Bertrand Bonello's "Nocturama" at the 17th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF

23/01/17
Nocturama dir. Bertrand Bonello
Dates to remember, places to be 46th Rotterdam International Film Festival

Bertrand Bonello's Nocturama will be part of the program at the 17th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival.

Bonello sets a trap for his audience, making a film that features the deceptive sex appeal of terrorism. In Nocturama, however, it is not religious fanatics who carry out an act of senseless violence, but rather adventure-seeking hipsters. Moreover, the director purposefully emphasizes their physical attractiveness, and their actions are accompanied by hypnotic music (composed by Bonello himself), with the whole thing edited to look like a music video. Its high production value, propensity for intellectual provocation, and sensitivity to the demoralizing potential of pop culture puts the French director in the same class as the likes of Jean-Luc Godard and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Nocturama's kinship with the works of past masters is, however, less important than its roots in contemporary cinema. The fact that the terrorists portrayed on-screen are recruited from among nearly all the ethnic groups living in France allows Bonello to create a kind of bitter opposite to Cantet's The Class. It is also impossible, while watching Nocturama, not to think about the non-artistic context: there was a bloody terrorist attack in Nice less than a week after the official premiere of the film. (Piotr Czerkawski)

Bertrand Bonello was born in Nice in 1968. His adventure with art began as a composer. He has established himself in the world of cinema as a director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. At the beginning of his film career, he was involved in the New French Extreme movement, alongside Gaspar Noé and François Ozon, among others. His films have taken part in the main competition at Cannes on three occasions. His 2014 film Saint Laurent was the French candidate for the Oscars.

Selected filmography:

2001 Le Pornographe/The Pornographer

2003 Tiresia

2008 O wojnie/De la guerre/On War

2011 Apollonide. Zza okien domu publicznego/L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)/House of Tolerance

2014 Saint Laurent


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