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CANNES 2007 Un Certain Regard

Harmony Korine’s solitary doubles

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Harmony Korine’s solitary doubles

In searching for funding for his latest project, Mister Lonely [+see also:
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, 34 year-old California native Harmony Korine washed up on European shores, finding backing from French outfits O'Salvation Cine and Love Streams Agnés B., the UK’s Recorded Picture Co. and Irish company Metropolitan.

However, for those who saw Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, the two films that made Korine famous first among New York’s cinema underground and then throughout the world, or loved his screenplays of Kids and Ken Parker (directed by the bard of adolescent sex, drugs and violence, Larry Clark), will only find in Mister Lonely a revised and corrected copy of elements typical to his films: loss, dreamlike and dirty images, moral decay, suburban settings, and affection and comprehension for social monsters, losers and freaks.

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Not that the stars of Mister Lonely are not romantic and tender losers: Mexican actor Diego Luna plays a pathetic Michael Jackson impersonator who performs on the streets of Paris until he meets a Marilyn Monroe (the delightful Samantha Morton), who convinces him to join a community of impersonators (of the Pope, Queen Elizabeth, Abraham Lincoln, Madonna, Sammy Davis Jr., etc.) in the Scottish Highlands.

However, Korine’s vital and caustic force is best expressed only in a parallel story, in which a young missionary nun in Africa falls from a small plane (flown by "Father" Werner Herzog!) while tossing out sacks of rice to the population below and, after praying to God, lands miraculously unharmed. Only to die in a subsequent plane crash while en route to the Vatican to meet the Pope, who wants to congratulate her on the miracle.

The presence of other figures of European cinema, such as James Fox and Leos Carax (director of Lovers on the Bridge), does not help liberate this American enfant terrible’s wickedness, which remains entwined in the fabric of a co-production that perhaps required a more commercial approach.

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(Translated from Italian)

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