“Simple Passion”, “Free Guy”, “Rouge” … Films showing this week

Love, fantasies and darkness this week, with Simple passion by Danielle Arbid, Berlin Alexanderplatz by Burhan Qurbani, What’s left by Anne Zohra Berrached, Hot wind by Daniel Nolasco, Sentimental by Cesc Gay… To escape it, we can take a lesson in militant ecology with Red by Farid Bentoumi or taste the virtual fantasy of Free Guy by Shawn Levy.

“Simple passion”: love as an absence

Passion has this capacity to reduce the data of existence to very little; it suspends, for a short time only, the web of small problems which are closely woven into everyday life. She reshuffles the cards for accessories and necessities. It is perhaps this simplicity, that of a pure experience report, that Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel aimed at in 1992, to which director Danielle Arbid gives, twenty-nine years after its publication, a free interpretation.

A woman, Hélène (Laetitia Dosch), makes love with a man, Alexandre (the Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin), and she enjoys it. She tells in voice-over what their adulterous relationship was for more than a year: from this stealthy Russian character married to the service of oligarchs, she only waited for the signs – a message, a phone call – to make himself available and sleep with him. The beauty of Danielle Arbid’s film is to stick to this vow of simplicity: to chronicle this singular love by snatching it from the old moons of romanticism, without falling into the clinical case study either. Mathieu macheret

Franco-Belgian film by Danielle Arbid. With Laetitia Dosch, Sergueï Polounine, Lou-Teymour Thion, Caroline Ducey (1 h 39).

“Berlin Alexanderplatz”: Fassbinder in contemporary darkness

A new adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s novel (1929), after that of Rainer Fassbinder, a series shot for television in 1980. The director’s ambition is to modernize a story, placing it in contemporary Germany, and to metamorphose into a myth, not without resorting to a series of formal effects very quickly absorbed by the tragic force of the main character’s journey.

Francis, an immigrant from Guinea-Bissau, allies himself with a dubious character, Reinhold, who will drag him into drug trafficking. The ambiguity of the feelings that unite the two men takes the form of an infernal spiral. Francis’ fate is defined by a fairly virtuoso sense of storytelling and a manner of elegantly painting a portrait of a Europe that is both Eldorado and nightmare for those who no longer have an identity. Jean-Francois Rauger

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