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TRANSYLVANIE 2024

Critique : The Writer

par 

- Dans ce film, le réalisateur et militant LGBT lituanien Romas Zabarauskas présente une foule de positions intellectuelles, politiques et personnelles opposées, sur des sujets actuels

Critique : The Writer
Jamie Day (à gauche) et Bruce Ross dans The Writer

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

The Writer [+lire aussi :
bande-annonce
fiche film
]
comes after The Lawyer [+lire aussi :
critique
bande-annonce
fiche film
]
as the second part in a trilogy by Romas Zabarauskas, apparently designed to feature characters in certain occupations – the third part, already in post-production and recently presented via an excerpt at the Tallinn Black Nights Festival Goes to Cannes showcase, will be titled The Activist.

Perhaps the most static among the three, The Writer is inspired by Louis Malle’s lengthy My Dinner with Andre (1981), which was based on pure dialogue, and in which fictionalised versions of US actors André Gregory and Wallace Shawn discussed experimental theatre and shared diverse perspectives on life in general at a Manhattan restaurant. Similarly, The Writer, now showing in the Supernova section of the Transilvania International Film Festival, features old male friends and former lovers at a dinner in a New York flat as they exchange views on current turbulent politics, existential topics and personal romantic standpoints. Their talk jumps back and forth from the public to the private, as if in an attempt to provide an overview of past repression and today’s prejudices towards queer people through private experiences, against the backdrop of ongoing political turbulence between the East and the West.

(L'article continue plus bas - Inf. publicitaire)

Ethnically Russian but actually a Lithuanian citizen, Dima (Jamie Day) is in New York for a job interview and visits ethnically Lithuanian US citizen Kostas (Bruce Ross) at his place after the pair have gone a long time without speaking. Throughout their insightful dinner, they reminisce about their turbulent past as secret lovers in the Soviet Army, during times of perpetual queer persecution, of which both have some controversial bittersweet memories, as it was an era of oppression but also coincided with their wild youth. After emigrating to the USA, sober-minded writer Kostas, disillusioned with the benefits of Western hegemony, lives a somewhat dream life as a renowned academic, but in seclusion. On the other side of the world, ashamed of Russian politics and imperialist culture, IT engineer Dima, after putting up with a failed heterosexual marriage, is still passionate about changing the world and, most of all, people’s views on a mass scale, because of which Kostas accuses him of blind liberalism. Between serious disputes and flirtatious banter, they are purposefully profiled as standing on either side of today's heated cultural-political-historical global discourse, ignited by the war in Ukraine, while supporting their positions with ready-made arguments promoted by both camps. A discussion that might only be reconciled by love, as suggested by the author.

The Writer does indeed spark relevant debates on ideological and intimate topics at the same time; however, both the rational and emotional subjects suffer from interference from the other and remain on a superficial level. The political discussion feels rather lightweight because of the sentimentality of the romance, while the love story remains somewhat constrained by the author’s necessity to highlight the bastard and the saint in the relationship, and to eventually point out who was right and who was wrong, as if assigning pluses and minuses to the characters' ideological preferences as well. The closing, melodramatically passionate, scene is cheesy to the point of embarrassment and, unfortunately, sweeps away all of the provocative thoughts that might have arisen in viewers’ minds.

The Writer is a co-production between Lithuania’s Naratyvas, Germany’s Artysta Management GmbH and the USA’s Dead Heat Pictures.

(L'article continue plus bas - Inf. publicitaire)

(Traduit de l'anglais)

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