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short takes (1)

Les Petites Fugues is a sensitive and muted film (except during an explicit sex scene that clashes harshly with the rest of the picture) about an old man living and working on a French farm that is in the throes of modernization. Faced with changing conditions around him, this gentle old codger cheerfully retreats into his own fantasy life -- acting out his whimsies with the aid of a motorbike, and instant camera, and a few friends who do their best to be sympathetic toward his "little escapes." It's a leisurely film, directed by Yves Yersin, that speaks in a whisper more often than a shout and doesn't hesitate to soar spiritedly away from the occasionally sordid aspects of its story.