Albert Serra stuck with the most risky, sleepless and nuclear proposal at Cannes Film Festival


‘Pacific’, a foreign story under nuclear threat, puts Spanish author on list of best of 75th anniversary celebrations

Cannes Film Festival President Pierre Lescure welcomes actors Benot Magimel, Marc Susini and Montsay Triola to the presentation
Cannes Festival President Pierre Lescure congratulates actors Benot Magimel, Marc Susini and Montsay Triola on their performance of ‘Pacific’.Christophe SimonAFP

According to the parable of Walter Benjamin being tortured, a storm comes from heaven. And the storm is so strong that the angel of history cannot close his wings pushed to the future, to which he is turned. “And we call that storm,” he said, “progress.” Albert Serra proposes his second participation in the official section of the Cannes Film Festival (the first in the competition), and after winning the Special Jury Prize at the United Nations in 2019, much revelry in his own way, not at all as declared by the Jewish philosopher So much so that he left unsaid. Not in vain, and as the director admits, in his cinema, incidentally, there is a lot of abandonment of casual encounters. stormy

,peace‘ – as it is called because it is fiction in the Pacific– a film set in Tahit that talks about a lost paradise. Or, better, the ravaged paradise and beauty of an ailing colonial world that is sacrificed for tourism. He talks about that and desire, one of the constants in the work of Banioles’ filmmaker (along with Isaki Lacuesta’s other filmmaker). But most of all, it is a deep and satiating work that explores never-before-seen images of a wounded animal on screen, of never-before-imagined silence, a dark menace that finds itself in angels. entangled in its wings. It sounds lyrical, maybe just pedantic, but that’s all. Dare not to follow the script.

And he, proposing a new path, he does with unusual gall and ingenuity’peace, The story of the High Commissioner of the Republic is told, to whom he gives 100% life and each shot has a huge Benoit Magimel. The representative of the French state, a handsome and sensitive man, does everything he can to quell the anger that has spread among the local population. And even more so when a rumor turns out to be a provocation: a submarine appears to have been sighted whose ghostly presence could herald the resumption of French nuclear tests. “What a coincidence that we all talk about what we are talking about now because of the war,” says the director.

The director says it is the “most written” of all his films. He also says that he wanted to leave the spoiled and bourgeois landscapes of urban cinema, which we see a lot, to find a new place. He says that the first moment of inspiration came from the story of the relationship between actor Marlon Brando and his third wife of Polynesian descent, Tarita Teripia. And he concluded that, no matter what, his work with actors is always the same: “The only rule is abandonment, letting go. I obsessively want to create images with unprecedented environments that we have never seen before. I am interested in the subtle distortion of the perception of space and time. Every image is vague and elusive. And that’s what I’m looking for. For the rest, there are already television series.” Period.

Exactly for two hours 45 minutes,’peace’ is entirely guided by the disorientation of its protagonist. The character of Magimel ‘shares with the freedom of’freedom‘ (2019) with some obscene and necessarily fertile arbitrary desire, and the emperor ‘Death of Louis XIV’ (2016), A sense of loss in a universe in crisis that is crumbling. And it dries up. This time, however, the director manages to partially control his always irrepressible desire for illusion and introduces looser rules into the chaos that always feeds his cinema, but rules nonetheless. The film graduates from comedy (a good portion of the dialogue is pure delirium) to “thriller,” going through the last and most spectacular episode so close to the apocalypse.

The tape ignites in the final third, in a sleepy and completely free flight, until it reaches a cauldron of despair and dread. But even of ridiculous sadness, naked bodies trembling on the dance floor, the captains of the French Navy (or were they admirals) were completely intoxicated. And in between, Sergi Lopez who looks up and sighs. The storm coming from heaven, we said in the beginning, leaves the messenger of history still, unable to see the future and his face resting on a “pile of ruins rising to heaven.”

Sera has presented on the last day of the competition The riskiest film, the most ideal, the most provocative and, without a doubt, the only one with a definite potential for explosion.

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