Les Magnétiques: A rock film with joyful nostalgia [critique]

An initiatory story in the heart of France in the early 80s. That of pirate radio. A remarkable first film by Vincent Maël Cardona

Magnetics offers a trip back 30 years. 1981. A small provincial town. Two brothers, the shy Philippe (Thimotée Robart, incandescent) in the shadow of the charismatic Jérôme devoured by his inner demons. The father’s garage. The threat of compulsory military service. A pirate radio installed in the attic of a bar. This is the basis of this first feature, awarded at the Directors’ Fortnight, on which Vincent Maël Cardona deploys a very rich story, each component of which harmoniously nourishes the other. An initiatory story in the footsteps of Philippe who will discover the uncontrollable impulses of his heart (he falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend…) and fully live his passion for playing with sounds while playing the radio. A story of friendship during his military service in Berlin which will allow him to grow up, far from family upheavals. A sensory film that fills our eyes and ears with happiness, shot with the objectives of the time to reconstitute the atmosphere, to the sound of the new wave and punk wave that was surging. This puzzle is brilliantly orchestrated by Cordona, with the culmination of a scene that alone justifies the journey through these Magnetic when Philippe, in a radio studio in Berlin, starts playing with live sounds to declare his love for his brother’s girlfriend. Like this sublime moment, Magnetics is an exciting film which offers a shoot of nostalgia all the stronger as the awakening to the world of this young hero strikes the end of this world in which he evolves.

By Vincent Maël Cardona. With Timothée Robart, Marie Colomb, Joseph Olivennes … Duration 1h38. Release November 17, 2021

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