This fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century tells the story of an American boy living in France in 1918 whose father is working for the US government on the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. What he witnesses helps to mould his beliefs—and we witness the birth of a terrifying ego.
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With its precisely titled chapters (‘The First Tantrum’, etc) and foreshadowing conversations about the rearrangement of post-war Europe, it is plain where this story is going – though it’s still able to spring surprises. Even the credits are arresting: stark blocks of names that don’t linger on screen.
One of Venice’s biggest surprises was the first foray into directing of indie actor Brady Corbet. The winner of the Debut Film award, The Childhood of a Leader is an ambitious adaptation of a Sartre story that combines elegant gloom with wicked humour and an over-the-top plot.
Actor Brady Corbet's directorial debut leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the near-fainéant progression of the story. However, despite its sometimes unbearably slow pace, the cinematography is wonderful; the score is horrific and incredible; and the brilliance of the third act (Prescott's ominous childhood transformation into a fascist idealogue) makes the whole film worth the watch.
Unsettling, for sure, but kinda a little adorable too. But you know what's not adorable? Families. All families are monsters. And, of course (it suddenly strikes me as soooo obvious), both Gothic horror and incipient fascism are equally about that monster. So here it is: Gothic horror about incipient fascism. And how many other American child actors are growing up to direct movies influenced by Alexander Sokurov?
Second watch:Suffocating: the EFFORTLESS masterpiece of the year? As soon as Walker's thunderstorm cellos glaze over an intertitle called The First Tantrum,it sets up a promise that culminates in an ending that is perfect to the point of giddy shaking & tingling. Where did Corbet come from & what is his business doing something this good? A fable, in his words "not didactic but sensorial". It's a dragon.[cont.]
Corbet's directorial debut equal to Gosling's 'Lost River' effort. Two exciting actor-director talents willing to create edgy polemical cinema dealing with topics as varied as isolated dystopias and signs of fascism.
Terrific opening titles, poster, soundtrack, cinematography, cast... and one terrifying little boy that already belongs in the pantheon of creepy kids in cinema! Cleverly leaves the question open: is evil born or raised?
Painfully pretentious. The director meditates more on his own virtuosity than the story. The cinematography was quite something, and the score was an absolute triumph - but the storytelling falls flat. While critics are foaming at the mouth over this, I was left utterly disappointed and angry. Airy, pretentious nonsense that tries to draw a parallel between mild tantrums, the fall of Europe, and the rise to Fascism.
Seeing title sequence like last sequence of "Come and See," I think yeah this is easily masterpiece as I expected but I was completely wrong. Ambitious yet not-so-accomplished, tepid and over-prolonged movie which successfully walks only when rings Scott Walker's magnificently sinister score. Although surely its last sequence is kind of thing I've never seen before, this means not Brady Corbet is great but Walker is.