“Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story),” just by looking at its trailer, seems like the French version of “Kids,” but that’s not even remotely true. Based on a true story, a fact we don’t discover until the end credits, it follows a group of ordinary teenagers who live in the suburban neighborhoods of France and participate in sex parties they refer to as “bang gangs.” In the center of the sexual shenanigans is the beautiful George (Marilyn Lima), one of the main organizers of these parties and who experiences some intense inner turmoil. After being spurned by her would-be boyfriend Alex (Finnegan Oldfield) who goes after her best friend Laetitia (Daisy Broom), George begins feel increasingly isolated from everyone around her even as the parties become increasingly reckless. In short, this story will not end well. Or will it?
This movie marks the feature film directorial debut of Eva Husson whose previous credits include the short films “Hope to Die” and “Those for Whom It’s Always Complicated.” Many consider her one of many directors to emerge from the world of music videos, but she will be quick to silence you on that. Born in France, Husson earned an M.A. in English literature from the Sorbonne, and she would later move to America to pursue an M.F.A. at the American Film Institute. She did make some music videos along the way, but her focus has always been on writing and directing feature films.
With “Bang Gang,” Husson has pulled off an impressive debut filled with strong performances by a mostly non-professional cast, and she is aided by the lush cinematography of Mattias Troelstrup as well as the atmospheric music score by White Sea.
I got to talk with Husson while she was in Los Angeles to promote “Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story” which she described as “a movie about teenagers falling in love in the midst of a sexual apocalypse.” She explained how she pulled off the long tracking shot at the movie’s beginning which lasts for several minutes, why she put the term “based on a true story” at the movie’s end instead of the beginning, and she pointed out how the project was inspired by stories involving American teenagers and not French ones. She also spoke of why she had her cast watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” and Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” before the film shoot began.
Please check out the interview above. “Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)” will be available on iTunes starting August 23.