Leos Carax radicalizes Cannes with his musical ‘Annette’ | Culture


Adam Driver y Marion Cotillard, in 'Annette'.
Adam Driver y Marion Cotillard, in ‘Annette’.UGC Distribution

When does it start Annette, Carax’s voice warns the viewer. As much as it is a musical, you do not have to clap or sing along to a song. You have to hold your breath during the movie, and that’s 140 minutes. Then the camera enters a recording studio and there is Leos Carax at the control table with his daughter Nastya, whose mother, Yekaterina Golubeva, star of X fields, he committed suicide in August 2011. The public is already warned: as in the previous five films by the Frenchman, the narration must be understood as a reflection on his life, and therefore Annette It is so outrageous that its author gets out of hand, as interesting as it is repellent at certain times (the theme of love We Love Each Other So Much is quite indigestible, although its intonation in the middle of a cunnilingus), with radical changes of rhythm that come from the music of Sparks, the brothers Ron and Russell Mael.

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Sparks and Carax have written a script that mixes A star is born, A face in the crowd, Lenny Bruce, Louis CK, the current culture of success and celebrity, King Vidor and his And the world marches and toxic masculinity. As if the couple of The lovers of Pont-Neuf will inhabit certain environments of Holy Motors, his two most famous films. The result is, with this cocktail, imperfect. Adam Driver, who has never been to Cannes for a day, comes out of this creative battle. Yesterday he attended the inauguration, canceled some interviews and today he was not even in the city when the press conference started. He plays a stand-up comedian, a provocative genius from the stand up comedy, who falls in love with an opera diva, played by Marion Cotillard, in a Los Angeles between dreamy and disturbing.

Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Leos Carax, yesterday in Cannes,
Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Leos Carax, yesterday in Cannes,Brynn Anderson / AP

The first song So May We Start, It seemed written to perfection so that Cannes would start from the post-pandemic (the film has been waiting for the premiere for a year, and it will arrive in Spain on August 20). Annette is the daughter (a puppet, in a somewhat crude metaphor) that the couple has before the mother passes away. In the tragedy, Carax accumulates the elements. Seven years ago he contacted Sparks and thus began a collaboration that sometimes squeaks as the group’s dissonant music is brought to the screen. Instead, at other times, like the one that stars Simon Helberg By mixing a talk with the camera with his work with the baton as a conductor, his bet is understood and applauded, which is also an ironic look at the ego of the creators, in which he has forced the actors to singing live, something almost unusual in this genre.

With only six pitches in his career – and that he did the initial three, with Denis Lavant as alter ego, in the first seven years of his 34 dedicated to directing — the Frenchman is to be thanked for at least jumping into the void. During the trip he creates elements of undoubted beauty (the forest of the opera scene), but others in which seriousness can him, when neither the music of Sparks (always ironic) nor the genre used (the musical) are there.

Start of 'Annette', where Simon Helberg, Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver are seen in the front row, the two Sparks from behind and Carax in the background on the right with a hat and sunglasses, and their daughter next to them.
Start of ‘Annette’, where Simon Helberg, Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver are seen in the front row, the two Sparks from behind and Carax in the background on the right with a hat and sunglasses, and their daughter next to them.

At the press conference that certain solemnity was underlined in the words of Carax, 60, when he said: “He talks about a bad husband, a bad father, a bad artist, but he does not have an indulgent look. We did not film a trial ”. He recalled about Sparks: ”They offered me music and language, which was my first language, although I have lost it a bit. I did not imagine Annette, but I worked it like an opera: you receive the libretto and then you try to create a world ”. Regarding his musical passion, obvious in his cinema, he explained that filming a musical comes from there, from his frustration “for not having toured playing an instrument” And he recalled a musician usually present in his work: “I discovered David Bowie when I was 14 years old. I always wanted to make a movie with music, but I thought it would never happen ”.


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