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FESTIVALS Belgium

Vendredi… ou un autre jour : Alone or something else

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Selected this summer at Locarno and screened at the first edition of the Montreal International Film Festival, Friday or an other day by Frenchman Yvan Le Moine was screened at the Namur International Francophone Film Festival in official competition. Adapted from the novel by Frenchman Michel Tournier, his first feature, Le nain rouge screened at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight in 1998, was called "Sceptique, première partie ou : La Colère." Once again, this adaptation of Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique from the same author, has a subtitle : "Sceptique, deuxième partie ou : L'Orgueil." The role of a failed theatre actor on strike, confronted with extreme loneliness earned à Philippe Nahon the prize of Best Actor from the critics at Locarno.

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Filmed in High Definition, the lack of depth and the purity of images describe Robinson's life in minute detail, brutally realistic. His memories, orange and burning, contrast with the destitute island and its muddy colours. In this days filled with language and spectacle and the truth of his new situation, man must invent to survive. And the only way of not going mad is to create order on the island, based on an old way of living. But language gradually leaves the thoughts. And the voice-over describing this actor's isolation, words from his journal, becomes more and more disturbing, representing his growing madness, his imprisonment and his struggle with desolation. Friday, saved from certain death, is not immediately involved in this encounter. On the contrary, her offers a slight respite from this deafening madness, falling prey to the caprice of a madman. The monologue which this Monsieur de Nohan uses to survive turns however to comedy as he plays master to this savage-slave. But Le Moine turns this young slender boy into a cheeky, unconquerable opponent. It takes a long time, as they confront one another, before he abandons the order he has put in place and Friday finally becomes a companion. "And so it is the "savage" who becomes teacher to the civilized man while the other purports to domestcate, educate and convert. Perhaps a bit like the way the world is going now …" explained the director. These airs and graces of a long-gone civilisation, its rapaciousness and its enthusiasm for the decadence of the brothel are reminiscent of the last days of the Roman Empire and this is a very Shakespearean Friday with a shadowy air about him.

Produced by A.A. Les Films Belges in co-production with France Eurimages. Bought by f for film, it will be distributed in Belgium by IFD (Imagine Film Distribution).

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(Translated from French)

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