of the film as if its really happening. Every characters (or atleast the main vocal point characters) all have something to say, do or ultimately mean something, all of them either brings a poetic, memorable, relatable or nihilistic and hopeless outlook which comes out through their actions, expressed thoughts or how their story goes by the end. The film has a lot to say about society and class as we get to follow both lower and higher class characters but ultimately the film left us to figure it out ourselves to who is better, the higher class who abuse, lies and manipulate each other through out the film or the lower class who also lies and abuse each other but somehow still feel more natural and acceptiving of their ultimately desperate and dirty lives. The film also speaks a lot about art and how we can be so attached and obsessed with it that it can ruin relationships or just lives. The film has such a playful yet somber but hopefull feel to it that is captured perfectly in the ending and the mentioned characters. There is more to say but I'll just leave the rest for you dear readers to talk about, Out 1 is a masterpiece. A witty, sad, realistic, time capsule of the 60s and a product of the French New Wave that used its runtime to bring us themes and thought provoking characters to life while giving us a solid 13 hour experience that although can drag abit is ultimately worth it for the stories, visuals, amazing dialogues and superb performances from everyone on board. Out 1 is highly recommend it and is worth 13 hours of your time, just make sure to have enough snacks and time in your hands.