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Full Speed (1996)

À toute vitesse (original title)
A brief extract of four kids' lives somewhere in France. Quentin, who won a writers contest and now pays more attention to his career as an author than to his friends, beautiful Julie, his ... See full summary »



(original scenario), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie (as Elodie Bouchez)
Stéphane Rideau ...
Pascal Cervo ...
Meziane Bardadi ...
Romain Auger ...
Rick / Le couple de la ruelle
Mohammed Dib ...
Frédéric Fargier ...
Bande á Jimmy
Patrice Thomas ...
Bande á Jimmy
Youcef Ninach ...
Bande á Jimmy
Missoum Laimene ...
Bande á Jimmy
Laurent Diomande ...
Bande á Jimmy
Ryad Benkouider ...
Bande á Jimmy
Paul Morel ...
Le père de Quentin
Bernard Villeneuve ...
Le journaliste


A brief extract of four kids' lives somewhere in France. Quentin, who won a writers contest and now pays more attention to his career as an author than to his friends, beautiful Julie, his girl-friend, much more mature than she looks, falling in love with Quentin's very best friend Jimmy, who is kind of stuck in his unability of self-expression and grown up under bad social circumstances. And there is the shy boy Samir, exiled from Algeria, who lost his "brother" and only friend some time ago. Samir heavily falls in love with Quentin, but he can't handle it... Written by Frank Wallner <wallnerf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Know what it's like to be young?


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

16 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Full Speed  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


References Johnny Guitar (1954) See more »


Le petit ver tout nu
Performed by Élodie Bouchez (as Elodie Bouchez)
Magouric Production
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User Reviews

How could one profit from gay outcasts?
5 March 2011 | by (Peru) – See all my reviews

Can homosexuality be successfully articulated in society? According to some, homosexuals are doomed to be secluded and restricted to marginalized worlds. As filmmaker, Gaël Morel has often chosen to portray such worlds, enquiring deeply below the surface of what actually means to be an outcast.

In "Le Clan", for example, Morel digs into the lives of outcast youngsters, which share an obvious resemblance to some of the protagonists of "À toute vitesse". There is, however, a much subtler approach of such topics in this film, perhaps as part of André Téchiné's influence (who appears listed in the credits).

Spivak's book "Can the Subaltern Speak?" explains that authority is built upon a specific loci of enunciation. In this film, traditional society has already attributed a certain loci or place to those who dare to defy the heterosexual normative.

Nonetheless, Morel goes much deeper than that. Handsome and talented Quentin is a young writer that has just won an award and is on his way to success. He does have quite an ambivalent position about marginalization. For example, he accuses the French bourgeois of misunderstanding his novel, as he has no intentions of depicting outcasts because for him they are normal people; he affirms that it is the bourgeois who constantly ostracize and discriminate others. Clearly, some of that is truth, as the mesocratic class tends to judge harshly those who do not fit into the symbolic order.

As the film goes on, Quentin starts spending time with Samir, an Algerian boy that is still grieving the loss of his boyfriend; Quentin's tantalizing physic presence serves as cannon fodder for Samir's masturbatory urges as can be explicitly seen in one scene. Will the two boys consummate their passion or is only one of them interested in such consummation? Quentin apparently defends the rights of the Algerians as he publicly accuses acts of racism and violence, but at the same time he despises Samir just as much as he spurns Julie, his girlfriend or Jimmy, his best friend (interpreted by Stéphane Rideau, an actor extremely familiarized with gay productions). Over and over again, Quentin is seen as someone who takes advantage of social unfairness in order to gain publicity for himself, and certainly once he starts making his way in the publishing world he decides to move to Paris, quickly discarding friends and love interests.

Jimmy is a jobless guy, with no real prospects of a 'decent' future. And Samir is a boy who barely has enough money to pay the rent. Except for Julie, all other characters are on the edge of poverty or delinquency. They are, however, strong and coherent. Julie trusts in the possibility to have a good relationship whether with Quentin or someone else, Samir decides to defend himself against French fascists that brutally assault him while Jimmy bravely defends Samir even if that means risking his physical integrity. Quentin, on the contrary, is unable to find coherence, his loci of enunciation becomes so firmly inserted in the symbolic order that he loses all true authority. That's how we can understand the lack of commitment in his acts: he has a relationship with Julie but seems willing to let her go as he sees fit; he starts a sentimental relationship with Samir only until he completes enough research for his next book; he supports gays or Algerians only as a marketing strategy, but he is never there when his friends need him. Despise all that, Morel manages to create a fascinating, talented, smart young man that carries the traits of a hero although none of the true virtues.

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