Black Holes


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Black Holes
"Lazarus and co-writer Dorothee Levesque keep things minimal." | Photo: UniFrance

A point from which no light can escape. A point to which everything is drawn, collapse. A point where John McLane of Die Hard, even Inspector Storm cannot reach. David is somewhere at once similar and different, comatose in hospital.

He did not start there. They were going to rescue him. Had rehearsed it, we're told, with a camera without cassette. We will later learn more about all of these, but not all of them. Pierre Lazarus' film within a film has an earnest naivete, the film around it something more involved. Cameras abound, stories too. There is a difference between that played back and that recalled. There is a difference between answers and recitations. There are not obvious distinctions between the stories, but these perspectives cannot yet be reconciled.

Heal The Living occupies similar territory around a complicated medical situation, one that places stress on already troubled relationships. These children are carrying something, not just that which is hidden in the cockpit of Luke Skywalker's snow-speeder. The discussion of tapes and rehearsal, small budget and large ambition put me in mind of Primer, a work of fiction whose focus on control and controlling gains different depth with recent allegations. Here the focus is on the stars, the distant, unpredictable, unknowable. More proximate, but just as uncertain, those around us.

"You looked like everything was fine", but we know it isn't, won't be. A camera in a child's hands and a staircase. Pistol in one hand, torch crossed in the other, braced to clear those corners like they taught Clarice at Quantico. Repetition, recollection, recitation.

Four strong performances from the young cast, that standoffish closeness of pre-adolescent boyhood, that bounce from child to projected masculinity and back again. Around them families and their lack, friends and suspicions, authority in the form of doctors and detectives. In just under half an hour we are shown something that feels real. Not just in the contrast between the boys when they are on camera and when they are being watched, in other conversations, gestures, moments.

There might be a truth here, consumed. Lazarus and co-writer Dorothee Levesque keep things minimal. As with the eponymous astronomical phenomenon we cannot see the thing, just its effects on the outside world. However documented, a thing untouchable. Even with a title song over the credits explanations are uncertain, unfixed. Even in the realm of the absolute there is doubt.

Reviewed on: 10 Oct 2021
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When David mysteriously falls into a coma, his friends and family all try to deal with the trauma.

Director: Pierre Lazarus

Writer: Pierre Lazarus, Dorothée Levesque

Starring: Cosme Castro, Kiara Havas, Gaëtan Lejeune, Obed Lotika, Stanislas Michon-Gentil, Sophie Mourousi, Zacharie Poquet, Noé Szerbojm, Veronika Varga, Constantin Vidal

Year: 2020

Runtime: 28 minutes

Country: France


Ca' Foscari 2021

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