Festival de GÉRARDMER : 5 films to remember

Return of the twenty-fourth festival of GÉRARDMER, where I had the pleasure and honor to be a member of the jury SyFy; I propose to you today a selection of five films that have particularly attracted my attention during these five days absolutely trippants.


directed by Rémy Barbe, Joseph Book and Josephine Hopkins, with Juliette Pi and Benjamin Poulonovsky

Margaux, a young teenager, discovers her power of seduction and the infancy of her sexuality, while trying to flee a monstrous creature that haunts his daily life and increasingly seems to come closer.

Winner of the jury Award for best French short film at the PIFF last December, the collective “FILMS OF THE FLY” continues its tour of festivals with MARGAUX, a small pearl of aesthetic, which he uses as card, technique that manifest intentions of the authors. This band of film students, intends to show its ability to integrate patterns fantastic in a painting in sensitive adolescence, through the prism of a female character is engaging, disturbing. Interesting collision in the calendar of Gérardmer, where this French short film is projected on the eve of the session of SERIOUS, winner of the Grand Prize in the feature films, since the presence of these two works are anchored in a next generation and a questioning and daring on the body and its metamorphoses, we hope the new blood and beneficial, as much for the genre cinema, the cinema of author. Choice skillful than that of the plastic arts as one of the vectors of the trajectory in the emotional heroin for the thrill of images with both soft and venomous, where gradually the impressions pastels give way to moods tormented a black ink.


directed by Christophe Deroo, with Rusty Joiner, Sigrid The Chapel and Rhonda Pell

The car of a representative breaks down in the middle of the desert in california. Isolated and exhausted, the dark-haired man bit by bit in the paranoia…

The movie “Twilight Zone” of the festival is a micro-budget French shot in two weeks by a developer promising, which is able to offer a real sensory experience to the public of the various festivals where he rolls his hump (FEFFS, PIFF, Gérardmer). Using the Californian desert like arid landscape, and instantly cinégénique, SAM WAS HERE assumes the descent experimental Rubber from Quentin Dupieux, and reveals his desire to compose an aesthetic framework voluntarily disturbing by its artificial appearance, the resonance of the closed universe that is conducive sometimes wandering, or floating the narrative, sometimes to the impact story as aesthetic. The work of Christophe Deroo is distinguished from other works presented in Gérardmer by his ambition to create a tension, not by drawing in the grounds of the usual fantastic, those of inheritance, gothic culture, geek current, but by focusing on an aesthetic that one would be thought by a designer trendy for the clip of a group of electro (so it returns to Dupieux). The notice of intent is even more clear when we notice the soundtrack very much inspired by John Carpenter, and therefore his eighties iconic that serve as totem to a generation of artists connected. Despite this backdrop of desert and the loneliness of the protagonist on the screen, one feels a presence, a gaze unseen, a threat to out-of-field that works certainly our paranoia of the viewer. Some idea of the madness.

Sam was Here has been renamed to NEMESIS for the release in e-film, April 4, 2017.


directed by André Øvredal, with Emile Hirsh, Brian Cox and Olwen Catherine Kelly

Assisted by his son Austin, Tommy the medical examiner of a small city, is entrusted with the body of an unknown for an autopsy. The victim has no suspicion of it, and the cause of death is undetermined…

André Øvredal had warned the public géromois; with THE JANE DOE IDENTITY, it was necessary to expect to live a very different experience of TROLL HUNTERS, the found footage which was made known in France, six years earlier. The decor is quickly posed : a camera, two actors, the survey anatomical as the red thread of the story; one could almost speak about a efficiency of high-concept, those who sharpen just the appetite of festival-goers. Worn by two performers of choice (Emile Hirsh and Brian Cox), the film manages to instill an emotional stake through a father/son relationship which blends the awkwardness of a variety of feelings, modesty, compassion through the guilt; braiding and a context that is credible to the drama, where other entertainment presented at the official selection focused on the simple sequence of the plot, to the neglect of the involvement of the viewer.

We regret that Øvredal has not been able to confine the narrative to the only place in the operating room, and feels compelled in the last third of the film to accumulate the effects of horrific spectacular and agreed, where an amateur horror precisely measured and insidiously brought in, would have preferred to keep the impression of unspeakable anguish in the beginning. The idea is to superimpose on the autopsy of the body, the story of terror in its entirety, to associate each step to a revelation, and a code of this kind, the concept would have seemed even better if the camera remained focused on the operation. Despite this weakness, the idea remains sufficiently readable on the screen, and what a pleasure to see a film that really makes a pinball machine.

Output in the classroom, may 31, 2017


directed by Babak Anvari, with Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi and Bobby Naderi

Tehran, 1988. Shideh, married and mother of a small daughter, will start a school of medicine. Her husband is called to the front during the War between Iran and Iraq. Shideh finds himself alone with his daughter. But soon it begins to have a behaviour that is troubling and seems to be sick. The mother asks if her daughter is not possessed by a spirit…

The price SyFy this year belongs to the school of the fantastic using the genre as a metaphor spun out of a threat from as much of the intimate environment of the protagonists. Here, the effects of terror are gradually taking their place to exacerbate the tension already present in the daily life of the small family even before the intrusion of a supernatural element. Babak Anvari draws its pin from the game of the official selection in contextualizing explicitly telling his story in a period of history located right where it should be, for it seems at once near (the eighties) and far (Iran, a country that a film buff of the genre rarely has the opportunity to see on the big screen). Where UNDER THE SHADOW brilliantly uses elements of fantasy, it is precisely when the codes of narrative and imagery of the genre come and help the viewer to understand the cultural and political context, giving forms, and deformities to a climate, in appointing through the tale which consists precisely of the taboo, the forbidden, of the heavy silence.

In the way to interfere the anguish in an intimate setting, the work of Anvari has a kinship evident with the current Spanish of the years 2000 (The Spine of the devil, The Orphanage). But where Under the shadow distinguishes itself from its elders iberian, it is offering a threat encompassing the different planes of the story, which, of course, the plan policy. And Shideh is not only attacked in her identity as a wife and mother, but also in its status as a committed woman, a student, of a city. The shadow grows and devours the slightest promise of light.

Under The Shadow is already available on NETFLIX.


directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, with Tahar Rahim, Constance Rousseau and Olivier Gourmet

Stéphane, a former fashion photographer, lives alone with his daughter that he keeps with him in their property in the suburbs. Each day, she becomes his model for long sessions of posing in front of the goal, always more stressful. When John, a new assistant novice, enters this world dark and dangerous, he realizes, little by little, he will have to save Mary from this hold toxic.

I wanted to mention the latest film from Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who was the guest of honour of Gérardmer, this year, to account for a glaring gap between a thin portion of the moviegoers present and ready to defend the work of the japanese master, and a large majority of the public, if it has not appeared to taste the conventions specific to this work, have at least enjoyed the defuse by what laughter mocking. Why this discrepancy ? All this he says simply by a missed appointment (or, on the contrary, devilishly successful, according to our degree of malice) between a support waiting to be nourished for the fun and the gore décomplexés, and a filmmaker is going into exile in France, to develop a drama to the effects fantastic minimalist ? If THE SECRET OF THE BLACK ROOM has been turned into French language, there is still a problem of language once the film to be screened at the festival-goers. A problem of the language of cinema where the silence, the slowness, the absence of any identifiable gender, is displayed in a first time as an enigma, for those who wait for the fantasy to take its full place in the image.

And then in a second time, because they cannot find these expected elements, some spectators occupy the mind, mocking conventions of atypical selected the filmmaker to ensure a background of dramatic tension in this story, almost motionless. Of the many dissonances in the direction of the actors, and the reactions to unlikely characters, through a poetry impromptu in the replicas; the artistic choices of Kurosawa, mid-way between those of his native country, and those of an auteur cinema in French caricature, cause progressively chuckles in the audience, who came to evacuate the discomfort of the missed appointment. That said, for a viewer like me who watches most of the shows horrific with remote, waterproof strangeness of Constance Rousseau will have had at least the merit to make me hesitate to turn off the light, once alone in the silence of my room, imagining the vastness emptiness of her gaze weighing on me in the dark.

The cinema release, on 8 march 2017.

If you also, you were present at Gérardmer this year, and you want to defend a film that I have not mentioned, do not hesitate, comments are made for that.



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