When Europa skips class and meets a magnetic young man named Jupiter, she embarks on a journey of which she knows little as to what lies ahead. Travelling aboard Jupiter's eight-wheel truck, they arrive in a mythical land inhabited by powerful gods who can transform humans into plants or animals in the blink of an eye. Europa watches, listens, and plays in their immortal home, becoming acquainted with Jupiter's friends, Bacchus and Orpheus. As the confrontation between seductive, yet vengeful gods and innocent mortals unfolds, Europa grasps a greater sense of life and love in this revelatory modern-day retelling of Ovid's "Metamorphoses."
Christophe Honoré is one of those typical French author cineasts: it doesn't get any artier than this. Nothing wrong with some pretentious French cinema of course. Métamorphoses has some very strong and unique moments, especially because of the transgressive way Honoré explores Ovid's mythological universe and transports it to a contemporary context. On the other hand, the transgressive style and content are harmless and even quite loyal to Ovid's poem. Seen in that way, this film isn't transgressive at all and has more of an artsy, experimental pretence. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, but it all is quite superficial for a movie that attempts to be something much more. The cinematography is extremely beautiful though, as well as the soundtrack and some of its symbolism. But when it comes to French l'art pour l'art cinema, I think Les rencontres d'après minuit succeeds way better in its intent. Maybe because, although the film also is very autoletic, it transcends itself by subverting some bourgeois notions. Something Métamorphoses didn't do at all. But then again, maybe it's just me and my limited way of experiencing films like this.
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