From September 3 to 12, 2021, the 47th Deauville American Film Festival was held. Here is what to remember from this edition, the personalities present, the films that marked us and of course the prize list.
The Deauville festival was held from September 3 to 12. This 47th edition of the Deauville festival was marked by meetings with Johnny Depp, Oliver Stone and Michael Shannon, the New Hollywood award given to Dylan Penn, but above all the tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo, died September 6.
The bruised bodies of Deauville
For ten days, festival-goers were able to discover a fine selection of American films, documentaries, and French productions – thanks to the window section on French cinema. Of this multitude of films, several particularly caught our attention. And this, from the first weekend.
Saturday, September 4, was indeed screened Pleasure. A shocking film that immerses us in the world of porn in a smart way. Director Ninja Thyberg introduces different sides of the industry. The dark spots, obviously, but not only. Thus, his film is not so much an attack on the X and his film could equally well take place in traditional cinema or in the world of work in general. Worn by the young actress Sofia Kappel (her first role), Pleasure will clearly not have left indifferent (see our review).
A film that we thought about before The Novice, one of our favorites of this edition. Directed by Lauren Hadaway and perfectly worn by Isabelle Fuhrman, the film shows a student ready to do anything to become the best in the rowing club at her university. A neurotic character who finds pleasure only in effort and difficulty. Thus, we find as in Pleasure this totally assumed choice of to hurt one’s body to achieve a goal. A different proposal but just as interesting (see our review).
The fantastic always present
A place has also been made for the fantastic. With notably The prey of a shadow, in competition, and the preview of the French film Ogre. Two very different films, with certain flaws, but which caught our attention in their approach to the fantastic. Each one plunging into this genre in its own way, representing on one side a terrifying child-eating creature (see our review ofOgre), and on the other a manipulative ghost ready to enjoy the mourning of its prey (see our review of The prey of a shadow).
So if one is a fantastic tale for adults able to summon as much Guillermo del Toro as Hansel and Gretel or the Big Bad Wolf, the other navigates between melodrama, psychological thriller and sheer horror.
A documentary like no other
And if other fictions have convinced us (Pig and Blue bayou in competition, Kate, Julie (in 12 chapters) or Dune in preview), it’s a documentary which stands out this year. In the Uncle Sam’s Docs section, Jean-Baptiste Thoret presented Michael Cimino, an American mirage. An atypical documentary which partly sets aside the American filmmaker to focus on the population who hosted the filming of Journey to the end of hell.
Quidams for whom the 1978 film serves as a memory of a lifetime. Thereby, great emotion emerges from the documentary before delving into the fascinating history and filmography of Michael Cimino who was truly a filmmaker apart (see our review).
The Deauville 2021 prize list
Five prizes were awarded at the end of this 47th Deauville festival. Here they are :
- The big price : Down with the King
- The Jury Prize: Red rocket and Pleasure
- The Louis Roederer Foundation Prize for Revelation: John and the Hole
- The Critics’ Prize: Red rocket
- The People’s Choice Award: Blue bayou