6.3/10
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19 user 107 critic

Knife + Heart (2018)

Un couteau dans le coeur (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 15 March 2019 (USA)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
Paris, summer 1979. Anne is a producer of cheap gay porn. When Lois, her editor and companion, leaves her, she attempts to get her back by making a more ambitious film with the flamboyant Archibald.

Director:

Yann Gonzalez
8 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Paradis ... Anne Parèze
Nicolas Maury ... Archibald Langevin
Kate Moran ... Loïs McKenna
Jonathan Genet ... Guy
Félix Maritaud ... Thierry
Khaled Alouach Khaled Alouach ... Nans / Fouad
Noé Hernández ... José
Thibault Servière Thibault Servière ... Misia
Bertrand Mandico Bertrand Mandico ... François Tabou
Bastien Waultier Bastien Waultier ... Jean-Marie Duvernet, dit Karl
Romane Bohringer ... Cathy Vannier
Dourane Fall Dourane Fall ... Fabio
Jules Ritmanic Jules Ritmanic ... Rabah
Pierre Pirol ... Bouche d'or
Pierre Emö Pierre Emö ... Valentin
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Storyline

Anne produces third-rate gay porn. After her editor and lover Lois leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet with her trusted, flamboyant sidekick Archibald. But one of her actors is brutally murdered and Anne gets caught up in a strange investigation that turns her life upside down. Written by Friends of Tinman

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Anne Parèze played by Vanessa Paradis is inspired by the life of Anne-Marie Tensi. See more »

Quotes

Nans: The more you kill me, the more I love you
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Connections

References Jerk-Off Fantasia (1979) See more »

User Reviews

 
A mediation on death and sex
9 August 2019 | by nehpetstephenSee all my reviews

KNIFE+HEART isn't the first work of art to combine the specter of the AIDS epidemic, the sex positivity of the gay liberation movement (which came to a crashing halt with the emergence of AIDS), and the conventions of horror/thriller/slasher films. In poetry form, Kevin Killian's 1997 ARGENTO SERIES fused the brightly colored blood splatter of SUSPIRIA with the inexplicable death toll of HIV. Probably my favorite of all such works, however, is Alain Guiraudie's 2014 film STRANGER BY THE LAKE, which yearns for the titillation of casual sex even as it constantly exudes the threatening possibilities inherent in such encounters in a way that's truly unsettling.

KNIFE+HEART isn't about AIDS, per se, but it does pile on a nicely textured layer of meanings about the interlocking nature of the sex and the death drive. The violent impulses that underlie S&M fantasies; the death of the ego that makes dance floors, drug trips, and uninhibited sexual encounters equally ecstatic; the orgasmic peak that led English Renaissance poets to use "die" as a metaphoric synonym for "climax"; the "death" of the presumed-straight child that occurs whenever a queer adolescent or adult comes out of the closet and must then sometimes abandon past expectations, past claims to identity, and links to old family and friends; the loss a parent might feel when a child leaves for a safer queer space like the city; the loss of one's individuality when entering into a committed partnership with another person; the godlike control over life and death that lies in both the hands of the artist and the medium of photography, which captures and preserves moments in time; and the literal violence and murder perpetrated against not only queer and trans people but also sex workers in general--KNIFE+HEART is about all of this, I think, and probably a lot more, including things perhaps too personal for a viewer to decipher.

KNIFE+HEART carries a heavy load of theoretical possibilities, but it never comes across as pretentious or overladen. Rather, it's consistently engaging, with campy excesses of giallo bloodshed, a proliferation of cute boys, a pulsing soundtrack by M83, and bits of both levity and realism that make it moving even though it is essentially, like the best of Argento, utterly ridiculous and implausible. It may not have quite the same high style that peak Argento had, but it definitely has a lot more substance.


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Details

Country:

France | Mexico | Switzerland

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

15 March 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Knife + Heart See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,728, 17 March 2019

Gross USA:

$32,516

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$341,847
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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