In Venice, Bertrand Bonello films the past lives of Léa Seydoux, in “La Bête”

Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux), in

Here we are in the near future that promises a better world. Humans can, if they wish – because they are still decision-makers – get rid of their dark thoughts by purifying their DNA. All they have to do is confide in the expert “arm” of the injection machine, which seems to have come out of a David Cronenberg dream. A young woman (Léa Seydoux) still hesitates, revisits her past, when she wore a curly wig, then flinches. The image of one of her previous deaths comes back to haunt her. The viewer follows her through the maze of her past lives, which she remembers very well…

There is little doubt that The beastby Bertrand Bonello, who is competing for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, whose 80e edition will end on September 9, is among the most exciting works of the competition. The new film from the director of The Apollonid. Souvenirs from the brothel (2011) and of Zombie Child (2019) is loosely adapted from the short story by Henry James, The Beast in the Jungle (1903), with Léa Seydoux and George MacKay – the British actor replaced Gaspard Ulliel, died on January 19, 2022 at the age of 37, and The beast is dedicated to the French actor.

Before delving into this futuristic work, let us specify that another film inspired by the same work, the sumptuous The Beast in the Jungleby Patrick Chiha, starring Anaïs Demoustier and Tom Mercier, was released in France on August 16, after being selected for the Berlinale (Panorama). We will come back to this, as these two works dialogue with each other.

Multi-faceted universe

In the short story by Henry James, a young man named John senses that a tragic event could bring him down. He shares his secret with a relative, May, and the duo, who seem to be in love even if nothing is happening, lets time slip by. While Patric Chiha transposes the story into a nightclub, from 1979 to 2004, Bertrand Bonello deploys a multifaceted universe for his two characters, Gabrielle and Louis. The latter, a desirous man who is biding his time, will sometimes turn out to be a patient lover, sometimes a dangerous ly frustrated.

Louis (George MacKay) and Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux), in

One of the most disturbing ideas of the story is this “doll” object that crosses the ages, deploying all kinds of imagery – docile femininity, standardized beauty, but also manipulation and destruction, like an echo of disarticulated dolls of the artist Hans Bellmer (1902-1975). Here we are in an old-fashioned factory where the baby doll has porcelain eyes borrowed from those of Léa Seydoux (one of the most striking shots, where the actress’ gaze swings into another dimension). Later, the doll takes the form of an android, embodied with a beautiful voluptuousness by Guslagie Malanda, revealed in Saint-Omer (2022), by Alice Diop. As if artificial intelligence, by dint of imitating humans, came to share their desires. Or even, one day, to take their place?

You have 27.32% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Source link

Leave a Reply