Archive of films The First, the Last / Les premiers, les derniers
France / Belgium
2016, 98 min
Section: Another View
A forlorn and desolate landscape is the place where mentally challenged Esther and Willy meet two hirsute guys in biker jackets who are looking for a stolen phone. Excelling for its melancholy atmosphere and surprising reversals, director Bouli Lanners takes one of the leads in a movie that tips its hat to the Western. Jiří Kylián’ s short film Schwarzfahrer will be screened before the feature.
Esther and Willy are young, mentally challenged, in love, and on the run. Gilou and Cochise are two hirsute guys in biker jackets, who set out in their van to recover a customer’s stolen phone. And there are others wandering about the forlorn and desolate landscape crisscrossed by power lines: a guy bearing the stigmata who calls himself Jesus, a group trying to find out who raped their boss’s wife, a solitary woman, and an old man who cultivates orchids. They all meet sooner or later, and their seemingly chance encounters have a lasting impact. In a film harking back to the Western, director Bouli Lanners, who also fills one of the lead roles, plays with the elements of character – and also with his audiences. The viewer cannot be sure of the development of the story or even of the next shot. The only option is to soak up the melancholy atmosphere of a movie offering humanity and justice where it is least expected.
About the director
Bouli Lanners (b. 1965, Moresnet-Chapelle, Belgium) graduated from Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège and acted in numerous films prior to his 1995 debut as a director. His writer-director feature The Giants (Les géants, 2011) was presented in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and won a Magritte (Belgian national award) for Best Film. His latest attempt at direction, The First, the Last, screened at this year’s Berlin IFF in Panorama. In addition to several shorts, he also has two other features to his credit: the drama Ultranova (2004) and the tragicomedy Eldorado (2008; FIPRESCI Prize in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes IFF).
About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Jean-Paul De Zaeytijd|
|Art Director:||Paul Rouschop|
|Producer:||Jacques-Henri Bronckart, Olivier Bronckart, Catherine Bozorgan|
|Production:||Versus production, ADCB Films|
|Coproduction:||Prime Time, VOO, BE TV, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone|
|Cast:||Albert Dupontel, Bouli Lanners, Suzanne Clément, Michael Lonsdale|