10. Saint-Omer by Alice Diop
Beyond motherhood, Diop frontally depicts the nauseous, ordinary racism of a black woman who expresses herself correctly (which challenges the followers), in an environment of white and bourgeois domination. Witchcraft is advanced by the accused, but it is indeed the distress of an abandoned mother who is at the origin of that of her child. Brutality of a frontal and minimal staging until these last two sequences, one of a camera gaze of the lawyer pleading for all women, the other a “hand to hand” between a mother and her girl, aware of the unbroken cycle of life, accepting forgiveness in an attempt to oust the terrible mistakes of the past, tirelessly repeated.
9. Introduction by Hong Sang-Soo
We recognize a filmmaker at the top when he is able to say everything in very little, to make the ordinary beautiful and lively, without ever forcing mannerism. Hong Sang-Soo and his Introduction continues its investigation of human relations in a cinematic grace bordering on the superb. His cinema darkens, hope escapes, the weight of a fallen love, of separated parents, of the love of a mother that we now only see from afar (the final scene, with a woman you can barely make out on her balcony). The photography, with its black and white grain, sometimes blurred by the falling snow, soothes and signs the grandeur of the simple, of the naturalism devoid of any facetiousness.
8. Licorice Pizza by Paul Thomas Anderson
PTA abandons darkness and cold tragedy for a twirling escapade of youth and naivety, through the discovery of the fabulous duo Alana Haïm and Cooper Alexander Hoffman (son of the late P. Seymour). The lightness is only in appearance, PTA and its traveling genius never ceases to confuse the tracks in a hodgepodge of childhood memories, personal experiences and insane inventiveness, it leaves not without a total mastery of his staging, flirting his film with an impression of improvisation, like his truck which he leaves without gasoline hurtling down the dry slopes of Los Angeles.
7. The high school student by Christophe Honoré
An absolutely heartbreaking finale where each family puzzle finally finds the voice of redemption through forgiveness and trust, a sensitive marvel, a jewel of violent tenderness, a tight and graceful balance between naivety and maturity (“ I’m older than you says 17-year-old Lucas to his impossible love of 29), Honoré transgresses the compelling image of mourning in an initiatory journey that builds the future through the love of those who remain.
6. hit the road by Panah Panahi
There is in hit the road not a plan too many, nor a clumsy laugh. Even if the projections can follow one another and sometimes imitate a visual marathon which can wear out, the film reminds us with joy that the cinema can cross the body by a poetry immaculate of any budgetary consideration, and that a nothing (here a car in Iran inhabited by a dying dog, an old man in plaster, the tears of a mother, the cries of a rambling child, of a destiny, that of the son, who will be written by his absence) can give so much.
5. NMR by Cristian Mungiu
Mungiu draws a reading (RMN means MRI in Romanian) crazy about precision and intelligence. He manages in barely 2 hours to raise the traumas of our modern society, this village reflecting a world adrift: the rejection of the other, xenophobic fear, the moralizing vision of the West, ethnic wars seemingly appeased but lively, poverty and the downgrading of working-class areas. Two scenes remain fiercely engraved: that of a municipal debate between villagers of incredible power in a sequence shot of more than 30 minutes, and this end which spirals into madness, that of the hunter who moves in prey. NMR is multiple and powerful, a terrible pamphlet of an inhuman humanity.
4. EO by Jerzy Skolimowski
It tells more than it tells the initiatory journey of a young donkey freed from a circus, wandering through encounters in a brutal Poland. And in particular the moving lubricated eye of a donkey, candid ingenuous, immutable in the face of destruction, and which observes with an anthropomorphic pity the decay of a human race contemplating, idiotically, its self-destruction. Armored with demented visual experiments, a kind of big hallucinogenic trip under blotter, and a certain emphatic over-aestheticization, EO nevertheless remains a meaningful work, which perfectly captures the ecological and animal issues of our world.
3. Boop by Jordan Peele
Peele finds in this maze of references”amusement” his own way, with extraordinary ideas like these howls of pain that arise from the sky, this haunted and bloody house, or the disincarnation of the monster at the end of the film, hybridization of death, and adaptability of the animal to its near destruction . Boop in any case marks the spectacular arrival of Peele among the greatest of his generation.
2. Armageddon Time by James Gray
There is this ability so intelligent to film without heavy clogs the nauseous racism of a time when anti-Semitism is similar to a facade of revolt while the segregation of blacks was legitimized by the white bourgeoisie. And from these accumulations of injustices is born in Paul the duty of opposition: never to be silent in the face of idiotic authoritarianism, to follow the path of justice knowing how to deny adult stupidity, knowing how to say no, and always raise one’s head in the face of any form of inequality. Gorgeous.
1. pacification by Albert Serra
Magimel plays its strongest role there, a charismatic pinnacle, mad among madmen, scanning the waters in search of a nuclear submarine of a paranoid crisis to arrive the next moment at a glimmer of conscious singularity ( by this sublime monologue in the car comparing politics to the world of the night), symbol of a man overwhelmed by his time, ironic imagination of an actor who we thought was lost. The object plays with its dysmorphism to divert any pompous script linearity, it adds vaporous supporting roles to blur the tracks between the real and the imaginary, the conscious of the subconscious, playing the aesthetic card all-in, generous absolute donation of a filmmaker who no longer touches the ground.
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The 10 favorite films of Bonbon Nuit in 2022
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