After ‘Coupez!’, the remake of zombies that opened the Cannes Film Festival a few days ago, Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vermeersch they opened the competitive section with the first feature film co-authored by the Flemish couple, which took us to the impressive mountains of northern Italy in an ambitious production in praise of the rural. In this line of making contact with nature, the festival scheduled shortly after ‘eo’the original story of adventures and misadventures of an adorable Polish donkey.
‘Le Otto Montagne’ (Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch)
It seems that back to life in the countryside not only is it a reason for reflection for the new wave of Spanish filmmakers, but it is also recurrent in European cinematography at the time. After the initial success of the promising debut that took Felix Van Groeningen to the top with just one film, and after trying his luck in American indie, the Belgian is still looking for his cinematographic personality, giving voice to stories outside his country.
Although with an absolutely Italian soul‘Le Otto Montagne’ translucent the flamenco look of its authors through the ways of life of its characters and gives it a strange identity, which gives a special touch to some ingenious moments and dislodges others, ending up transmitting superficiality in its romanticized vision of life in a context foreign to their authors.
Pietro spends summers in the mountains with his parents since he was a child, where he meets Bruno, the only boy in town, who is also his own age. After a failed attempt to take him with them to the city to continue his studies, as Bruno (Alessandro Borghi) knows that the mountains will be his life until the end of his days and consecrates his existence to work in the fields, where he is happy. Peter (Luca Marinelli), however, with that cosmopolitan air of which he has all the possibilities within his reach, he grows up traveling the world in search of his inner self.
With this premise, ‘Le Otto Montagne’ pursues a story of unconditional friendship through the years and the search for identity in an allegation to nature from the perspective of contemporary youth. A complete read generational of the contradiction between the rural way of life and the urban in this absolutely interconnected era in search of authenticity. A dichotomy that also dialogues in the intergenerational clash for which the concepts of effort, sacrifice and suffering have different meanings.
With a great production value and some awesome images, the film deflates at times in its central section in which it gets stuck with its comings and goings. Like its protagonist, who insists on looking outside to find himself inside, the flamingos resort to an alien look in an allegation to the lifestyle in the mountains in this great drama that wants to encompass too much with excessive footage. Like Pietro, it seems that he is still continuing that search as a filmmaker for Felix Van Groeningen, however, with ‘Le Otto Montagne’ he signs the most complete work of his recent filmography.
‘Eo’ (Jerzy Skolimowski)
At the antipodes in terms of style and tone, but again within that thought about the rural environment and the role of human beings in relation to their surroundings, the Official Section presents ‘Eo’, a kind of children’s story in which, in the place of a gang of children, as the protagonist we find a fluffy donkey, whom we follow through his impressive life events.
An adventure on roads and paths in which the codes of road movies merge with the most experimental cinema in a fable through the eyes of the animal that leaves powerful images. A mainly sensory bet with a very powerful sense of visual and sound aesthetics that starts off with incredible force.
A poetic and loving look at this adorable burrito, who beautifully narrates all kinds of exciting and funny stories with the craziest characters (including a cameo from Isabelle Huppert along the path). Simple but daring, beautiful and of an enormous lyricism.