Lanners searches for Belgian Eldorado
by Aurore Engelen
Bouli Lanners’ Eldorado [+see also:
film profile] is a pastoral and melancholy road movie on the trail of a past full of absences and missed, or failed, opportunities. The film is full of wide open landscapes illuminated by bright or fading, rain-soaked light. The guitar chords play like gasps for air, like gentle breathing.
Yvan sells cars from another era. At 40, he is a man of imposing physique whose quarrels turn into moments of anger. His life changes when his house is burgled by Elie, a young drug addict who has lost his way in life.
Yvan decides to take the young man to his parents’ house and they take to the road. The film doesn’t take the high road to sentimental cliché, but instead explores the everyday lives of people met along the way.
What unfolds is a journey of escape into the past, in a Chevrolet that serves as a nostalgic cocoon. One of the characters is searching for an idealised past, while the other wants to rid himself of an emotional wound that won’t heal. But this search for lost time, this plunge into the depths of timelessness, is hampered by the inexorable passing of time that cannot be recovered.
Full of sweeping images, music and emotions, the film centres on the bizarre relationship between a classic cinematic duo: the surly, stocky man and his tall nonchalant sidekick. Trapped inside the closed space of the car as it hurtles across the Belgian countryside, the two men size each other up, then put each other at ease, before really opening up.
Presented this morning in the Directors’ Fortnight, Eldorado – Lanners’ second feature – is the result of a successful and fortunate collaboration between the director and his producer Jacques-Henri Bronckart (Versus Production).
The film is set to be released domestically on June 4 and will hit French screens on June 18.
(Translated from French)
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