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Crítica: Rumours


- CANNES 2024: Los canadienses Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson y Galen Johnson imaginan en una revoltosa comedia que el fin del mundo empieza en una cumbre del G7

Crítica: Rumours
Roy Dupuis y Alicia Vikander en Rumours

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Less than a month before the 50th G7 summit takes place in Italy, the Cannes audience has had the chance to experience a sublime (yet apocalyptic) fictionalised version of what that top-secret gathering may be like in the guise of Rumours, screening Out of Competition. The newest offering by Winnipeg natives Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson takes us to the German countryside, where a newly built gazebo is hosting the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies as they wine and dine with the purpose of drafting a provisional statement regarding the current crisis. The crisis itself is never named, but it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to recognise in this sleek, surreal satire of our contemporary predicaments. Funnily enough, the most fictional plot element is also the most relatable: the summit begins, but the world seems to be ending.

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Maddin and the Johnson brothers know that sometimes the best way to take reality seriously is to parody it; to push humour to its limits until it becomes horrific. By following a similar tonal trajectory, Rumours exposes our world today for doing that in reverse, from the sombre real happenings, through horror, until it turns comedic. Therefore, to balance it out, the film needs a clean slate and a scapegoat – both being the imagined G7 summit. Called to arms are Cate Blanchett (as the German Chancellor), Denis Ménochet (as the French President), Charles Dance (representing the USA) and Roy Dupuis (Canada), while Nikki Amuka-Bird steps in for Great Britain. The film brings in big names to fit the big countries, and the actors spare no effort in delivering hilarious political verdicts in wonderful and wonky accents throughout a two-hour, adventure-filled running time. 

The co-directors approach this deceptively conventional ensemble comedy by hiding their cinematic transgressions in plain sight: the abundance of stylised shots and rapid cuts between individual speakers emphasise the comedic effect of the empty words being said. Enough bureaucratic speak and diplomatic jokes saturate the script (written by Evan Johnson) to make it just about credible – this writer wouldn’t be surprised to see the G7 being about as inefficient as classroom group work in preparing an important document – but also poignantly self-aware. Inspired by the disconnect between diplomatic conduct and reality, the filmmakers take this task so seriously that even a Swedish-speaking Alicia Vikander (as the President of the European Commission) caressing a giant (human) brain can make perfect sense.

Together, cinematographer Stefan Ciupek (Gassed Up) and horror production designer Zosia Mackenzie ensure that Rumours will make a lasting impression with its surreal aesthetics; the fog glows in neon green, the moonlight is artificially enhanced, and the endless forests of Dankerode, Saxony, make for the perfect canvas. It is a rare joy to see a film take on mainstream forms and content just enough to distort and remould them into spine-chilling absurdism: it is the recipe for a future cult classic.

Rumours was produced by Canadian companies Buffalo Gal Pictures, Thin Stuff Productions and Walking Down Broadway, the USA’s Square Peg and Germany’s Maze Pictures. Protagonist Pictures handles the film’s sales.

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(Traducción del inglés)

Galería de fotos 18/05/2024: Cannes 2024 - Rumours

11 fotos disponibles. Desliza hacia la izquierda o la derecha para verlas todas.

Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Guy Maddin
© 2024 Fabrizio de Gennaro for Cineuropa -,

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