Contrary to the forward-looking title, the new life is a bleak one. At a brothel-like hotel in an East European city, the young American soldier Seymour (Zach Knighton) encounters and becomes obsessed with the prostitute Mélania (Anna Mouglalis).
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An indelible sensory experience. It is a cinematic trance of the highest order dealing with primal emotions, actions and the most basic 'object' - the body. Grandrieux proves himself time and time again to be an innovator of how films should be made and perceived. Reminiscent of Carax in a few scenes, the film is an altogether primal portrayal of man and his surroundings. Memorable beyond remark. Unforgettable.
FNC '12 Grandrieux followed up the disturbing 'Sombre' with this work of equal unsettlement, experimentation and body horror. Bold, clever and full of memorable image. The degradation the characters suffer, especially actress Anna Mouglalis, is hard to digest and often upsetting yet one can't look away. By the time the desaturated thermal image screaming begins one has become numb to the experience.His best to date.
Another film that entertains doing "style" with the punishment of its beings, mainly women, poor victims of a wicked camera who finds that to be "experimental" it has to be spectacularly expository.This movie is a treat: begins with a twisted vision of the painting "Il Quarto Stato" by Volpedo and passes through a flowery quote of Lynch's "Blue Velvet", probably the major responsible for these artistic abominations.
What a movie. Like a master of pressure points clinically manipulating the viewer. I'm hesitant to say this is something I liked or enjoyed, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any individual open to being experimented on through cinema.
Interrogating the presence of things, like Cézanne, is the goal of Grandrieux’s cinema. Through the adventure of perception of a gaze that sinks gradually into images and sound, and receding, as in Brakhage, to an «untutored vision», La Vie nouvelle tries to capture the mysterious force of the Real.
My review: http://specchioscuro.it/la-vie-nouvelle/#english
Not a bad attempt at experimental cinema and somewhere between Lynch and Tarr (and Korean erotic movie Lies) but, I thought, without finding the real identity that Grandrieux would find on his next movie, the superb A Lake !
Primal, amoral, brutal, sensual, ambiguous, beautiful and devastating.
Pure cinema focussed on 'haptic' cinematography and sound, and archetypes operating in a pre-oedipal world in which actions are orchestrated by instinct and desire. Avoiding common moral and social constructs, the film follows a logic of sensation.