sâmbătă, 13 mai 2023

Beau is Afraid (2023)



Tati's Playtime

Roy Andersson

Scorsese's After Hours

a bit of Haneke Funny Games

all in 3 hrs overlong, uneven, pretentious but mesmerising one-of-a-kind psychotronic epic

Beau is Afraid

black comedy/psychodrama/horror/arthouse Freudian nightmare/apocalyptic fantasy

Ari Aster's third feature, after Hereditary and Midsomar, both in my top of their years release, 2018 and 2019 respectively. Some reviews mentioned Synecdoche, New York (mhh, not really) and the ending reminded me of Pink Floy's The Wall trial (my buddy said The Truman Show-mhh, not really),  also back to Kafka's The Trial (which inspired also the animated sequence from the Alan Parker film).

Beau is Afraid is based on his 2011 short film  Beau -of 6'22". It was supposed to be developed into Aster's debut feature in 2016. I think it would have killed his career without parole. And I also think the movie should've been in Cannes, in a shorter version, I'd cut the whole middle out (after he runs from the Nathan Lane family til he actually gets to the house!). Or Venice, or Toronto, anyway, it seems they wanted it this way, same as with Midsomar and Hereditary, weird choices, but at least that's what I read.

(I discovered the Beau short film here on reddit, it seems it was pulled off the internet by Aster and A24, the distributor and producer).

Here's about the 2014 script vs. the 2023 version and the short, especially concerning the ending.

Beau is portrayed by a zombified, lethargic Joaquin Phoenix in the biggest stunt of his career (after I'm Still Here) as a guy with huge mommy issues. Psycho looks like Bambi compared to this guy's nightmares, urges and phobias.

Aster describes his film as:  "if you pumped a 10-year old full of Zoloft, and [had] him get your groceries."

more of his explanations here

                          a bit of Wizard of Oz meets Van Gogh -Careful with that axe, Eugene;)

as google puts it (from imdb): 
if you're a film buff who likes to watch all movies, I recommend it, but to any casual viewer, I would say stay far, far away, it's probably not for you.
Totally agreed.
I had a great experience in an almost empty theatre (we were 5 in the audience), loved the picture composition (shot by Pawel Pogorzelski, Astner's collaborator since his early shorts), the framing on the screen, the sound design, had fun many times and I appreciate the effort, being a stunt or a misfire, anyway a future cult film if you see one recently on the big screen. 
I appreciate the effort of Romanian distributors, Bad Unicorn, and I advise you, those who dare see why Beau is Afraid, to rush into the theaters, cos' it won't be a long stay for Beau...

7 out of 10/ 3 1/2 out of 5
(and wtf was with that Bill Hader's cameo???)

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