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  • REALITY Quentin Dupieux
21 JUL, 18:30, Teatro Municipal Sala Um

    Quentin Dupieux
Quentin Dupieux, 2014
France · Belgium · USA, FIC, 01:35:00
What is the connection between a French television cameraman, Jason (played by Alain Chabat), trying his luck in the California film industry and needing to discover the perfect pain moan in order to get his film financed; a cooking show hosted by a man dressed as a rat who suffers from terrible itches; a girl named Reality, who is convinced that a wild boar has swallowed an entire blue VHS tape, whose content is actually part of a feature directed by a former documentary filmmaker and produced by the potential investor in Jason’s project – as long as he find the perfect moan; and the principal of Reality’s school, who dresses as a woman in his dreams and tries to confiscate her mysterious blue VHS tape? The funniest aspect of “Reality” is actually abandoning any attempt at a logical analysis of all the absurd and ingenious narrative crafting. If we are willing to let ourselves go, maybe we can get an answer. Or maybe not, since director Quentin Dupieux does not always make it easy for the viewer, with many narrative layers that do not always have an obvious connection to each other, with dreams within dreams within other dreams, films within the film, dream characters meeting “real world” characters. To the point we start wondering about what, in the movie, is part of reality or of dreams. And when the viewer thinks there are no more ways of being surprised, behold the contents of the enigmatic VHS tape being revealed to us – and to the characters in the film. This playfulness, a somewhat bizarre sense of humor, and a feeling that the director himself is not taking his own film very seriously are some of the movie’s strengths. But there is more: the excellent use of California locations, whether natural or built (the movie producer’s house looks like something out of “Zabriskie Point”), or the references and homages to B movies that have become a Dupieux trademark: if in “Rubber”, it was a killer tire that would strike on the road, terrorizing travelers, here we have Jason’s project, the film within the film, called “Waves”, in which all TV sets start to emit deadly radiations that act on people’s brains, causing them to explode. A metaphor, therefore: when Jason tells the “Waves” synopsis to the producer, and is asked why that happens, the answer is “because television makes people stupid”. Finally, an acknowledgement of the soundtrack, this time not by Mr. Oizo, Quentin Dupieux’s known alter ego (his house hit “Flat Beat” sold over four million copies worldwide), with instead an insistent use of a repetitive excerpt from Philip Glass’s composition “Music with Changing Parts”, essential to the movie’s overall atmosphere, and decisively contributing to a feeling of infinite loop, with no beginning or end. Quentin Dupieux was Curtas Vila do Conde’s Filmmaker in Focus in 2015, when most of his movies up to that point were screened: “Rubber” (2010), “Wrong” (2012), “Wrong Cops” (2013), and “Reality” (2014). In this year’s edition, the festival will present the Portuguese preview of his most recent feature, “Mandibules”, which premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. (MD)  
PRODUCTION Realitism Films, COPY CONTACT Realitism Films,, SCRIPT Quentin Dupieux MUSIC Phillip Glass MAIN ACTORS Alain Chabat, Jonathan Lambert, Elodie Bouchez, Kyla Kennedy, John Glover, Eric Wareheim, Jon Heder