A little-known French road movie from 1976, Fill ‘er Up With Super (Le plein de super) from director Alain Cavalier and co-written with his four leading actors, is getting an updated release from Radiance Films. Come along for the ride and get to know these often immature but strangely charming travel companions.
Klouk (Bernard Crombey) is having a Bad Day. A car salesman, he is dealing with a tricky customer when his boss orders him to drive a luxurious Chevrolet to the other end of the country for a wealthy client – he’ll lose his job if he doesn’t, and cause a huge situation with his wife if he does. But left with little choice, he collects his friend Philippe (Xavier Saint-Macary) and heads south to deliver the car. Along the way, they pick up hitchhiker Charles (Etienne Chicot) and his friend Daniel (Patrick Bouchitey), and the dynamic between the four men is what drives the film.
The plot is minimal, but watching the men establish a curious friendship is mesmerising. They are from differing social backgrounds, and are in different places with their relationships, but before their journey ends they have somehow reached an understanding of each other without having had any open deep, and meaningful conversations.
The characters are very immature, particularly when it comes to relationships and their attitudes towards sex, with some quite misogynistic sequences of dialogue which are lewd and quite coarse – but which are part and parcel of these men trying to impress each other and hide their own insecurities. In contrast, there are also some touching scenes towards the end of the film revolving around being a father – or not – which indicates that these 25-year-olds do have possibilities for personal growth.
Fill ‘er Up With Super is yet another of the hidden gems that Radiance Films is continuing to unearth and bring to the market, and is worth a watch. The limited edition also comes with the following special features:
- 2K restoration of the film from the original negative
- Original uncompressed stereo PCM audio
- Friends First and Foremost: An interview with Bernard Crombey – in this video interview the star discusses his work on the film, his collaborators, and his career (2019, 28 mins)
- Three interview short films with the cast directed by Cavalier: My Wife Lives in Fear with Etienne Chicot, Bernard Crombey, and Patrick Bouchitey (2011, 4 mins), It’s a Full House with Bernard Crombey (2011, 6 mins) and The King of the Bottle with Patrick Bouchitey (2011, 8 mins)
- An appreciation of Fill ‘Er Up with Super by Cahiers du Cinema deputy editor Charlotte Garson (2022)
- Newly translated English subtitles
- Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters
- Limited Edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Murielle Joudet, a newly translated contemporary article on the film, and an extract of an interview with Cavalier
- Limited edition of 2000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings