♥♥♥ And there was a morning
Israeli drama by Eran Kolirin, with Alex Bachri, Juna Suleiman, Salim Daw (1h41).
For one evening, Sami, an executive in Jerusalem, therefore a model of integration, returns to his native Arab village to celebrate his brother’s wedding. Palpable malaise: driven by a clear sense of superiority, he has nothing to say to the people around him, especially not to Abed – rejected by his wife, driver of a collective taxi without customers where he plays the tube of Sia, “Chandelier”, a childhood friend of whom he is ashamed – and cunning in the hope of phoning his mistress in secret from his wife. Meanwhile, without the slightest explanation, the Israeli army surrounds the village, the telephone network gives up the ghost, the electricity is out of order. Here he is cut off from the world in a place “where you can’t get two people together for backgammon”, where the food no longer comes in, where the pigeons themselves refuse to fly away. Revealed in 2007 by “La Visite de la fanfare”, Eran Kolirin reconnects with his minimalist style in this beautiful Beckettian tale adapted from the book by Sayed Kashua (Ed. de l’Olivier) on the absurdity and arbitrariness that links with skill intimate politics. Here, it will be understood, the director X-rays both the map (of Tendre) and the territory.
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Eran Kolirin: “‘And there was a morning’ questions the option of resistance”
This state of siege, soon doubled in the distance by the construction of a concrete wall, quickly reveals a violence barely latent (heads of families stubborn, local troublemakers wielding terror at the wheel of their Jeep, Israeli soldiers who for being music lovers are no less murderers), but also the existential crisis of Sami, immured in himself, which echoes that of his country. In “And there was a morning”, the only wise characters are an illegal Palestinian worker exploited by Sami’s father, anxious to build a house near his home for his son who doesn’t care, who has become the goat. village emissary, his mother (“You prefer like your father and me to live a life without love”), his wife, not easily taken in by her husband’s schemes, who emancipate himself by dancing in a deserted parking lot, and Abed, miserable but not lacking in courage. Supported by actors, all Palestinians, absent from the last Cannes Film Festival where the film was labeled Israeli, Eran Kolirin breathes tension into his disenchanted and cruel chronicle with the brave gesture of a population finally reunited. Derisory, this one will come up against a blocked horizon, an edifying symbol of an impossible peace. Sophie Grassin
French drama by Gaspar Noé, with Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun, Alex Lutz (2h22).
In an apartment-capernaum with the air of a memorial place of death (Godard or MLF posters rub shoulders with piles of medication), an old couple is dying. He, a critic (he is writing a thesis on cinema and dreams), takes care of her, a former psychiatrist, lost in the corridors of Alzheimer’s. It is performed (painfully) by Dario Argento, the esthete of giallo dreamlike, she by Françoise Lebrun, the muse of “La Maman et la Putain”. Two desacralized idols. Each has its own side of the screen, cut in two, like the hemispheres of the brain. Back from a stroke, Gaspar Noé seeks wisdom by remixing Michael Haneke’s “Amour” in his own way. There is no shortage of strong staging ideas (the final slideshow is devastating), but why stretch out a short film experience weighed down by student considerations over two hours and twenty minutes? “Life is a short party that will soon be forgotten”, he summarizes. His film is a long agony that is barely remembered. Nicholas Schaller
♥♥♥ Under the wing of angels
American historical drama by AJ Edwards, with Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke, Brit Marling (2014, 1h34).
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Trailer “Under the wing of angels”
Based on the last interview of Abraham Lincoln’s cousin, the film poetically reconstructs the rural youth of the sixteenth President of the United States. Classic biopic? Not at all. First, because the director, AJ Edwards, collaborates with Terrence Malick and the presence of the latter, producer of the film, is felt. Then, because the tone is offbeat (black and white, music by Bruckner, tracking shots on the ground), willingly bucolic, to recount the years 1817-1819: a bogeyman, a child who loves books, a mother who died very young, a attractive mother-in-law and an incredible destiny, exemplary of the American dream. Lincoln, a poor kid, will end up paralyzed… An expressionist poem, this film is the triumph of pure image and cinema. For the eyes, a treat. Francois Forestier
♥♥ Revenge of the Glitter Shrimp
French comedy by Cédric Le Gallo and Maxime Govare, with Nicolas Gob, Romain Brau, Félix Martinez (1h53).
On their way to the Tokyo Gay Games, the Glitter Shrimps (LGBTQIA+ water polo team) are forced to stop over in Russia, where smashing sensitive boys is a national sport. This new episode combats with joyful virulence all the ostracisms of which this community is still and always victim. The pace is uneven, but militant benevolence reigns. And the staging makes beautiful nods to “Disenchanted” by Mylène Farmer. Still, humor flush with the thong and in the second degree ultra-gay will not have the same flavor or the same value depending on whether you are gay, “friendly” or not concerned. Xavier Leherpeur
♥♥ In the shadow of the girls
French drama by Etienne Comar, with Alex Lutz, Agnès Jaoui, Hafsia Herzi (1h46).
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Luc, an opera singer, devotes himself to leading a singing workshop in a women’s prison. At first subject to various reactions (from guards, prisoners or those around him), he discovers, little by little, how the most beautiful trips are those made through the window or the skylight of the cell. The theme has already been tackled (notably last year with “A Triumph”), but Etienne Comar (“Django”) gives it a new lease of life, thanks to beautiful writing and a sensitivity based on the use of light (brightness of the prison, night outside). Intimate cinema, sincere cinema, carried by Alex Lutz, amazing actor. FF
♥♥ The Last Piano
Lebanese drama by Jimmy Keyrouz, with Tarek Yaacoub, Rola Baksmati, Mounir Maasri (1h50).
How to survive in Syria, under the bombs, when one is a musician and music is forbidden by the madmen of God? In the cellars, in the ruins, Karim, a talented pianist, manages. Until he will be forced to sell his piano to emigrate. The images are magnificent, even if melodramatic elements weigh down the whole. But Jimmy Keyrouz, for whom this is his first film, hits the nail on the head: the camera weaves its way through devastated landscapes, underlining a powerful emotion. An ode to hope, despite the gathering clouds. FF
Greek dystopian film by Christos Nikou, with Aris Servetalis, Sofia Georgovassili, Anna Kalaitzidou (1h30).
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A mysterious and sudden epidemic of memory loss has spread over Greece. Those who are affected are then entrusted to the care of a medical institute which will create memories and life experiences for them. For his first film, the Greek Christos Nikou imagines a disturbing fable on the normalization of our societies. But, at the time of concluding this uncomfortable tale, the scenario crumbles and leaves a taste of unfinished. XL
♥♥ Facing the sea
Lebanese drama by Ely Dagher, with Manal Issa, Roger Azar, Yara Abou Haidar (1h56).
Jana left her studies in France to return to Beirut. What is she running from? Withdrawn, she searches for herself in a now empty city, studded with skyscrapers that obstruct the view of the sea, and, facing her parents or her fiancé, remains an enigma. Ely Dagher creates a lyrical, almost hypnotic atmosphere in a nocturnal city where ghosts roam and where silence has followed years of war. The dramaturgy is thin, but we are captivated, if only by the strength of the staging. A rare movie. FF
IT COMES OUT
♥♥♥ A true crime of love
Italian drama by Luigi Comencini, with Stefania Sandrelli, Giuliano Gemma, Renato Scarpa (1h36, 1974).
There are two Comencini: the filmmaker of Italian comedy (“A horse on the tiger”, “Bread, love and fantasy”) and the social dramatist (“Money of the old woman”, “A child of Calabria”). It is in this second category that “A true crime of love” is situated, a class drama, a doomed love story, a fracture between two worlds. Carmela is a worker in Milan, Nullo too. She is from the South and Catholic, he is from the North and Communist. On a screenplay by Ugo Pirro, author of sharp (and often feminist) novels, Comencini observes a difficult love story, very much in tune with the times of the seventies, with filmmakers like Elio Petri, Valerio Zurlini, Mauro Bolognini. There is a warmth, a deep empathy in this film: we feel that Comencini knows them, these poor people, and that he loves them. Note (very) bene: we find the delicious Stefania Sandrelli, absolutely crunchy in a small factory hand with a broken destiny. F.F.
♥♥ To Chiara
Italian drama by Jonas Carpignano, with Swamy Rotolo, Claudio Rotolo, Carmela Fumo (2h01).
Chiara’s father disappeared without a trace. For this 16-year-old girl, her entire life balance is collapsing. Especially since, in front of her, stands a wall of silence, unspoken words and fleeting glances. By trying to unravel the mystery, the young girl will discover the truth about her family. Jonas Carpignano signs a lucid and asphyxiated portrait of the Italian mafia. Not that of large families, but that which allows a middle class to survive. With this nervous and anxious fiction, the filmmaker of “Mediterranea” and “A Ciambra” completes his sociological painting of a country plagued by its demons. XL
♥♥♥ Come on children
French documentary by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai (1h54).
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In Paris, the Lycée Turgot has opened a hip-hop section in order to integrate high school students from working-class neighborhoods flabbergasted at not discovering “only babtous, we are four blacks”, and try to stop the spiral of failure. The directors bring out endearing characters – one, adopted, does not know her date of birth, another skips appointments with the teaching staff – and paints the portrait of a generation resulting from diversity where girls carve out a place in a male universe. The story carries away thanks to the confusing naturalness of the kids (“Zola, it’s not really my world”), their monster talent and their energy as angry as it is contagious. SG
♥♥ A whole night without knowing
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Indian docudrama by Payal Kapadia (1h37).
False-true documentary, on the theme of epistolary love, against a backdrop of political upheavals in India. By filming friends, relatives, and collating archive footage, Payal Kapadia (this is his first film) assembles, in voice-over, texts of fictional letters that describe a complicated relationship between a distant man and a student. Indian. At stake: not only a love story dependent on barriers of caste, class or religion, but also the need for freedom of modern youth. A feeling of melancholy, the presence of desire, denunciation of the violence that fractures society, all the themes permeate this political film that one would swear comes from amateur cinema, but which, in fact, is meticulously staged. F.F.