Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Humans and animals in a beautiful little village in Galicia: Oliver Laxe's FIRE WILL COME

After viewing FIRE WILL COME, the new film from French-born-but-works-all-over-the-place Oliver Laxe, I am convinced that cows are the most beautiful animals in the world (though there is a sad and glorious horse here, too, along with a quiet and noble dog). 

M. Laxe (shown below), who also made Mimosas and You Are All Captains, is an oddball filmmaker, to say the least, and his latest will do nothing to counter that opinion. 

And yet this movie is so calm and beautiful in its pacing, performances and visuals that it casts an immediate spell so strong that literally nothing that happens in the film -- from raging fire to angry fighting -- can break it.

The film begins in darkness, in a forest in which trees are suddenly falling, one after another after another. (A stray comment later in the film connects this with all that has come before and after.) Then we see paperwork and hear a man commenting on the recent release of a prisoner named Amador who was jailed for pyromania.

We meet that ex-prisoner, now come home to live with his mother in a gorgeous little village in Galicia, Spain. We also meet a few of the townspeople, some of whom try to cozy up to this fellow, while others simply make fun of him ("Hey, Amador: You got a light?"). 

There is also the local veterinarian, a handsome immigrant woman who seems to be attracted to our "hero," and he to her.

That's it, really, in terms of plot, but as the movie lasts only 86 minutes and is so stunningly beautiful to look at -- Galicia is certain to top the list of post-Covid-19 travel destinations for folk who see the film (one of the characters actually comments on this area's need for more tourism!) -- the only complaints should come from action-film aficionados.

Dialog is also pretty minimal, as is any real character development. Yet so strong is Laxe's sense of who these people are, and so true seems each of the performances, it's as though the filmmaker plucked his cast from the town itself and simply used them all as they were (which, for all TrustMovies knows, he actually did). 

By the finale, we are left with the question: Did Amador start this recent fire, together with the former one? I suppose so, and yet it almost seems that the filmmaker does not care. Oddly enough, maybe neither do we. And it is not that this does not matter; it's more that perhaps there are other, more important things to consider. Laxe does not tell us, but I think he has certainly shown us, what these are.

Distributed by KimStim, this really lovely movie has its U.S theatrical premiere this Friday, October 30, in New York City at the Metrograph Virtual Cinema, then on Friday, November 6, it will open in Los Angeles at the Acropolis Virtual Cinema. To view all upcoming playdates, simply click here

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