“John le Carré by way of David Lynch,” PACIFICTION opens Friday at the Royal, March 10 in Glendale.
The gorgeous political thriller Pacifiction, from Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra (The Death of Louis XIV), was nominated for nine César Awards (winning two, Best Cinematography and Best Actor for Benoît Magimel). It’s set in Tahiti and follows the French government official De Roller (Magimel). A.O. Scott of the New York Times described the character this way:
“Played by Benoît Magimel with shambling delicacy, De Roller is like the French cousin of a character you might find in a Graham Greene novel or a tale by Joseph Conrad. He is a world-weary, somewhat dissolute avatar of colonial power — “a representative of the state” in his own assessment, which sounds both humble and boastful — going to seed in a tropical paradise. He is a diplomat, a fixer, a bon vivant and, thanks to Magimel’s louche charisma, a lost soul whose wandering and dithering carry a hint of pathos.”
Scott goes on to say of the film:
“I can only say I was captivated by the film and its stealthy evocation of pure evil.” ~ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
“Ultimately, the film’s greatest feat is in providing moments for delightful reverie through its sumptuous visuals while constantly making clear the colonialist reality of the island.” ~ Joshua Minsoo Kim, Chicago Reader
“Pacifiction is not a vicarious experience of luxury; it is an experience of life. Set to its own tidal rhythm, it is one of the most beautiful and rigorously introspective movies of this or any year.” ~ Christian Blauvelt, indieWire
“A magisterial, philosophical three-hour mood piece.” ~ Adam Nayman, The Ringer
In real life John le Carré was a great character and a brilliant writer but as a spy did he have more Achilles heels than feet? Did he really upset Monty, Philby’s cousin? Were Pemberton’s People in MI6 in #TheBurlingtonFiles real friends or foes? See https://theburlingtonfiles.org/news_2022.10.31.php.