Hors les Murs selected for Semaine de la Critique

  • 23.04.2012

Frakas leaves for Cannes with a majority co-production, which is excellent news. Versus, who stood by Joachim Lafosse since his debut, see their fundamental work rewarded in the best possible way with a selection for A perdre la raison (Un Certain Regard). Finally, Les Films du Fleuve, the production company ran by the Dardenne brothers, which is now also working with other talented directors, placed no less than three co-productions in the official competition. There is of course Jacques Audiard’s masterpiece (he won a Grand Prix in 2009 with Un Prophète), but also Beyond the Hills by Cristian Mungiu (Golden Palm in 2007) and La Part des Anges by Ken Loach (Golden Palm in 2006), in part co-produced thanks to them and made here. This is an exceptional line-up. There is no need to affect a blasé attitude either : this is an huge success.

Without a doubt, this is the crowning achievement of a pro-active approach for three production companies, representing three successive generations, which today co-exist and complete each other in the city of Liège. Three extremely active companies with a very real impact on the audiovisual service companies located in the Pôle Image de Liège, such as Eye-Lite (lease of shooting material), Mikros Image (visual effects) or the brand new mixing studio SonicPil.

Of course, the success of Hors les Murs is also that of David Lambert, a true talent, who is determined to leave a mark in our audiovisual landscape. Behind the courtesy, omnipresent smile and his nonchalant appearance, hides a demanding and very talented artist. Known for his screenplay expertise, his striking first short film was a hit in the festival circuit (Vivre encore un peu), so he logically took the step to make a feature film. A love story. A homosexual one.

There is Ilir, the bassist in a rock group. He is Albanese, and homosexual. A combination which isn’t easy to bear, stresses actor Guillaume Gouix, with reason. Especially when he falls for Paulo (the new top of the bill, Matilia Malliarakis), a young dreamer but also a real bloodsucker who is continuously looking for love and attention. The actors’ exceptional performance makes the film: their charisma and chemistry, their fragility and doubts, their mutual attachment and the subtle ambiguity of their relationships carries the credibility of the film.

Of course, the directing certainly has its influence on this unnerving success. David Lambert presents us with his own version of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (sic !), showing a very personal, dry and rhythmic style in his debut. Less emotional than expected, more radical however. A style which convinced the critics who decided to bring Hors les Murs to their very own space in Cannes (see the list here . In a not-so-distant past, this showcase revealed talents such as Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñarritu and Jeff Nichols. Isn’t it fantastic ?