At the Gérardmer Fantastic Film Festival, The Cloud and Teddy embody a certain revival of genre film in France.
Carnivorous grasshoppers, a werewolf in the Pyrenees … French directors are no longer afraid of playing “bad” by seizing the tools of cinema with great spectacle, horror or fantasy. Without giving up the requirement. On Wednesday opens, online due to the pandemic, the Gérardmer Fantastic Film Festival, an unmissable event for fans of the genre. Sign of a new inclination for hemoglobin, two highly anticipated French productions are in competition, Teddy and The Cloud.
The latter, with his plans worthy of Birds Hitchcock, carnivorous grasshoppers instead of birds, and his apocalyptic scenes, play with the nerves of the spectators. The director Just Philippot tells the story of a farmer (Suliane Brahim) who embarks on the breeding of grasshoppers. But the case will change when she realizes that she can incredibly stimulate the growth of insects by feeding them … with her own blood.
Angry close-ups of the mandibles, bloody scenes, the 38-year-old filmmaker had fun with the codes of horror film. But recognize that The Cloud won’t shake hard-core American horror movie fans, for example. “Basically, I’m not a genre film specialist at all“, Fun to AFP the one who wanted”take risks“By making both a film”very spectacular which gives pleasure to seeWhile wearing a real speech.
Fact, The Cloud, which also claims the legacy of Little Farmer than’Alien, is a captivating and subtle dive into the difficulties of a rural family. The film, in touch with reality, becomes almost documentary when it deals with the agricultural crisis. “The genre film is a great tool for telling stories“When”French cinema maybe sometimes forgets that you have to make people want to go to theaters», Notes the director.
A speech that resonates at the Center for the cinematography of the moving image (CNC). In recent years, the institution has launched calls for projects to finance the cinema “gender»À la française, from the fantastic to the musical. A way of opening the windows of a French cinema sometimes perceived as too psychological or too elitist. Without excluding respected names from the 7th art: the filmmaker Christophe Honoré, for example, chaired one of the juries, and a project by the Larrieu brothers was selected.
A revival of the genre film, already started in 2016 with Julia Ducourneau’s Grave, will it be able to attract an audience?who watches Netflix before watching the New Wave», According to the expression of the brothers Ludovic and Zherman Boukherma? These directors, believing that each type of cinema, popular as well as sharp, can “feed»The other, make the bet with Teddy. The film is a bewitching cocktail around the figure of the werewolf, and a story about the difference and the pangs of adolescence, carried by Anthony Bajon.
The Cloud and Teddy, which should have been presented at Cannes last year, do not however forget that producing a French science fiction or horror film continues to be an obstacle course. “Why can South Koreans make ultra pop and invigorating films, when in France, when you want to do this genre, you have to do it more seriously, more socially?», Asked the director Romain Quirot, during a round table organized on the subject by Unifrance.
A gap he stumbled upon when looking for help to prepare his science fiction film Paul WR’s Last Voyage, which should be released soon. This reluctance of funders is “linked to the genre’s lack of success in theaters», Analyzed his colleague Mathieu Turi. And this one will not be able to come “that when there will be a lot of genre films»On the bill: the snake bites its tail.