The first quarter of Garrel's superb I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar deals solely with those three infamous words, and the four figures at the center of the director's emotional typhoon never feel satisfied with their counterpart's terminology; at least not the women. Marianne (Johanna ter Steege, who made her debut in the classic creeper The Vanishing) doesn't think her lover's promise of loving her "like crazy" is good enough, for what if he were to regain his sanity? Said lover, Gerard (Benoît Régent as Garrel's proxy), later corrects himself, stating that he will love her till he dies. She has no other choice but to leave him, at the very same time their friends Martin (Yann Collette) and Lola (Mireille Perrier) split.
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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."
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Straight up, understand that Immortal is as close to nonsense as a movie can get. The story, as much as it has one, takes place in the distant future, where cybernetics and flying cars are commonplace. Poof: A pyramid appears hovering over the city, and the Egyptian god Horus appears to make trouble. As the film develops, Horus tries to use a human to impregnate a woman with blue hair.
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'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.