Cannes Film Festival: Paul Verhoeven drifts with his lesbian nun | Culture


Since his first movie, Turkish delicacies, the Dutch director Paul Verhoeven has had a transgressive vocation, he seeks to disturb the receivers, he is going hard. He adapted well to the spectacular cinema that Hollywood offered him, and made very blockbuster films in which he always tried to make his signature noticeable. And there was everything, better and worse. But he managed, with a morbid and disturbing script and the right interpreters, to make the extraordinary Basic instinct, a legend with a cause. On his return to Europe, I imagine definitively, he managed a few years ago to disturb a large part of the public with It, a portrait of a sadomasochistic, calculating and psychopathic lady, played, of course, by Isabelle Huppert.

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Blessed, His latest and long-awaited creature has apparently had a long and complicated production, since the project was hatched three years ago. The result is irregular. Verhoeven is set in the seventeenth century and in the Tuscan town of Pescia to tell the volcanic story of a nun in permanent ecstasy with Jesus Christ, who defeats the monsters that corner her in her dreams, and in addition to giving her heart, also exists she an erotic impulse towards him. But in her earthly life, the nun discovers that the most unlimited pleasure is provided by the body of another woman. He aspires to holiness, even if he finds his carnal passion with another lady irrepressible and joyful. And the great mess arises, the contradictions between mysticism and eroticism, the persecution and torture inflicted on him by the eternal inquisitors, the universe of stigmata, the arrival of the plague.

Verhoeven plays strong in this bet with a very twisted theme. She turns to lesbian sex scenes, leaves the Catholic religion badly off, tries to combine the dreamlike with naturalism. I follow Benedetta during part of the footage with some interest, but I end up getting tired of so much shouting and his plot riot. You are grateful that in this puritanical era, in which the cinema is very careful to offer images of naked people, the actresses of this director do not cut themselves when they appear that way. Normal. As far as I know, sex is almost always practiced stripped of clothes.

The 74th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "Benedetta" in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France, July 9, 2021. Director Paul Verhoeven poses. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause
The 74th Cannes Film Festival – Screening of the film “Benedetta” in competition – Red Carpet Arrivals – Cannes, France, July 9, 2021. Director Paul Verhoeven poses. REUTERS/Reinhard KrauseREINHARD KRAUSE / Reuters

Fracture It is directed by Catherine Corsini, a lady who enjoys considerable prestige in the world of festivals. It stars a lesbian couple on the verge of breaking up. In love and desperate search for the one she knows is going to be abandoned, she gets a hostion in the street, she is bruised and broken, she is transferred to the emergency room in a public hospital. There, everything is slow and chaotic, there are efforts, although there are few medical personnel and the victims are many, since the demonstrations of the yellow vests against the policies of President Macron. There a surreal and tender relationship will be forged between the one who suffers from love and the furious revolutionary.

There is a funny moment, but it is repetitive, it is a gum with an initial flavor that is stretched to monotony or boredom. The best thing is the interpretation of that magnificent actress named Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Here it appears without make-up, wide, without the slightest adornment. It does not affect his strong personality, the conviction that he imprints on his characters.


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