Le Depart is Skolimowski’s first film made in the West. Its protagonist, nineteen-year-old Marc, works as a hairdresser’s apprentice in Brussels and dreams about becoming a racing car driver. He enters his name for a rally due to start in two days, but does not have a car and goes to great lengths to acquire one. However, when he´s finally in a position to participate in the competition, he and his girlfriend stop at a hotel to get some sleep and they oversleep the rally. Marc is Andrzej Leszczyc’s Western counterpart. Like Leszczyc, he likes games and refuses to follow the rules prescribed to him by his elders. He can thus be described as an eternal boy, Skolimowski’s favourite type of character. There are also differences between the two, as Marc’s identity is entirely defined by what and how he consumes; his love of cars is his only distinct feature. Without it, he would be nobody. Marc is played by Jean-Pierre Leaud, the face of the French New Wave and its ultimate rebel. Le Depart is the most musical film of Skolimowski´s. One feels that without music, Le Depart would not survive as a coherent artefact, but break into a series of disjointed episodes. Music not only illustrates the events or counterpoints them, but practically replaces them, filling long passages without words and endowing the whole film with amazing energy.
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