3 items from 2012
Two portmanteau films released in the same week looks like carelessness. It amounts to reviewing, in effect, 16 films in a row. We'll start in Havana, where seven directors (including Benicio del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Laurent Cantet, Elia Suleiman, Gaspar Noé) contribute one short, set on a different day of the same week in the Cuban capital. Part-sponsored by Havana Club rum, the drink features heavily and several of the films are little more than extended adverts. The faded grandeur of the Hotel Nacional features prominently and cliches of ladyboys, cigars, daiquiris and rafts to Miami abound. I liked Noé's Friday film, a throbbing, flashing voodoo phantasma about a young girl undergoing a witch doctor ritual to "cure" her of lesbianism. Its darkness came as a relief amid all the postcard cuteness.
- Jason Solomons
Written and directed by Virginie Despentes
Perhaps a paean to the 1960 stage musical and its 1963 film adaptation, Bye Bye Birdie, Virginie Despentes’ Bye Bye Blondie tries to be the social satire its American counterpart was. But with a protagonist suffused with libertine barbarism and a narrative of moral ambivalence, the film, quite ironically, presents the characters as malevolent, not society.
In the northeastern French city of Nancy, Gloria (Béatrice Dalle) lives a decidedly involuntary bohemian lifestyle, spending her time drifting from record shops and bars. Meanwhile, Frances (Emmanuelle Béart), her once childhood summer romance, is a successful television host in Paris.
Her life unfulfilled, Frances plays a beard in a lavender marriage to a writer, Claude (Pascal Greggory), and in order to regain passion in her life, she attempts to reconnect with Gloria. Drastically different from when they last met, the two women must try to »
- Justin Li
Title: Nobody Else But You Director: Gerald Hustache-Mathieu Starring: Jean-Paul Rouve, Sophie Quinton, Guillaume Gouix, Arsinee Khanjian, Olivier Rabourdin, Clara Ponsot Quirky but never false, French import “Nobody Else But You,” from writer-director Gerald Hustache-Mathieu, is a terrifically involving murder mystery that invests in psychological parallelism, and a kind of dark, fated bond between victim and investigator. Traversing pulpy territory, but largely with a tenderness and intelligence matched only by its crisp characterizations, the film’s droll grip loosens in the third act, under the weight of some metaphorical highlighting, but there’s still plenty of enjoy here for arthouse and mystery fans alike. Beset by writer’s block, Parisian crime novelist David [ Read More ] »
3 items from 2012
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