(aka "Olga's Chignon" )


directed by Jérôme Bonnell
France 2002


If “Le Chignon d’Olga” had been an American film, it would have been something in line with “American Pie”, “Porky” or any other teen comedy, as the core story is about a teenager, who falls in love with the image of an adult woman he sees thru a window, becomes obsessed by her image and overlooks that true love is right under his nose. There is nothing original about the story of “Le Chignon d’Olga”, it has been told time before and again.

However in the hands of debutant Jérôme Bonnell, the story is told with so much care and feeling, that it almost seems to be original. Drawing from his own personal experiences as a teenager, Bonnell portraits how hard it is to come to terms with ones feelings, not only by the central character of Julian and his fixation of Olga (and her hair knot), but also by his sister and her attraction to another girl, and by their father, a widower who is tempted by his best friends wife.

It is the portrait of this antagonism between personal identity (in terms of finding an identity) and sexual temptation, that has cause critics to compare Bonnell with Eric Rohmer. Rightfully so, as Bonnell not only, in this film, shares Rohmer’s motif, but also directs with the same ease as Rohmer, which is very visible in scenes with multiple dialogue. One could argue that Bonnell simply copies Rohmer, but the direction is too reassured and confident.

As impressive a debut film “Le Chignon d’Olga” is, it is not a film that makes an impact. It is light as a soufflé and as a dream, it drifts away silent. Yet, it is a delight to watch a film, which not only deals with being teenager in a normal manner, far from the rebelling “kids” – far from the horny “brats”, but also allows them to be humans.
out of     

Henrik Sylow

Theatrical Release: August 28, 2002 (France)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:





Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:32:05 (4% PAL speedup)

1.64 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.87 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s


NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital French
Subtitles English, None (16x9 friendly)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.64

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• Interview (26:18)
• Biography

DVD Release Date: March 29, 2004
Transparent Keepcase

Chapters 12

Comments The film is curious enough running 4% slower than listed running time of 96 minutes, which suggest PAL speed up. Why I can’t say. While the image is anamorphic 1.63, it isn’t up to par for the standard of a new film. Colours are a bit faded.

The interview with Bonnell very much seems like a chance for him to get a lot of his heart, but he chooses to speak English, instead of French, which in my opinion makes him express himself to a lesser degree than if he had spoken in native tongue. It is still a nice interview, but it reveals nothing much.

 - Henrik Sylow



Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)


The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana



Check out more in "The Library"

DVD Menus




Subtitle Sample






Screen Captures