Red Rocket, Reluctant Superheroes, The Souvenir: New to theaters this week

What to see in theaters

THE EVENT
RED ROCKET ★★★☆☆

By Sean Baker

The essential

After Florida ProjectSean Baker paints the portrait of a loser who becomes the symbol of ultra-liberal America.

A few months before the election of Donald Trump. Mikey, a washed-up pornstar returns to her hometown in Texas. He settles in with his ex-wife and his ex-mother-in-law for the time to regain his health. He claims to be passing through and is looking for a job, but in a crisis-ridden America, Mikey can’t find anything. He starts selling weed to make some money and comes across Strawberry, a 17-year-old girl, seduces her and gradually sees in her his ticket back to LA… There are several films in Red Rocket. First a nice character study. Mikey is an ambivalent character. Selfish and arrogant, superb and miserable, a guy capable of scamming his loved ones without an ounce of regret. We gradually get attached to this inconsistent toy boy thanks to a writing on the wire, irreverent and sensitive, corrosive without being gratuitous. But it is also thanks to the impressive performance of its interpreter Simon Rex that it works. However Red Rocket is a bit more than that. Because behind the portrait of the loser hides a political film. A painting of America White trash. With his dreams of greatness and easy money fueled by his cowardice and immaturity, Mikey becomes the embodiment of Trumpian America, ready to do anything to achieve his miserable ambitions.

Gael Golhen

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FIRST TO MANY LOVED

MY NEIGHBORS’ NEIGHBORS ARE MY NEIGHBORS ★★★★☆

By Anne-Laure Daffis and Léo Marchand

An ogre who breaks his teeth on the eve of the big ogre festival, a magician who misses his turn of the woman cut in two with his assistant, an old gentleman who falls in love with the pair of legs of this woman cut in two, an over-equipped hiker who gets stuck in an elevator for several days with his dog… Here are some of the ten characters, each one more fired up than the next, living in the same building whose intertwined destinies this animated film tells. And the result is simply breathtaking. 90 hectic minutes where their art of poetic burlesque unfolds without downtime throughout a story that manages to never lose a character along the way while multiplying, like permanent fireworks, animation techniques (cut paper, drawing, archive images, etc.) to adapt them to each character and the situations they encounter. An artistic gesture of astonishing playful power.

Thierry Cheze

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H6 ★★★★☆

From Ye Ye

More than two million patients pass each year in Shanghai’s number 6 hospital. The Franco-Chinese Ye Ye planted her cameras there to follow five patients with different fates. A child who, while playing in the street, had her hand run over by a bus; a teenager recovering from a terrible car accident, watched over by her strangely euphoric father who sings in the hallways; a peasant who broke his spine; a middle-aged man with a broken knee and an old lady being watched by her old husband. Never venturing into institutional or political terrain, Ye Ye records captures the psychological distress of patients, the hardships they go through, solidarity such as loneliness… without ever falling into misery. Poetic, funny, touching, moving, H6 also recounts the relationship of a people to illness, life and death. To its culture. Fascinating.

Gael Golhen

THE SOUVENIR- PART I AND II ★★★★☆

By Joanna Hogg

The fourth feature by British director Joanna Hogg, this diptych appears to be the ideal gateway to her cinema, a sort of culmination of her work coupled with a return to her roots, since largely inspired by her own life and her beginnings behind the camera, since she even revisits her graduation short film there. We follow the first love affair experienced by a young woman in the arms of an unstable man but who knew how to put on her this look which allowed her for the first time to believe in her and to free herself from a family. loving but castrating. The Souvenir superbly recounts the power of the first racing heart then the abrupt end of this story and its violent mourning which passes through the prism of the film that it will inspire in it. And we never get out of this story, magnetized by the one Hogg chose as the main interpreter: Honor Swinton-Byrne, daughter in the city as on the screen of Tilda Swinton, so much does she emanate a sweetness, a cigeny and an insane ability to bring to life with a simple look or a seemingly banal gesture all the joy and all the pain in the world. (Very) great art.

Thierry Cheze

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FIRST LOVED

THE YOUNG LOVERS ★★★☆☆

By Carine Tardieu

Carine Tardieu tells a love story between a 70-year-old woman who thought this type of passion had been behind her for a long time and a 45-year-old man, married and happily married. The famous love at first sight that falls on you and sweeps away everything but whose famous age difference will arouse exacerbated reactions. And she signs her most beautiful film by developing a character of a septuagenarian who struggles to believe and, in part, to live this love as intense as his first heartbeats were. With the added urgency of the passage of time and this illness that kills his loved ones but which invades his body more and more. The director flees all pathos to tell a passion capable of overturning everything in its path, where Melvil Poupaud and Fanny Ardant reveal sublime complicity and intensity.

Thierry Cheze

LITTLE SOLANGE ★★★☆☆

By Axelle Ropert

Solange is 14 years old, lives in Nantes and has parents who look like Philippe Katerine and Léa Drucker. In short, life is beautiful. Except that behind barely closed doors, the sensitive young girl (the revelation Jade Springer) realizes that this family cocoon threatens to implode. The specter of divorce hangs over… The new Axelle Ropert (The Wolberg family), does not take the form of a classic teenage drama with its share of situations that have become clichés. As an assumed truffaldian, she firmly believes in the intelligence and complexity of these “children”, forced to accept the weight of “being in the world”, to repair what invariably breaks. To become an adult is to become master of a kingdom that is not one’s own, to come to terms with permanent chaos. Little Solange tells all that, with mad grace, without fuss.

Thomas Bauras

ARTHUR RAMBO ★★★☆☆

By Laurent Cantet

This is the story of a Lucien de Rubempré 2.0. Like the Balzacian hero, Arthur “goes up” to Paris, or rather here, crosses the ring road, to conquer the beautiful people of the capital. Arthur Rambo is actually the fictional double of Mehdi Meklat, whose film is inspired by “the affair”. This young journalist and novelist was caught up in 2017 by a series of hateful tweets of his own, explicitly racist, homophobic, sexist …, exhumed from the limbo of the social network. In the blink of an eye, this new, dyed-in-the-wool media darling was struck from grace. Laurent Cantet directly tells this tipping point which sees his hero fall from his base and conveniently tightens the time of the plot (one night). From the heights of Paris where he celebrates the success of his book, the pariah goes back down to his working-class suburbs to the family home (the fall is above all social). Cantet signs a film a bit academic in its treatment but of an exemplary implacability. Rabah Naït Oufella that the same Cantet had launched with Between the walls in 2008, reveals a perfect accuracy of tone, soft but tenacious, physical but quick to fade. He is the point of tension in a film which watches, flabbergasted, a modern young man fall.

Thomas Bauras

VALID ★★★☆☆

By Laurent Zeitoun and Théodore Ty

In a fantasized New York during the 1920s, young Georgia dreams of being a firefighter like her father. But the regulations prohibit women from being part of the corps of firemen. She will then disguise herself as a man and help her father discover the identity of the Arsonist, a super-villain who threatens the city… Put like that, a film like this, it’s make or break, taking the risk of place in “mature” children’s animation and not to please anyone. Good news: it passes from the fire of God. Featuring super cool animation, solid writing, and unexpected characters (a daredevil and narcoleptic Asian driver, a police chief who loves musicals…), Valiant is a very good superhero movie for the whole family (promised) that takes advantage of its universe nicely.

Sylvester Picard

VANILLA ★★★☆☆

By Guillaume Lorin

This short film (preceded, in theaters, by two other successes in the same format, Kiko and the animals and Your French is perfect) features a Parisian teenager with a strong character who finds herself constrained and forced by her father (who is raising her alone) to go and spend her holidays with her aunt in Guadeloupe. Combining 2D animation and live action, Vanilla has in its first minutes the trappings of a family comedy before branching off into a fantastic initiatory tale, where by discovering the secrets of the island where her deceased mother was from, her young heroine will learn to know herself better. A perfectly mastered balance that gives Vanilla a spiciness and a playfulness that takes it away from all sentimentality.

Thierry Cheze

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FIRST TO MODERATELY LOVED

INTRODUCTION ★★☆☆☆

By Hong Sang-soo

Super short duration, ample space devoted to ellipses as well as tastings without moderation of alcoholic beverages… There is no doubt: we are at home with Hong Sang-Soo, the Stakhanovist of South Korean cinema, author of no less than 16 films over the past 10 years! This depicts a young Korean trying to find his way between the wishes and expectations of his parents and his girlfriend who has gone to study in Berlin. The Berlinale 2021 jury awarded him its screenplay prize. The black and white light composed by him is magnificent, the atmosphere poetic, the minimalism perfectly mastered. But we look in vain for his singularity in his career. By dint of multiplying at each position – director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, composer… – his cinema ends up suffocating. We look at him with admiration but without passion. Waiting for the next one…

Thierry Cheze

PREMIERE DIDN’T LIKE

SUPERHERO DESPITE HIM ★☆☆☆☆

By Philippe Lacheau

A failed actor, Cédric (Philippe Lacheau) lands a role in a superhero film by chance. After borrowing the filming car, he is the victim of an accident that causes him to lose his memory. Still dressed in the costume and surrounded by accessories from the film, he really believes he is a masked vigilante… If his Nicky Larson had caught our attention a little, Lacheau falls back here into the slaughter of schoolboy gags barely written (but where does this obsession for the insertion of objects in the rectum come from?). Most of the supporting characters seem to come from another script and Despite himself superheroes never knows where to stand between parody, action movie and romantic comedy. Fans will find their way around, those who have passed the anal stage might have a little more trouble.

Francois Leger

And also

Jean Dupuy Ypuduby Gilles Coudert

Covers

Dilinger is deadby Marco Ferreri

I have the right to liveby Fritz Lang

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