Linh Dan Pham

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Dante 01 Review


OK
Murky and brooding, Marc Caro's Dante 01 is a sci-fi phantasmagoria that wouldn't look out of place in a Clive Barker fever dream. As the film's character and place names suggest (all echoing Dante Alighieri's epic poem, The Inferno), Dante 01 is less about sci-fi action than overdrawn religious allegory.

Dante is a hellish planet (its surface a crackling fire-and-brimstone concoction) in deepest space. Around it orbits a psychiatric facility housing a handful of criminally insane patients, several physicians, and three armed guards. Everyone on the ship (which resembles a golden cross made out of Rubik's cubes) has had their head shaved and slinks around in almost complete darkness. The docs, manning computer screens and a device called the Answerer, experiment on patients who live in a warren of sterile steel corridors in the bowels of the ship. There are a multitude of sub-plots swirling in the miasma: a new doctor, Elisa (Linh Dan Phan), with an experimental nanobot-infused drug, a conspiracy between "warden" Charon (Gérald Laroche), and his prize patient, the hacker Atilla (Yann Collette), an aging (perhaps unstable) lead physician, Persephone (Simona Maicanescu), and a new patient (mute at first and dubbed Saint-Georges, the dragon slayer, played by Lambert Wilson) who can "see" parasites affecting the patients and is either, as the ad copy put its, "a monster or a messiah."

Continue reading: Dante 01 Review

The Beat That My Heart Skipped Review


Excellent
James Toback's Fingers is an odd film, but it's an even odder film to become fascinated with for nearly 30 years. French director Jacques Audiard (whose Read My Lips was an undersung gem) has remade Fingers, updated it for the zeros, and given it a Parisian bent... and the end result is just as compelling as Toback's original.

The story tracks closely with the original: Thomas Seyr (Romain Duris) is a wayward twentysomething who, with partner Fabrice (Jonathan Zaccaï) is trying to make a name for himself by completing shady real estate deals half done with cash and half done with muscle. Thomas is the muscle. Meanwhile, his life is a shambles -- his ailing father (Niels Arestrup) can't get the Russian mafia to pay him the money he's owed, but he's marrying a "glorified prostitute" anyway. Fabrice, meanwhile, is cheating in his lovely wife (an unforgettable Aure Atika), and eventually Thomas fills in for him.

Continue reading: The Beat That My Heart Skipped Review

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The Beat That My Heart Skipped Movie Review

The Beat That My Heart Skipped Movie Review

James Toback's Fingers is an odd film, but it's an even odder film to become...

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