Critics' Week takes a chance on Hors les Murs

  • 23.04.2012

Frakas will be on the Croisette with a majority production. This is excellent news. Versus, faithful to Joachim Lafosse since the very beginning, sees its work of bottom greeted in the most beautiful way which is with the selection of A Perdre la Raison (Un Certain Regard). And Les Films du Fleuve, the production company of the Dardenne brothers who have opened their expertise to other talented filmmakers, are rewarded by placing 3 co-productions in the Official Competition.
We have already talked about the punch of Jacques Audiard (Grand Prix in 2009 with Un Prophète), but we should not forget that Beyond the Hills by Cristian Mungiu (Palme d’Or in 2007) and La Part des Anges by Ken Loach (Palme d’Or in 2006) were partly financed thanks to them and were made here. An exceptional line-up. Let’s not be blasé: this group shot is a colossal success!

It is therefore the culmination of a proactive approach for three production houses representing three successive generations that now coexist and complement each other in the Cité Ardente. Three very active companies that have a real impact on the audiovisual services companies installed at the Pôle Image de Liège such as Eye-Lite (rental of filming equipment), Mikros Image (visual effects) or the brand new mixing studio SonicPil.

But the success ofHors Les Murs is naturally also that of David Lambert, a concentrate of talent, fiercely determined to impose his mark on our cinematographic landscape. Because behind his courtesy, his omnipresent smile and his apparent nonchalance, David is a demanding and very talented artist. Known for his script expertise, he seduced the festivals with his first short film(Vivre encore un peu) and logically followed it up with a feature film. A love story. Homosexual.

Face to face Ilir, bass player in a rock band. Albanian and homosexual. A mixture not easy to assume, as his interpreter Guillaume Gouix rightly points out. Especially when he falls under the spell of Paulo (the newcomer at the top of the bill, Matilia Malliarakis), a young dreamer, but also a real leech thirsty for love and attention. Without an exceptional performance by these omnipresent actors on screen, there is no salvation: the credibility of the film rests on their charisma and their chemistry, on their fragility and their doubts, on their mutual attachment, on the subtle ambivalence of their relationship.

But the direction is not for nothing either in this disconcerting success. David Lambert, who offers us here his own version of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (sic!), imposes, from his first feature film, a very personal, dry and rhythmic style. Less emotional than expected, more radical. A style that has seduced a handful of enthusiastic critics (see the list here ) who decided to propose Hors les Murs in their own space in Cannes. In the not too distant past, this demanding showcase has revealed to the world filmmakers of the caliber of Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu or Jeff Nichols.
Great, isn’t it?