Posts Tagged ‘Vincent Cassel’
From the current issue of Clash.
Based on Matthew Lewis’ transgressive 1796 novel of the same name, The Monk examines the changing fortunes of Brother Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel), a Capuchin monk in 17th century Madrid .
Beloved by the surrealists of the early 20th century (a screenplay by Luis Bunuel was eventually filmed in 1972), the story depicts Ambrosio as being utterly at one with god. As the most revered preacher in the land, he appears to be immune to temptation. But something sinister is brewing beneath the surface. What is causing his crushing headaches? What is the meaning behind his vivid, repetitious dreams? And just who is Valerio, the apprentice monk who hides his terrible burns under a wax mask?
Surrounded by Moll’s playful visuals (which stretch from Jodorowsky inspired imagery to rich religious symbolism – although repeated iris fades are an excessive novelty), Cassel is inspired as he ensues his usual bursts of energy for a meditative performance despite his growing, satanically induced demons.
While the pacing occasionally slows to a crawl, it maintains a transcendent sense of creeping unease. Although this certainly isn’t reliant on the jumps or gore that often typify the mainstream, The Monk is excellent creative, highbrow horror.
From the current issue of Clash
It’s the first day of summer and it’s easy to spot the smouldering figure of Romain Gavras outside a Dalston pub. Back home in France, Gavras earned notoriety from both sides of the political spectrum for his controversial video for Justice’s Stress. His ill-repute, he says with a smirk, never translated to being hassled on the street because “I’m tall and like to fight.”
That reputation preceded the critical reaction to his feature length debut Our Day Will Come. “We had some good criticism,” he begins cautiously. “But mainly they weren’t about the film but about what a little cunt I am.”
Our Day Will Come is a road movie without a destination, a buddy movie in which the protagonists are barely friends. Olivier Barthelemy leads as Remy, an obvious outcast if borderline redhead who seeks to leave France to join his Irish brethren. Along the way he’s joined by Patrick, a nihilist charismatically portrayed by Vincent Cassel.
“It’s about two really confused people looking for their identity,” explains Gavras between drags and sips of San Miguel. “Whether they’re ginger or not, whether they belong to France or not, whether they’re gay or not. It’s an impossible quest.”
Fascinating if resolutely uncommercial, Our Day Will Come shares a kindred spirit with a family of nihilistic French flicks. It’s a softer, weirder cousin to M.I.A.’s similarly controversial video for Born Free which Gavras also directed.
“I’m way more shocked when I see millions spent on shit films,” he states. “This is more about my point of view and what makes me laugh. I call it a dark romantic comedy. The whole film is a blur. If you explain too much about a film that’s going nowhere, you kill the egg in the womb.”
The reception to the Justice and M.I.A. videos has lead to Gavras receiving “lots of insane propositions” to helm big movies. He’s reluctant, fearing the time that such a project demands as well as the inevitable loss of independence. Gavras instead prefers to fund his own leftfield projects by working on commercials.
As for Cassel: “He makes big films, but he loves cinema and really believes in me. We found the money because of him, he produced the film too and he’s really involved in the whole process,” Gavras smiles with admiration for his old friend. “He loves doing weird little films that give him a hard-on.”