THIS WEEKS DOUBLE BILL THE EXILES AND LE HAVRE
This week we focus on migration with Kent Mackenzie’s EXILES and Aki Kaurismaki’s LE HAVRE first up is EXILES a passion project assembled on a shoe string budget the finished product is a thing of beauty. The brilliance of contemporary film is it can sit between two stools on the one hand you have realism, which attempts to stick as close to documented facts as possible for example environments, language, visual props and a raw believable visual style. As opposed to the surrealist approach to filmmaking designed to abstract reality, re-interpret the facts to fit in with the story they which to tell. Mackenzie beautifully weaves fact and fiction with this mesmerising story of a group of young American Indians torn between life on the reservations and a life in the city. Mackenzie’s film charts their growth as they are transplanted from their Southwest Reservations to Los Angeles. Based entirely on interviews with the participants and their friends, it charts their lives over a short period of as they drink, flirt, party, fight, dance and bond. With its gritty unrefined depiction of this marginalised Los Angeles community, shot in vivid high-contrast black and white it draws stark comparisons to the early work of John Cassavetes, with its deliberate anthropological approach which captures the rhythms, the sounds and the smells of the late-fifties this film draws you right into the period an undiscovered masterpiece in every sense of the word. Next up is LE HAVRE a cleverly constructed comedy emotionally rich warm-hearted look at the French’s attitude to immigration and immigrants, with its surreal approach makes a refreshing change with two very likeable central characters, this colourful and humanist film makes a refreshing change. With the usual free popcorn and rum.