Friday, February 18, 2011

Bas-Fonds: Walter Reade, Saturday, February 19, 2011

I have no time to write about this at any length, but if you can muster some tolerance for in-your-face cinematic depictions of depravity and malevolence, you should really try to see Isild Le Besco's remarkable third feature (barely so, at 68 minutes) in the Film Comment Selects series at the Walter Reade. I personally didn't think I could bear keeping company with these characters for a whole film, but Le Besco's control of the experience is extraordinary: on one hand, she stylizes her people into absurdist archetypes, and on the other she carefully disengages the spectacle from drama and identification. The crazy dichotomy between the behavior shown and the religious tone introduced via voiceover commentary is gradually and inevitably resolved. Bas-Fonds screens once more, on Saturday, February 19 at 4 pm.