Friday, November 23, 2012

De rouille et d'os / Rust and Bone

Luihin ja ytimiin / Rost och ben / Rust and Bone [Swedish title in Finland]. FR/BE © 2012 Why Not Productions / Page 114 / France 2 Cinéma / Les Films du Fleuve / Lunanime. P: Jacques Audiard, Martine Cassinelli, Pascal Caucheteux. D: Jacques Audiard. SC: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain - story: Craig Davidson. DP: Stéphane Fontaine - Camera: Red Epic, Cooke S4 and Angenieux Optimo Lenses - Cinematographic process: Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Redcode RAW (5K) (source format) - Printed film format: 35 mm (anamorphic), D-Cinema - Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 - Lab: Digital Images. PD: Michel Barthélémy. AD: Yann Megard. Set dec: Boris Piot. Cost: Virginie Montel. Makeup: Frédérique Ney. Hair: Myriam Roger. VFX: Cédric Fayolle - CG: Thibert Stephane - FV Numérique - Mkros - SFX Works. M: Alexandre Desplat. S: Pascal Villard. ED: Juliette Welfling. Casting: Richard Rousseau. C: Marion Cotillard (Stéphanie), Matthias Schoenaerts (Alain van Versch), Armand Verdure (Sam), Céline Sallette (Louise), Corinne Masiero (Anna), Bouli Lanners (Martial), Jean-Michel Correia (Richard), Mourad Frarema (Foued), Yannick Choirat (Simon), Fred Menut (Le patron d'ELP Sécurité). - Orques. - Loc: Alpes-Maritimes: Saint-Laurent-du-Var (night-club L'Annexe), Le Marineland d'Antibes, Mandelieu-la-Napoule (shopping center), La Croisette and beach scenes (Cannes), Villeneuve-Loubet (beach) - Belgium: Liège (Wallonia: hospital), Spa (frozen lake). 112 min. Released by Cinema Mondo with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Outi Kainulainen / Markus Karjalainen. 2K DCP viewed at Maxim 2, Helsinki, 23 Nov 2012.

Official synopsis (Sony Pictures Classics): "Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) finds himself with a five-year-old child on his hands. Sam (Armand Verdure) is his son, but he hardly knows him. Homeless, penniless and friendless, Ali takes refuge with his sister Anna (Corinne Masiero) in Antibes, in the south of France. There things improve immediately. She puts them up in her garage, she takes the child under her wing and the weather is glorious."

"Ali, a man of formidable size and strength, gets a job as a bouncer in a nightclub. He comes to the aid of Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) during a nightclub brawl. Aloof and beautiful, Stephanie seems unattainable, but in his frank manner Ali leaves her his phone number anyway."

"Stéphanie trains orca whales at Marineland. When a performance ends in tragedy, a call in the night again brings them together. When Ali sees her next, Stéphanie is confined to a wheel chair : she has lost her legs and quite a few illusions."

"Ali's direct, unpitying physicality becomes Stéphanie's lifeline, but Ali too is transformed by Stéphanie's tough resilience. And Stéphanie comes alive again. As their stories intersect and diverge, they navigate a world where strength, beauty, youth and blood are commodities - but where trust, truth, loyalty and love cannot be bought and sold, and courage comes in many forms." (official synopsis)

A tough tale of survival. Ali operates on both sides of the law, as a thief, as an illegal fighter, as a bouncer, as a night watchman, and as a secret operator in illegal surveillance for employers. Stéphanie is an orca trainer who loses her legs in a Marineland accident. Sam lands into an ice hole and faces almost certain death.

It's also a tale about caring for the other. At first Ali is extremely selfish, but he is the one who drags the invalid Stéphanie from isolation and self-pity into the sun, into the sea, even into swimming without legs. Ali is guilty of gross neglect of his son Sam, but he breaks his fists to break the ice to save Sam.

It's about the world of poverty and violence, about the grim terms of life when you have no money. It's about depression and desolation, about the loss of hope and perspective - but also about seeing the light, about endurance, about never giving up after all.

The movie has aspects of documentary value. The circumstances at Marineland and the interaction with orca whales seem authentic. Also the medical facts and solutions seem true - the modern prosthetic leg solutions which help Stéphanie get back on her feet again.

The cinematography is as a rule anti-glam. The cinematography underlines the experiences of desolation and depression. There is footage with yellow hues. There is unhooded, unfiltered footage against sunlight. There is deliberately bleak and ugly footage. Yet there are also instances of visual beauty: the winter scenes in Belgium are beautiful whereas the Riviera footage is ugly. Towards the conclusion there are striking long shots, slow motion as the protagonists pass through the revolving doors, and reflections as they seem to experience a passage into a new stage in life. The oddly spaced letters in the end credits reflect the themes of broken bones and broken lives.

The visual quality of the digital presentation was adequate to the concept of the cinematography.

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