Archive of films Demented / Le dernier des fous
2006, 95 min
Section: Another View
A summer landscape, the start of the holidays, a child hero… Instead of choosing to depict an idyllic childhood, the filmmaker compels us to watch a festering drama about little Martin who has no-one to lean on as he embarks upon his voyage of discovery. This ascetic Bressonesque portrayal effectively sustains the 11-year-old boy’s perspective throughout the film.
This drama about 11-year-old Martin is based on a novel by Canadian author Timothy Findley who set his account of the complexities of childhood in the Canadian upper-middle-class environment of the 1960s. In the film we find ourselves on a farm in contemporary rural France – even here, life is affected by the destructive influence of decaying traditional values. It is the start of the summer holidays, but young Martin is destined, from his solitary position, to observe the sinister behaviour around him and the even more sinister consequences of the deformed relationships within the family. The director faithfully focuses on the perspective of the child who doesn’t understand much of what’s going on around him, and so the extreme situations which continually confront him generate even greater anxiety within him. What he is truly unable to bear is the threat of the sale of the family home, the loss of his last secure stronghold. The action which Martin is resolved to take is both liberating and self-destructive.
About the director
Laurent Achard (b. 1964, Antibes, France) began working independently as a director at the beginning of the 1990s; his filmography primarily contains short films. For one of them, Une odeur de géranium (1997), he won Best Director at the festival in Clermont- Ferrand; the short La peur, petit chasseur (2004) was nominated in its category for a César award in 2005. His first feature film entitled Plus qu’hier, moins que demain, which Achard made in 1998, was a hit at the Rotterdam festival. His latest work, in its cold objective approach reminiscent of the child’s dramatic experiences depicted famously in Bresson’s Mouchette, was awarded in France with the prestigious Jean Vigo prize.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Screenplay:||Laurent Achard, Nathalie Najem podle románu Timothyho Findleye / based on the novel The Last of the Crazy People by Timothy Findley|
|Dir. of Photography:||Philippe Van Leeuw, Georges Diane|
|Producer:||Dominique Barneaud, Robert Guediguian|
|Production:||AGAT Films & Cie|
|Cast:||Julien Cochelin, Pascal Cervo, Annie Cordy, Fettouma Bouamari, Jean-Yves Chatelais, Dominique Reymond, Florence Giorgetti|
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