More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)
and it screens on Sunday 20 October [in Screen 2 at APH (Festival Central)] at 6.30 p.m., and again on Tuesday 22 October [in Screen 1 at APH (Festival Central)] at 10.30 p.m.
Principal themes (alphabetical order) :
* Callous behaviour
* Inconvenient reminders
* Self-preserving pragmatism
Just as reactionary politics, or the corporate and fiscal push for so-called neo-liberal values (a term itself an insult to the real notion of 'liberality' ?), might promote policies in the name of, and by invoking, such seemingly positive things as order, progress or commitment, but hypocritically mean the opposite (and challenge others to say so), so Esteve Soler flips those words (and four others) on their head in this film, in an open, but ironic and creative, critique of our subversive attitudes towards each other nowadays.
7 Raons per Fugir (de la societat) is of a highly Swiftian, satirical nature, and, where there is most humour, it is often of an audacious nature – our laughing despite ourselves, in surprise, or at the working-out of a scenario to a logical but grim conclusion (or, again, at its casually working-through to an end that we had not envisaged) : we might know (or think that we know ?) Jonathan Swift from Gulliver’s Travels*, but it was he, after all, who gave the world that sustained but succinct killer essay that we know as ‘A Modest Proposal’…
Not uniquely in Camera Catalonia 2019, as it so happens, 7 Raons per Fugir (de la societat) (7 Reasons to Run Away (from society)) (2019) is a multi-stranded film. Yet it is more obviously so (as if it were New York Stories (1989) - or, more relevantly (though not a film), David Eagleman's Sum : Forty Tales from the Afterlives), and it is most likely to appeal to those who rejoiced in the film-making of Marc Crehuet's El rei borni (The One-Eyed King) (2016) and / or Rudy Gnutti's In the Same Boat (2016), which were both screened during #CameraCatalonia 2017 at Cambridge Film Festival (@camfilmfest).
As some will recognize, pairs of images from, respectively, The Wachowskis' The Matrix** (1999), Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), and François Ozon's Dans la maison (In the House) (2012) - all at the intersection of individual behaviour or drives and of the societal force(s) that [we let] govern us (and give us those drives and behaviour ?), but, of which, Germain Germain (Fabrice Luchni), as manipulated by Claude Garcia (Ernst Umhauer) (and Jeanne Germain (Kristin Scott Thomas)), is most cynically 'on the nail' for 7 Raons per Fugir.
* So we may know Swift's most famous title, but do we as little know it, from a children’s or other heavily edited version, as the true work of this Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin as if we do not know that it was actually published as Travels into Several remote Nations of the World. In four parts. By Lemuel Gulliver (1726) ?
** The latter is now proving highly relevant to the greater prominence and recognition of the causes that Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion are promoting.
*** Somewhat arbitrarily, these are likely to be the most famous ones from what, with The Animatrix (2003), are the four connected films (five, if The Matrix 4 does get released in 2022), because there are likewise multitudinous possibilities, in The Matrix Reloaded (2003), when Neo meets The Architect, and, in Matrix Revolutions (2003), the possibilities – witnessed by a score of other Agents Smith – reduce to 1, then 0, when Smith and he fight :
(But the many serving-girls cum sex-slaves in Cloud Atlas (2012), of whom Sonmi-451 is the one who ‘got away’ (once she had undeniably been shown her future), and the fate(s) of many, at the hands - and whims - of the warring Abrasax siblings, in Jupiter Ascending (2015), are all pertinent additional examples of Crowds and Power.)
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Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)