LRFF: "Fleurs du Mal" reviewed

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Maybe it's because I just walked out of the screening and haven't had time to parse out my reactions to "Fleurs du Mal," but as of right now, I'm leaning towards "terrific."

It could be because my aversion to the words "romance" and "indie" hugging up to each other automatically sinks my expectations, so when I see one that hits me, it hits hard. Maybe it's simply because the movie echoed my own thoughts on the frivolity of romance in time of revolution.

Maybe it's because I've been curious and excited to see how the omnipresence of social media will come to affect - for better or worse - the (ahem) language of film. "The Social Network" employed social media only peripherally. Godard flirted with it in "Film Socialisme" and "Catfish" strangled us with it. But director David Dusa intertwines his movie with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Google Image Search with an almost organic elegance that compliments, never overwhelms, the story.

The movie follows Gecko, a Parian Muslim bellboy (likes: never-ending parkour, dislikes: following politics), as he falls for - or flings with? - Anahita, whose attention is turned to her native Tehran during the 2009 Green Revolution, which she obsessively follows on her laptop and ever-present iPhone. (But who didn't?)

You can probably use that small synopsis to cobble together the story arc. But a romance it isn't; this is a movie, lens zoomed in tight and away from the revolution, about tone. And it's nearly pitch-perfect: hyper-kinetics, sly smoochie faces, ham-handed Boudelaire allusions and all.

I'd love to write about it more and flesh out more of my thoughts - fluid in my head but rushed here on the blog - but it's film festival week and I'm heading right back to Riverdale.

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