BEIRUT: Nights two and three of the Beirut International Film Festival continued to showcase the exceptional collection of films, some already receiving global critical acclaim.
Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest feature The Killing of a Sacred Deer, starring Collin Ferrell and Nicole Kidman, is a twisted dark tale about vengeance and true justice.
The film opens with a grotesque extreme close up that slowly zooms out to reveal more details, which sets the stage for the atmosphere of the entire picture.
Slow paced, the narrative takes its time with conversations out-of-leftfield, delivered in monotone.
The characters, awkward and bizarre, go about their daily lives, while tension and unease spread across the audience in the screening room.
Both Collin Ferrell and Nicole Kidman deliver powerful performances, but it’s Barry Keoghan’s performance that brings home the gold.
The film’s dialogue is strange and sometimes even uneasily frank.
Thimios Bakatakis, the film’s director of photography, keeps the audience at a distance, utilizing wide shots and following shots at a higher angle – giving the viewer power over the film’s characters.
This is an interesting technique here, especially since the narrative holds power over the viewers’ emotions.
Utterly captivating and uncomfortably tense, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a powerful new entry from Lanthimos, and one to surely polarize audiences.
Le Redoubtable is Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius’s third film and a beautiful ode to cinema.
The film is adapted from One Year Later (Un An Après), Anne Wiazemsky’s memoir about her relationship with Jean-Luc Goddard.
Fusing techniques that Goddard used in some of his critically acclaimed films, Hazanavicius knits a concrete light-hearted film about the falling apart of a relationship paralleled with Goddard’s downward spiral into loss of self.
“It was freeing, it was fun and joyful,” Hazanavicius stated when asked about the experience of shooting the film with the style of the French New Wave.
The film is tightly bound and all the elements work together in perfect sync, delivering pure entertainment that is also bursting with intellect.
Louis Garrel and Stacy Martin’s chemistry is infectious and reminiscent of old Hollywood on-screen romances.
The surprising aspect of the film is how similar the narrative is to the world’s current state politically and when it comes to slow death of true artistry.
This film is a definite must-see.
It is always interesting when big Hollywood names take on a cause, and instead of talking about it objectively and showing all sides of the coin, they stick to one side and call everyone else unintelligent.
Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens’s documentary about global climate change take on the Earth’s climate, and how humans' release of carbon dioxide is largely to blame while traveling all over the world in their jets and cars – a bit hypocritical, no?
The film, which is purely subjective despite it featuring a scene where the US lifestyle is put under scrutiny, follows DiCaprio as he talks to scientists, astronauts, and politicians, regarding the state of the world and its climate.
A hopeless outlook, that doesn’t really offer any logistic solutions, the film just focuses on criticizing human beings’ consumption, and almost goes to say that the only way the Earth’s climate might stop changing is by traveling back to the Stone Age way of life.
Films of this nature tend to only attract a certain demographic and will be popular among them.
Night two’s screening of Le Redoubtable saw a massive attendance, while night three of the festival did not have as many attendees.
The road to closing night is still long and there are much more films to look forward to.
Tickets for single screenings are 8000LBP, while the festival pass costs $30; and both are sold at Metropolis Sofil at the BIFF desk.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer:
Before the Flood:
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