Saturday, September 16, 2023


Ira Sachs: Passages (FR 2023) with Ben Whishaw (Martin), Adèle Exarchopoulos (Agathe) and Franz Rogowski (Tomas).

Hetkessä / Passages – hetkessä / Kärlek och avund
Feel-Good Humour / LGBTQIA+ / LoveSex
Theme: Let's Talk about Sex!
Country: France
Director: Ira Sachs
Screenplay: Mauricio Zacharias, Ira Sachs
Starring: Franz Rogowski, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Ben Whishaw, Erwan Kepoa Falé, Arcadi Radeff
Production: Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt / SBS Productions
Duration: 92 min
Rating: K16
Bio Rex, Love & Anarchy: Helsinki International Film Festival (HIFF), 16 Sep 2023

Siiri Siltala (HIFF 2023): " Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, R&A 2014; Little Men, R&A 2016) tuo tänä vuonna festivaalille annoksen seksikästä särmää. Passages – Hetkessä näyttää erään narsismin värittämän tuhoisan kolmiodraaman kaaren, jonka miljöönä toimii värikäs taiteilijayhteisö Pariisissa. Tomas (Franz Rogowski) on elokuvaohjaaja, hänen kumppaninsa Martin (Ben Whishaw) työskentelee graafisena suunnittelijana. Adèle Exarchopoulos (Adèlen elämä: osat 1 ja 2) näyttelee Agathea, joka kohtaa Tomasin uudella tavalla tanssilattialla. "

" Silmiä hivelevän osuvasti puvustetun kolmikon keskinäinen rakkaussolmu kiristyy dialogin ristiaallokossa. Päähenkilön pohjaton itsekeskeisyys tuo hienovaraista komiikkaa tilanteisiin, jotka olisivat muuten liian tuskallisia katsoa. "

" Ohjaajana Sachsilla on entuudestaan maine tinkimättönä indie-tekijänä, joka ei ujostele moraalisääntöjen rusikoimista. Passages – Hetkessä on ohjaajan parhaaksi kutsuttu taidonnäyte pistävästä tyylistä, jonka kristalloituminen on osaltaan loistavasti näyteltyjen pääroolien ansiota. Päähenkilön piittaamattoman kuoren alta pilkottava epätoivoinen pienokainen ei millään löydä riittävää lohtua ja pyrkii aina seuraavaan syliin. " Siiri Siltala

Quoted by HIFF 2023: " With Passages, American indie darling Ira Sachs (Love Is Strange) makes his first film in France, a brutally honest portrait of a train-wreck relationship in which an openly gay director sabotages his marriage — and maybe his life — by falling for a woman. Affairs happen; that’s nothing new. But this one proves unusually destructive, giving three stellar international actors — German actor Franz Rogowski (Great Freedom), Ben Whishaw (The Lobster) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) — a chance to tear one another’s hearts to shreds. " Peter Debruge, Variety

" Ira Sachs is one of American cinema’s most reliable crafters of human-scaled cinematic dramas. That description doesn’t sound too terribly exciting, so I should assure you that Passages is some kind of time at the movies—a briskly-moving, turbulent, emphatically sexy, deliberately exasperating love triangle in crazy times. (…) "

" Franz Rogowski’s performance as Tomas is fascinating. How he manipulates those around him is enough to make him borderline repellent, and Rogowski, leaning hard into a speech impediment and all manner of slippery postures, imbues the character with near-rodent-like qualities. Yet one understands why both Agathe and Martin are so physically drawn to him. " Glenn Kenny,

Language: English, French
Subtitles: Swedish, Finnish
Distribution: Cinema Mondo
Print source: Cinema Mondo
Cinematography: Josée Deshaies
Editing: Sophie Reine
Sound: Anne Gibourg, Thomas Gastinel
Production design: Pascale Consigny
Costume design: Khadija Zeggaï
Make-up: Natali Tabareau-Vieuille
In collaboration with Institut Francais Finlande. 

AA: The most striking feature of Ira Sachs's Passages is its engrossing vitality and openness to passion. Its irresistible drive carries the turbulent tragedy of four broken lives. All performances are great and vivid, we can sense the blood running hot in the veins of the characters. The cinematography has been conducted in glowing colours full of life. I am impressed by all this because during the three pandemic years too many films have been somehow anemic, often with terrific scenes, but with a sense of them being forced to the screen one by one without an organically necessary connection.

Tomas (Franz Rogowski) is the primus motor, the demon director and the carnal dynamo, also a man without a conscience, eager to seduce and eager to please, but without a grown-up sense of responsibility. He breaks others' hearts without even registering it. He breaks peoples lives.

Martin (Ben Whishaw) is his husband, the financially more responsible partner and also the emotionally more mature spouse. 

Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is the woman whom Tomas invites to dance when Martin leaves his party early. One thing leads to another, Tomas and Agathe start a relationship, and Agathe becomes pregnant. Agathe is a teacher, and in her school scenes we sense instantly her great rapport with children. She would be a wonderful mother. But because of Tomas's instability, Agathe has an abortion. 

Amad (Erwan Kepoa Falé) is Martin's new lover, the successor to Tomas. He is a brilliant, hot new writer whose giant novel everybody is reading but who does not want to identify himself as a writer yet.

All are great. A special favourite scene of mine is the catastrophic dinner which Agathe arranges for her parents to introduce them to Tomas. Their animosity is palpable, and it cannot be denied that their instant disliking is well grounded. The mother (Caroline Chaniolleau) tries hard to make the best out of the impossible situation. But especially the silent presence of Olivier Rabourdin as the father is unforgettable.

The film is very physical and sensual. The sex scenes are daring and necessary to the fabula. 

Sex is like fire. A good servant and a bad master.

No comments: