This film is best described as an "experience" - mysterious, tense, scary... It's like a distant vague memory, or perhaps a feeling, very ambiguous, and that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The 60 minute format works very well, and seems like a perfect choice. I imagine this might not be everyone's cup of tea, I loved it - a unique, hidden gem.
In this fascinating metaphysical counter-remake of The Descent, Barraud plays with prosopagnosia with delightful results (the same theme returns in Portrait of an Artist, by the way). There are echoes of Emmanuel Carrere (The Moustache) and layers upon layers of metaphors. I love the format as well: 65 minutes, not a minute too long, not a minute too short. A truly immersive experience with lasting impact.
65m is about right for this tale of a woman sinking literally and metaphorically. Quakes, sinkholes under beds, strange encounters, operatic emotions in playback...the various elements do not gel together, and I was disappointed not to get a bit more of Mathieu Amalric in it (playing opposite but not really alongside former partner Boutefeu, which adds another twist). Intriguing, worth-seeing feature.
Had the potential to be interesting and affecting, but the filmmakers failed to create enough backstory for the characters and therefore I found it hard to be invested in the story or to feel empathy or remorse for the characters and their situation. The film is short, but somehow felt too long, and that's never a good thing.
At first you don't quite see it coming. What is "les gouffres" about ? Is it his story or hers ? But then it starts to work as a gisant, complex and multiple Metaphor. Barraud and his film never really fit into genre cinema and i like it, this doubt you keep having watching this (precisely : what am i watching). It work even more with his next feature. This time maybe was his ambition too big for him.