Sunday, June 4, 2023

Cannes 2023: Review of “Eureka” by Lisandro Alonso (premiere)

This ambitious film from an Argentine director is divided into three parts, but is mostly based on an indigenous reservation in the United States. In the premieres section.

Cannes 2023: review of "eureka" by lisandro alonso (premiere)

Nine years after Los Muertos and the biggest challenge of Liverpool’s director’s career, his latest film, Jauza, is an ambitious but minimalist portrait of life on a South Dakota Indian reservation through the stories of a mother and her daughter. But Alonso is not satisfied with telling this extraordinary story, but rather wraps it in a larger framework, which somehow prompts one to think about the consequences and parallels of this type of life in other areas. Eureka is, in a way, three films at once, which combine and expand their meanings, although they do not require each other.

The first of these films runs for a little over half an hour at 140 minutes. And this is literally the so-called “film within a film”. In black and white and in a square format reminiscent of Joza, Alonso here creates a Western in an irreverent style that is more original and ambitious within its particular artistic pursuit than Pedro Almodovar tried to do in his. Viggo Mortensen plays a man who has recently arrived in a decadent town in the West with the intention of finding out what happened to his daughter (a recurring theme of the Alonso/Mortensen filmography) and there he finds himself in an aggressive, Meets unpleasant and heavily intoxicated people. who try to stop him, including a mysterious character who calls himself the Colonel and is played by Chiara Mastroianni. That story is a film in itself.

Cannes 2023: review of "eureka" by lisandro alonso (premiere)

I won’t explain how this connects to the next one – it’s a nice surprise – but once that story ends the longest of them and the best of them begin. It takes place on an Indian reservation in South Dakota and follows a policeman and his niece, a twenty-something local basketball coach, nicknamed “Magic Johnson” by some. In a poor, cold and deserted place, both try to find a way out of loneliness, suffering and emptiness. Alaina (Alaina Clifford) spends her time in her squad car dealing with everyday police cases: a drunk car, a family feud, people living in filth and decay. And he does it with a mixture of obligation, nobility, and annoyance. Apparently without much help from his colleagues.

While she’s making her rounds, her niece Sadie (the extraordinary Sadie LaPointe) isn’t having a good time. It’s just that the Pine Ridge Reservation where he lives is a place with a lot of suicides and most young people his age are either gone or having a very bad time. Sadie has a series of meetings and conversations in which she will explain that there are reasons why she wishes to live in the present. One of them is relations with Alina. The other is with his grandfather. But when those relationships get complicated, the girl wonders if it’s time to make some sort of decision. I don’t mean suicide, but something else, well, you’ll see…

This gives rise to the third part of the film, one that has the air of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s cinema, but also links itself to Alonso’s films such as LOS MUERTOS. For a while, it’s hard to start a new story and a new plot with different characters after about 100 minutes of film, but once you get over that discomfort, Alonso and his screenwriter Fabian Let’s find a way to develop and connect with it. with the rest. In any case, apart from some striking special effects and some beautiful and poetic moments, that part is the least convincing of the three, mostly because one gets the impression that this is the type of film or format that Alonso and Other filmmakers the two have worked with before.

Cannes 2023: review of "eureka" by lisandro alonso (premiere)

Eureka integrates these three parts into a whole that tries to reflect themes that are always handled in Alonso’s cinema: loneliness, a sense of the world’s incomprehensibility, mystery (here it is already the universe), Travel and broken families who try to pull themselves together, most of the time without luck. The slightly delicate relationship between the three stories gives the film a different climate, intensity and logic. The first western could be seen as a nice diversion and the third part – which takes place in Brazil, at least in fiction – as a somewhat more painstaking conclusion to the issues already opened, but I think its The mystery film is in the middle which occupies more than half of the story (it is a film in itself) and in which Alonso ventures into things he has never done before.

I’m not referring to simply telling a story that has a lot of artful drama from North American independent cinema or dealing with life within an indigenous reservation, but attempting to narrate in a way that is closer to detective, if you will. The story, however, evokes in the viewer a lasting sense of anguish and even terror (with a touch of David Lynch) linked to the fate of this policeman and his beloved and long-suffering niece, who A desolate, troubled and desolate place where no one listens to anyone, where empty paths seem to lead nowhere and in which existence hangs by a thread, the one that connects us to the place where we live. are, but occurs all over the planet.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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