the trickster mage, the comforting dead and the young savages


Second fiction feature film by Clément Cogitore, visual artist and filmmaker, who continues since the beginning of its polymorphic activities to surprise its world. It suffices to cite as an example the cardboard triggered by its staging, in 2019, at the Paris Opera, of gallant indies, improbable meeting between the sublime heroic ballet of Jean-Philippe Rameau, his fake orientalism and his Louis XV spirit, and the gang of around thirty urban dancers invoking the krump of the black ghettos of Los Angeles to return the compliment and dance it fiercely.

Nothing better than this sparkling success to say that the dialectic breaks many bricks at Cogitore, through a continuous friction between savagery and civilization, magic and rationality. As proof, the excellent Drop of gold that he delivers to us today, located in the popular Parisian district of the same name, undoubtedly the ultimate bastion of a certain “savagery” at work in the policed, squared and controlled city that has become the Paris of François Villon, Georges Danton and Jules Vallès.

Ramses (Karim Leklou), who is pharaonic in name only, is a rather gifted little crook who extends the kingdom of clairvoyance in the neighborhood, with a certain sense of ceremony. Apartment caulked by thick curtains. Inspired Asian assistant. Candlelight lighting. Stripping visitors of their belongings – because of the “waves” –, left alone in a room with the photograph of a relative in hand, usually deceased, that the “mage”discreetly appeared, will take care, eyes closed, to make people talk.

Unveiling of the deception

Two already remarkable things in this first part of the film. Karim Leklou, first of all – 40 years old, ten of supporting roles –, of whom we believe we can say that he achieved here something which is of the order of actoral epiphany. Calm and rage. Authenticity and manipulation. Intrepidity and dread. Carrying the ambiguity of his character with an impressive expressive lability, which distantly recalls the Peter Lorre of M the cursed (Fritz Lang, 1931).

Another strong point is the progressive unveiling of the deception, through the resumption of several related scenes, the behind the scenes of which are gradually revealed to us. Confiscation of phones. Visual statement of the code by an accomplice, placed in the waiting room. Quick consultation of the device to identify, through emails and photo gallery, the essential details that will make the client believe the mage’s lucidity. In public version, since both Ramses also officiates collectively, same topo, but with the accomplice behind the scenes disclosing the information by earpiece. An exciting spectator experience is deduced from this division: we believe in it no less informed than not informed.

You have 47.19% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

source site-19