3 items from 2016
Philippe Grandrieux’s Despite the Night is a relentlessly morose, miasmic thing that, like much of his work, alternately seeks to narcotize and brutalize its viewer into submission until the distinctions between agony and ecstasy, tenderness and violation, are indistinguishable. Grandrieux is, in many respects, a wildly contradictory figure: a tough sell for most audiences; an easy pitch for prospective fans (the maximalist Denis? the haptic Lynch? the narrative Brakhage? the goth Malick? etc); a niche artist even in the realm of “festival cinema”; yet (for instance) a favorite of Marilyn Manson, who once recruited him to direct a music video. In a skeptical piece written for Reverse Shot, Michael Sicinski characterizes Grandrieux as the Scott Walker to Gaspar Noé’s Trent Reznor — the shadowy, marginal alternative to the celebrity provocateur. Facetiously, Sicinski continues, “To judge from his mystique, Grandrieux is that awesome band nobody likes yet, and you secretly hope nobody discovers. »
- The Film Stage
Damien Bonnard, who stars in Cannes competition film “Staying Vertical” and appears next in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” and Lindsay Burdge (“The Invitation”) have signed on to co-star in Nathan Silver’s “Thirst Street.”
The film, written and produced by Silver and Chris Wells, is scheduled to shoot in Paris this summer. A darkly funny neurotic thriller “Thirst Street” tells the twisted story of Gina, an American flight attendant who falls in with a Parisian bartender on a layover only to find herself tangled in a web of deception, delusion and unrequited l’amour fou.
The film will also feature Roxane Mesquida (“Kiss of the Damned”), Alice de Lencquesaing (“Summer Hours”), Lola Bessis (“Swim Little Fish Swim”) and Silver’s mother, Cindy Silver, who has appeared in most of Silver’s films to date. Sean Price Williams is set to lens the pic.
The film will be jointly produced by Claire-Charles Gervais, »
- Leo Barraclough
When the Night Has Come: Grandrieux Laments Lost Love
Seven years have passed since provocateur Philippe Grandrieux’s 2008 film Un Lac, and he remains somewhat of an acquired taste, though considering the subject matter, Malgré la nuit (Despite the Night) is surprisingly less galvanizing than his early features. The narrative, should we indeed call it thus, couldn’t be more simple, roughly concerning a British bloke returning to Paris to reconnect with his lost love. His reasons for leaving or returning aren’t apparently of importance once he disappears into a sort of Parisian ether, where passionate memories are pierced by a current state of abject degradation upon reconnecting with his troubled object of affection. The take away is more of a cerebral, extrasensory experience, existing as a diluted nightmare where pleasure and punishment are doled out in equal measure, which is hardly a surprise for those accustomed to Grandrieux’s filmography. »
- Nicholas Bell
3 items from 2016
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