Art Press - - CINÉMA -

Green bashes the for­mer in pas­sing, not so much to take re­venge on the li­te­ra­ry mi­lieu, not pre­vious­ly de­pic­ted in his films, as to si­gnal that so­me­thing is hap­pe­ning, that these people are there to not see. There is yes­ter­day’s wri­ter, too unim­por­tant to have any­thing to say and yet awar­ded the Con­long A pri­so­ner in his blue be­droom, fa­cing a pos­ter re­pro­duc­tion of Ca­ra­vag­gio’s Sa­cri­fice of Isaac that had wron­gly ins­pi­red him to com­mit par­ri­cide, Vincent will re­nounce ven­geance (or un­ders­tand the pain­ting), spare the fa­ther who is “flesh of his flesh” and give birth to a fa­ther “in spi­rit.” This fa­ther is the man who takes him by the arm in a ho­tel lob­by as he is about to flee. He is na­med Jo­seph (the perfect Fa­bri­zio Ron­gione, who played a si­mi­lar role in La Sa­pien­za). He guesses that so­me­thing hap­pe­ned, la­ter, when his bro­ther is for­ni­ca­ting and de­ci­ding who will and will not ap­pear in print. So­me­thing has hap­pe­ned, so­me­thing Jo­seph has not seen, he whose bro­ther has just re­fu­sed to help him. So­me­thing he will try to un­ders­tand with Vincent. The two new-found friends go to the Louvre to contem­plate Phi­lippe de Cham­paigne’s Le Ch­rist mort. They see the wound in Ch­rist’s side re­sem­bling the va­gi­na of a wo­man who has just gi­ven birth. They look at Georges de La Tour’s Jo­seph, with the car­pen­ter’s tool in the shape of a cross si­gni­fying the choice of not ap­pea­ring or ap­pea­ring in a pa­ra­doxi­cal fa­shion. Is it Jo­seph, be­co­ming a spi­ri­tual fa­ther to Vincent, who ex­plains the images to Vincent, or is it Vincent who ex­plains to the uncle that Jo­seph has been de­li­ve­red in­to the world by the ne­phew? The two un­der­take the ini­tia­tion to­ge­ther. Vincent re­cons­ti­tutes his fa­mi­ly around the sa­cri­fice of his ven­geance. His act, which is a non-act, en­gen­ders a fa­mi­ly— a fa­ther, a son and a mo­ther. Her name is Ma­rie (the dee­ply mo­ving Na­ta­cha Ré­gnier, fi­nal­ly reap­pea­ring in a Green film for the first time since Le Pont des arts, a do­zen years ago). At Vincent’s ins­ti­ga­tion, she agrees to meet Jo­seph. We’re not real­ly sure who de­li­vers whom in the Word. The tri­angle is perfect. Two apexes en­gen­der a third eve­ry time. But this fa­mi­ly still has to be said, na­med as such. The in­car­na­tion will take place on a Nor­man­dy beach where the three walk to­ward the sea, with Ma­rie ri­ding on a don­key, to es­cape the pur­suit or­ga­ni­zed by Por­me­nor (Ra­phaël O’Byrne’s ca­me­ra­work is ma­gni­ficent). The fa­ther wants to take ven­geance for the crime of which he has not been the vic­tim. He seeks, wi­thout kno­wing it, to kill, a se­cond time, the man who un­bek­nownst to him is his son. From the clo­sed blue be­droom to the sea, open to in­fi­ni­ty, space has me­ta­mor­pho­sed. The three fu­gi­tives, each of them a be­get­ter and be­got­ten, are on the same plane, where we, in turn, find our­selves. The event is too po­wer­ful, over­sa­tu­ra­ted with pre­sence. The reac­tion is al­most im­me­diate: sol­diers and po­lice, the ar­med branch of a so­cie­ty built upon the re­fu­sal to hear and see. Por­me­nor re­co­gnizes his hand­cuf­fed child as his at­ta­cker. Then, when Ma­rie and Jo­seph re­co­gnize Vincent as their son, the fa­ther is tou­ched. He apo­lo­gizes, his eyes red with tears, and leaves. Once again the three friends set off on the beach. Then Vincent breaks the tri­angle. He lets his pa­rents walk away alone to­ge­ther, al­rea­dy in­ter­t­wi­ned. But they do not ex­clude him. This is the re­mar­kable Vic­tor Ezen­fils’s first film. His face seems made for the light.

Be­noît Chantre Trans­la­tion, L-S Tor­goff

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