Un couteau dans le coeur [Knife + Heart] (2018)

Un couteau dans le coeur
Director: Yann Gonzalez
Writer: Yann Gonzalez, Cristiano Mangione
Cast: Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet, Félix Maritaud, Khaled Alouach, Elina Löwensohn
Part of: /slash Filmfestival 1/2
Seen on: 5.5.2019

Anne (Vanessa Paradis) produces gay porn together with her lover and editor Lois (Kate Moran). But Lois isn’t happy anymore with their life and she leaves Anne. Anne tries to win her back by making a new, ambitious movie with Archibald (Nicolas Maury) whom she has worked with a lot already. But a killer is making his way through the gay community and he kills two of Anne’s stars as well, drawing her into the investigation that becomes ever stranger.

Un couteau dans le coeur is a neo-giallo or at least a tribute to the old ones. I, personally, am not really a fan of giallos. Usually they just pass me right by. But I have to say that this film worked very well for me and left a very lasting impression.

The film poster showing drawings of the main characters and a bird in a collage.
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Les garçons sauvages [The Wild Boys] (2017)

Les garçons sauvages
Director: Bertrand Mandico
Writer: Bertrand Mandico
Cast: Pauline Lorillard, Vimala Pons, Diane Rouxel, Anaël Snoek, Mathilde Warnier, Sam Louwyck, Elina Löwensohn, Nathalie Richard
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 3.5.2018

Content Note: Rape, transmisia

Romuald (Pauline Lorillard), Jean-Louis (Vimala Pons), Hubert (Diane Rouxel), Tanguy (Anaël Snoek) and Sloane (Mathilde Warnier) are friends, all interested in arts and aestheticism in general. But after raping and killing their literature teacher (Nathalie Richard), they are put in the care of the Captain (Sam Louwyck) in the hope that his rough methods will set them on the right path again. They embark on a journey on the Captain’s ship to an island where transformation is supposedto happen.

The Wild Boys was interesting, but didn’t work in all respects for me. Still, it’s a film that looks at gender and has an interesting visual style, so I would say that it’s worth checking out regardless.

SPOILERS after the jump.

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Laissez bronzer les cadavres [Let the Corpses Tan] (2017)

Laissez bronzer les cadavres
Director: Hélène CattetBruno Forzani
Writer: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Based on: Jean-Pierre Bastid and Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel
Cast: Elina LöwensohnStéphane FerraraBernie BonvoisinMichelangelo MarcheseMarc BarbéMarine SainsilyHervé SognePierre NisseAline StevensDorylia Calmel
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2017

Rhino (Stéphane Ferrara) has stolen 250kg of gold with his gang and they have scoped out the perfect hiding place: a mostly abandoned village where artiste Luce (Elina Löwensohn) has set up camp. But as things are wont to do, they don’t go according to plan. So what should have been a done deal turns into a tense battle.

Laissez bronzer les cadavres is a beautiful, stunning, gorgeous film that bored me half to death. I really didn’t know what to do with it.

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Vénus noire [Black Venus] (2010)

Vénus noire
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writer: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
Cast: Yahima TorresOlivier GourmetAndre JacobsElina LöwensohnFrançois MarthouretMichel Gionti
Seen on: 13.6.2017

CN: all kinds of abuse and racist shit

At the beginning of the 19th century, Sarah Baartman (Yahima Torres) follows her employer Hendrick Cesar (Andre Jacobs) from South Africa to the UK. She hopes for a better life there, instead Cesar exhibits her as a carnival attraction: a “savage” black woman with a big butt. When they meet bear tamer Réaux (Olivier Gourmet), he poshes them to go to the next level of the show, despite the troubles they already encountered in the UK.

The story of Sarah Baartman is a horrifying example of colonialism and racism and everything that is wrong with white people. Unfortunately, the film is an exercise in sensationalism and does neither Baartman nor her story justice.

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La jeune fille sans mains [The Girl Without Hands] (2016)

La jeune fille sans mains
Director: Sébastien Laudenbach
Writer: Sébastien Laudenbach
Based on: the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm
Cast: Anaïs Demoustier, Jérémie Elkaïm, Philippe Laudenbach, Olivier Broche, Françoise Lebrun, Sacha Bourdo, Elina Löwensohn
Seen on: 4.10.2016

A struggling miller (Olivier Broche) is offered riches by the devil (Philippe Laudenbach) in exchange for what stands behind his mill. As there’s just an apple tree there, the miller agrees, only to realize that his daughter (Anaïs Demoustier) was climbing the tree at that moment. When the devil comes to claim her years later, her goodness makes it impossible for him. In a rage he forces her father to chop off her hands and that only marks the beginning of the girl’s struggle to find her way and place in the world.

Visually La jeune fille sans mains is engaging and interesting and the story is interesting as well, but I still don’t feel very enthusiastic about it, unfortunately.

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