The film of the week: “Mandibules – Two men and a fly”

by time news

Those who frequent the cinema of Quentin Dupieux (French director who grew up in the production factory of Michel Gondry) know that the favorite terrain in which this author loves to venture is animalistic and surreal anthropomorphism used as a spring to explode the language (in the broadest sense of the term) of a dull and desperate world, ours. At the heart of his latest film, “Mandibules – Two men and a fly” there are two idiots, the penniless Jean-Gab and Manu, who are on a mission on behalf of a mysterious client: they simply have to deliver a briefcase in exchange for a five-hundred-euro banknote. But when they choose to steal an old car for the trip, they find a giant fly in the hood. They then decide to train her in theft, turning her into a robbery drone, with the dream of getting rich. Along the way, however, they will meet a middle-class family on vacation and from this meeting a series of tragicomic misadventures can only arise. Only the young Agnès, suffering from a neurological disorder that forces her to speak screaming, will realize that the two guests are impostors and that they are hiding a curious secret.


It would be a mistake to consider “Mandibules” to be crazy cinema, because instead it hides under its comic surface (the misunderstandings, the unexpected and paradoxical situations, the gags, the jokes), a tragic layer, a sense of irresoluteness, a look at the world at all obvious and finally a sense of gloom that one would not expect from a film of this kind, so much so as to suggest that the real theme of the film is even death. L’humor nero, which the film is imbued with, thus becomes the key to unhinging those social and cultural conventions now become empty obsessions, which are repeated without a real meaning, therefore “mechanical” and aphasic. The giant fly, a sort of fetish, a vaguely Ferrerian simulacrum, is basically the same parody of the two men who try to use it (but obviously they don’t know this), as of life itself, a closed box with no apparent exit.

Direction: Quentin Dupieux; Interpreters: Grégoire Ludig, David Marsais, Adèle Exarchopoulos; Film script: Quentin Dupieux; Photography: Quentin Dupieux; Music: Metronomy; Assembly: Quentin Dupieux; Scenography: Joan Le Boru; Costumes: Isabelle Pannetier. Distribution: I Wonder Pictures. Francia, 2020, 77’.

In Florence it is in these rooms: Adriano, Uci.

June 18, 2021 | 11:58

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