La Vie Nouvelle * Philippe Grandrieux (2002)

“La Vie Nouvelle” is somewhat of a cultfilm. It is almost impossible to find outside French-speaking countries and there seems to be no version with subtitles, not even French for the parts that are spoken in (I think) Bulgarian. There is not that much talking in the film, but it would have been nice to know what the Bulgarians say and the French parts are not very easy to follow either. In a David Lynch style and with quite a few ‘Lynchian’ elements, “La Vie Nouvelle” seems to give fragments of a story that plays in the dark underworld of Bulgarian organised crime. Out-of-focus and shaky camera work for the more shocking parts, a very minimalistic style with a dark rumbling soundtrack for most of the other. Grandrieux has created an interesting film that will mostly appeal to people who like David Lynch and not to people who enjoy a straightforward story and flashy action scenes. The film is dark, sometimes disturbing, but not really as shocking as some seem to find this film. The term “drame sentimental” that appears on the back of the box is a vast underrating too of course. There is some violence, a lot of nudity, beautiful images and strange camera and montage experimentations; not as good as Lynch, but a nice film to search for of you like this style. Try French and for example Canadian sources to find this film.

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