Previously at the ICA - Films
14 Oct 2016
BFI Film Festival: 245 features. 74 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
One of French cinema’s most distinctive voices, and arguably its most idiosyncratic stylist, Eugène Green (La Sapienza, The Portuguese Nun) returns with a modern-day parable about a young man in search of a father. Impressive newcomer Victor Ezenfis plays Vincent, a teenager determined to solve the mystery of his paternity, which his forbearing mother (Natacha Régnier) has kept strictly secret. Tracking down arrogant publisher Oscar (Mathieu Amalric, in impeccably snooty form), he finds himself venturing into the lofty climes of the Parisian literary world, deliciously mocked by Green, before Oscar’s brother Joseph (Fabrizio Rongione) enters the picture. This complex, unpredictable story sees Green elegantly mixing modes—mystery story, adventure, coming-of-age tale, satirical farce—while sustaining the peculiar tone of enigma and contemplation that result from his singular shooting style. Green’s regular cinematographer Raphaël O’Byrne brings his usual grace to this elusive, entrancing, entirely singular film.
(Notes by Jonathan Romney)
The Son of Joseph (Le Fils de Joseph), dir. Eugène Green, France 2016, 115 mins.