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“As bestas”, “la Petite Bande”, “Dédales”… Films to see (or not) this week



♥♥♥ As Bestas

Spanish drama by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, with Denis Ménochet, Marina Foïs, Luis Zahera, Diego Anido (2h17).

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How not to admire the Madrid filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“Madre”, “Que Dios nos perdone”), his incredible skill in building up a tension that is still very well built and his great ability to probe the wounds of his country? In a depopulated village in Galicia, a French couple, Antoine (Denis Ménochet) and Olga (Marina Foïs), both impressive, work organically and renovate old shacks. But he also signs a petition against the installation of a wind farm, triggering the wrath of two brothers who were counting on the money to change their lives. Between Antoine and them, the hostility tinged with harassment reaches such an intensity that ” French “hidden camera in hand, begins to film the abuses of his executioners.

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“I doubt, therefore I am”: Denis Ménochet, exceptional actor

Between xenophobia and clumsiness – rightly or wrongly, the brothers detect class contempt in Antoine’s attitude – Sorogoyen, raised on the milk of American cinema of the 1970s, culminates this latent terror in an insane sequence shot (pure western scene: everything is there, starting with the stranger who has come to disrupt the established order) in a bar that looks like a saloon. He weighs above all “As bestas” with a real human depth: bodies damaged by work, evidence of the couple’s love, a neighbor’s birthday party. This is not the only tour de force of this social thriller which switches without warning on Olga. If we had to select a handful of feature films shown at Cannes this year, there would be this one.

Sophie Grassin

♥♥ The Little Band

French comedy by Pierre Salvadori, with Paul Belhoste, Laurent Capelluto, Mathys Clodion-Gines, Aymé Medeville (1h46).

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Late childhood and cinema often go hand in hand. With in mind Stand by Me” by Rob Reiner, a masterpiece of the genre, the director of “Freedom! went to Corsica to shoot this adventure comedy about five pre-teens – an eco-friendly girl and four boys trying to impress her – who set themselves the task of burning down the polluting factory in the region. Made-up acting by young actors, forced rhythm, failed music: it flounders during the first quarter of an hour, the time to become familiar with this touching band of rebellious people in short pants. As always with Salvadori, gags and fantasy save the protagonists, who are unsuitable, from social violence and the pans of medicine they carry around. But in a new mode of bucolic learning story.

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Nicholas Schaller

♥♥♥ Mazes

Romanian thriller by Bogdan George Apetri, with Ioana Bugarin, Emanuel Parvu, Cezar Antal (1h58).

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Let’s try to say the least. One morning, a 19-year-old novice discreetly leaves the monastery and takes a taxi to the hospital in the neighboring town. At the end of the day, another taxi brings her back. She asks to stop, the time to swap, in the undergrowth, her city clothes for the black dress and veil of the nuns. And there, in the middle of nowhere, out of sight, she is assaulted, raped, left for dead. The police inspector in charge of the investigation wants to get hold of the criminal as soon as possible. He has his idea. It turns to obsession, to vengeful madness. We understand that not everything is shown to us. As in Asghar Farhadi’s films, where the spectator must also work, a few furtive scenes say more than the slow unfolding of the plot. Here the truth is suggested. Terrific and labyrinthine whodunnit, made with string, that we owe to a Romanian from New York and former criminal lawyer, “Dédales” is aptly titled. We shudder to get lost.

Jerome Garcin

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Bogdan George Apetri: “A film should never end perfectly”

It stands out

Italian dramatic comedy by Valerio Zurlini, with Anna Karina, Lea Massari, Marie Laforêt (1965, 2h).

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Gaetano, a young lieutenant in the Italian army, is in charge of escorting a few prostitutes to distribute them in Greek and Albanian brothels, in 1942. Mission of trust, during which conflicts, slippages, pitfalls and crushes will follow one another. Beautiful screenplay by Franco Solinas (future author of “Monsieur Klein”), which mixes a touch of neorealism, Marxist social criticism and a Christian vision of charity. Valerio Zurlini (“Le Désert des Tartares”) directs the ensemble with fervor, and gives the beautiful role(s) to three delightful actresses, whom we see again with pleasure. A little long, a little melodic, but moving, the film offers a beautiful black and white photo.

Francois Forestier

♥♥ Tempura

Japanese comedy by Akiko Ohku, with Non, Kento Hayashi, Asami Usuda (2h13).

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Single by choice (but is that certain?), Mitsuko speaks to a voice that comes out of nowhere and has a passion – a passion the limits of which she never stops pushing – for cooking. Until the day she crosses paths with a handsome young man whom she dreams of inviting to dinner despite her shyness. A culinary bluette who, behind her Japanese “Top Chef” side (don’t go there on an empty stomach), wonders about a frozen society where loneliness and an insurmountable divide between men and women reign. The tangy tone at the start gradually reveals its bitterness like a gently sour and delicate dish. Only downsides, an unjustified duration and an escape to Italy which does not bring much, apart from dispensable clichés on transalpine gastronomy.

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Xavier Leherpeur

IT COMES OUT

♥♥♥ This so-called carnal pleasure

American drama of manners by Mike Nichols, with Jack Nicholson, Arthur Garfunkel, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret (1971, 1h38).

An unequal director, Mike Nichols was never better than in the study of manners. Evidenced by this film where, four years after “the Laureate”, he follows the love journey and the libidinal confessions of two friends, a shy and a seducer, from post-adolescence to their fifties. They are embodied at all ages by Art Garfunkel (without Paul Simon) and Jack Nicholson, exceptional as a straight redneck. Written for the stage by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, “This so-called carnal pleasure”, emblematic of the post-sexual revolution, has aged very well. Thanks to the staging by Nichols, who adapted the text directly for the cinema, with its real settings where the characters seem to isolate themselves, get lost or lock themselves up. And because, behind the fierce and raw portraits of these two archetypal white American males, it is the male psyche that is subtly dissected. A great film on the failure of men to become one, including “Closer”, directed thirty-three years later by the same Nichols, will act as an update.

N.S.

♥♥ Magdala

French poetic essay by Damien Manivel, with Elsa Wolliaston, Aimie Lombard, Olga Mouak (1h18).

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Nice project to invent a gesture in the old days of Marie-Madeleine. In the role of the disciple of Jesus, the African-American choreographer Elsa Wolliaston, 77, seems to be playing her life with each of her gestures, slowed down by the pains of age. His wandering is a struggle in a nature of which each rustle, each tiny movement is an event, even in this cave, lit like a painting by Georges de La Tour, where the flickering flame of a candle represents the agony of the character. . The film presents itself as a poetic reverie. Understand that you have to love mystical, sensory and very contemplative cinema to appreciate its starkness and graces, which are too scattered.

Nicholas Schaller

♥ Mia and me. The heroine of Centopia

Belgian cartoon by Adam Gunn and Matthias Temmermans (1h22).

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Small precaution before accompanying your children to discover the cinema version of this animated series: bring thick sunglasses as the garish colors abuse all the fluorescent ranges and attack your retina. On the other hand, your brain risks nothing, in no way solicited by this story of a young girl projected, thanks to a magic bracelet, into the world of the unicorns of Centopia, where she faces the infamous Toxor to save the island of the Lotus. Better to be a little girl under 6 than a grumpy fifty-something to appreciate this standardized cartoon, pure maintenance product of a successful franchise.

Xavier Leherpeur



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