“Tár”, “Forbidden to dogs and Italians”, “Ashkal”…


“Ashkal”, by Youssef Chebbi, 2023.

Big week of cinema, adaptable to all tastes. Societal issues dominate, however, with the best films being those that refuse to be subject to them. “Cancel culture” on the side of Tar, a complex, ambiguous, finally adult Hollywood film. Family memory of immigration in artisanal animation in volumes ofForbidden to Italians and dogs. Evocation of the Tunisian revolution through a fantastic thriller with Ashkal. Or even a Senegalese horror western, Salumwhich aims to rekindle the cinematographic flame of the continent.

Tar », a virtuoso victim of her hubris

It’s been a long time since a film, a real auteur film, had fascinated the public so much, as a fictional character had not aroused so much enthusiasm and comments. Since its Anglo-Saxon release in theatres, some have offered their interpretative delirium on the meaning of the ending, others have risen up against the misogyny of the portrait that is made of Lydia Tár, the brilliant conductor whom the film which bears his name picks at the height of his career. It should be specified to what extent actress and character are one here, to what extent Cate Blanchett, an actress with absolute technique, flourishes in this role which is her best: the sharpness of her acting, her deep voice and her hypnotizing phrasing, formulating in themselves a great show – she is the metronome of all the scenes.

The overwhelming excellence of Tár has its counterpoint. She plots to hire a musician who caught her eye, does everything to keep silent about the suicide of a scholarship student under her influence. A whole small circle of relatives and assistants is the helpless witness to the unpunished abuses of this woman who is too exceptional to submit to the gaze of society – she prefers that of God. It will cost him dearly. But that would reduce Tar to what it is not: a sort of thesis film on the cancel culture. He poetically captures the spirit of the times, draws from it a new way of telling a story. Above all: he leaves the spectator in peace, free to position himself, to get lost and not to know what the next scene will be – this wandering is a gift that has become too rare in cinema. Mr. Jo.

American and German film by Todd Field. With Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss (2 h 38).

“Forbidden to dogs and Italians”, hintimate tribute to these migrants who built France

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