Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, Revenge of the Glitter Shrimp… what are the cinema releases for the week of April 13, 2022?
Every week, Ecran Large makes its market in cinemas, and selects a few must-see releases and films (for good or bad reasons).
With the death of Harry Potter, a not very cheerful water polo revenge, the return of Gaspar Noé, of J-Horror, a very lively tour of France and a forgotten epidemic.
THE REVENGE OF THE SPARKLING SHRIMPS
What is it about : Two years after Jean’s death, the coach decides to take a young man from the suburbs whom he believes to be gay to accompany the team to the Gay Games in Tokyo, a trip to pay tribute to their friend who left too soon. But after missing their connection to Japan, they find themselves stuck in Russia, in one of the not-most-gay-friendly regions in the world. The beginning of a crazy adventure as incredible as it is perilous.
Why you have to see it : Revenge of the Glitter Shrimpit’s the return of the most queer water polo team on the big screen, still under the supervision of Cédric Le Gallo and Maxime Govare. This new opus questions in a more political and more serious way the reality of homophobia in a new setting: Russia.
But it also pushes the cast to surpass themselves in trying to express what their vision of homosexuality is, at the dawn of the arrival of a new swimmer, Sélim. The latter, introduced by Matthias, is an outstanding competitor, but does not seem as colorful as his new comrades.
This new voyage of the Shrimps deserves a look if only for its burning topicality. While the film was shot in Ukraine (to simulate the story in Russia), many extras have since gone into battle. Finally, remember that it took until 2022 to see the ban on conversion therapy in France.
The Widescreen Note : 2.5/5
What is it about : The last days of the life of an elderly couple in the heart of a Parisian apartment.
Why you have to see it : Because Gaspar Noé is one of the most exciting French directors of the moment, with a style extremely identified between his epileptic style effects, his dizzying din, the madness animating his characters and the violent themes inflaming each of his creations. However, he proves once again that he is a filmmaker much more brilliant than one could imagine with Vortex.
Detaching himself from his supercharged cinema, Gaspar Noé plunges us into the long pre-mortem stroll of two elderly people. With an extremely minimalist device (he just enjoys splitting the screen and a few sequence shots), Noah then follows their degeneration with disturbing slowness. It’s certainly too long, but the film captures with depressing realism the tragedy of old age and the desperate expectation of that menacing, patient, but certain death.
The Widescreen Note : 4/5
Our review of Vortex
What is it about : In Greece, an unexpected pandemic causes a wave of amnesia. Aris, unable to remember his identity, then follows a recovery program to help him rebuild his life.
Why you have to see it : The director Christos Nikou was the assistant of the now famous Yorgos Lanthimos for Canine in 2009. Almost twelve years later, his first feature film Apples (selected in 2020 in Venice) proves the influence of his Greek sidekick on his own cinema. With its rather wacky opening pitch and an obvious love of the absurd, Apples immerses us in a dystopian universe (even if damn real for two years) to better study the excesses of real society.
Thus, thanks to its main character who is as benevolent as he is apathetic, Nikou has fun telling a sensitive story about mourning, memories, through the reconstruction of wandering characters. Moreover, the film seems to denounce with a certain fatality the danger of an education that is too formatted (or directed), forcing the characters to rely on conditioned (even interested) identities, without ever being able to enjoy a saving freedom.
Regrettably, the whole thing is too theoretical and really prevents emotional involvementbut if Nikou’s cinema evolves like that of Lanthimos, we will have to follow it closely.
The Widescreen Note : 3/5
THE LEAST RECOMMENDED OUTING
FANTASTIC BEASTS: SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE
Duration: 2h22 (and it’s long!)
What is it about : D’Albus Dumbledore, who took the place of Norbert Dragonneau as the main character of his own franchise. And then, it makes a magic wand… get out… inconsistency… Grindelwald is mean… inconsistency… get out, and we get out.
Why we don’t recommend it : With its stormy production, both hit by the poor reception of the previous part, by scandals in shambles concerning its team and its actors (JK Rowling, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller…) and by the Covid-19 pandemic , as saying that Fantastic Beasts 3 didn’t leave with the best assets in the world.
The problem is that the end result suffers seriously. With yes-man David Yates at the helm again, Dumbledore’s Secrets gets lost in an accumulation of poor dialogue tunnels, all filmed in umpteenth shades of gray that are far from doing justice to the Wizarding World. Wanting too much to be a facelift, the feature film spends its time jumping from rooster to donkey, correcting the errors of the past at the cost of inconsistencies as big as Hogwarts, and deploying an anarchic editing, which sacrifices three-quarters of its story arcs.
Real creature of Frankenstein sewn up anyhow, Fantastic Beasts 3 has everything from an empty and sanitized industrial disaster, which would become almost fascinating if it didn’t make you die of boredom.
The Widescreen Note : 1.5/5
THE COOL SPRINGS
RING / AUDITION / DARK WATER
Outings: 1998, 1999 and 2002 – Duration: 1h36, 1h55 and 1h41
You will take a new dose
What is it about : Long-haired ghosts, cursed tapes, stains on the ceiling and acupuncture sessions.
Why you have to see them : Bringing out this trio of absolute classics is give the opportunity to a new generation to discover the “J-Horror”a term designating the wave of Japanese horror films, with often similar themes, which swept across the cinema planet at the dawn of the 2000s. Ju-On), but also its particularities and its diversity.
Ring is undeniably the first ambassador of Japanese horror. It was he who, by conquering the world, pushed back the horizons of a large part of Western cinephilia, while introducing with Sadako a myriad of codes which have since almost become archetypes: the mute ghost with long hair, the close-up on the eyes, the urban legend, the video cassette… Less famous and yet more heartbreaking still, Dark Water reveals all the emotional and symbolic power of Hideo Nakata’s work, for whom fear necessarily results from great pain.
And in the middle, it was necessary that the troublemaker Takashi Miike is embedded, with a film which represents for many another facet of Japanese horror, much more violent and at the origin of a whole section of American gore cinema. Global trauma, Hearing does not, however, do any task in this ephemeral trilogy. Asami, Sadako or Mitsuko embody all three an infinite, feminine and silenced suffering, who returns to haunt a world rotten by their executioners. Incredibly contemporary and above all damn terrifying souls in pain.
Widescreen notes : 5/5, 5/5 and… 5/5
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE
Released: 2003 – Duration: 1h20
A free-wheeling story
What is it about : From Champion, a cyclist who participates in the Tour de France and is kidnapped by the French mafia, and from Mémé, who sets off in pursuit of her grandson with the help of the Triplettes de Belleville, three former singers of the 20s .
Why you have to see them : Because The Triplets of Belleville is a cultural broth. The Franco-Belgian-Canadian film draws its influences as much from comic strips, from which it recovers the artisanal and caricatural pencil line, as from American cartoons à la Betty Boop from which he takes up the visual gags and the dynamics, or even from the cinema of Jacques Tati, from which he borrows the burlesque comedy and the absence of dialogues.
The unusual road trip directed by Sylvain Chomet is a kind of cinematic UFO released the same year as Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and The world of Nemowho aspired at the time of his exit from further familiarize adult audiences with animated films. The film thus finds its personality and its identity by blurring the codes with its often depressive atmosphere, its pastel tones, its gothic revisits of New York and Montreal, its numerous references inaccessible to children and its humor that is more biting than hilarious.
The Widescreen Note : 4/5