A village in the south of France, it is very hot and all lies abandoned. Joshua, 18, wanders around aimlessly. It is the memories of his friend Silvain’s suicide that guide him. Joshua wants to die too, but he doesn’t want to leave his brother alone. Meanwhile, he meets a gang: the Icebergs.
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Think about how much drivel is made as a "short" today. This was worth 30 minutes of my time. Mood, story, and allowed me to bring my own feelings about family, suicide and obligation into the mix. Liked it a lot.
Joshua made a pact "to die in peace" w/ a friend but can't until he knows his brother won't be left alone. ALASR combines the visually punk derring do of Noe and the less complicated poetics of Eimbcke. Guns are the currency of this empty world, sending you into the next life (Sylvain) or gaining you admission to another ("He'll meet people and get tattoos. He'll get laid. It'll be cool.") All with a kickass sndtrk.
After a while, still digesting it, I have to admit that maybe I might be missing the point of this story. There may be some merit, some ironic nihilism as a weapon of sarcasm and deconstruction of suburbian family failure. Or maybe (american-like) suburbia is just a mythical landscape. La banlieue would fit gangs and violence much better. Maybe this is sweet in a deranged way. A boy finding a family for his brother.
The film looks great, especially with use of of deep, richly detailed still-camera shots that elicit contemplation. As the title suggests, guns play an important role, especially as the main characters search for comfort after loss. Unfortunately, the brothers are not hashed out enough to fully grasp the nuances of the storyline or setting. Impressive visuals with a hollow center.
There's anger and hate in the atmosphere which is a clear achievement. Nevertheless the whole thing lacks guidance and perspective, the narrative flows so detached you can only speculate about every single piece of it. As a result, felt pointless and not engaging at all.
It looks, sounds, and feels fantastic. But as the music played at the end and I realised how "cool" the whole thing was, I couldn't help but feel it would have made more sense as a music video than a stylish but overall pointless short film. Perhaps would have been more enjoyable if it had been fleshed out into a feature film?
Young French men being moody and handsome to a catchy soundtrack. Could have been worse.
I interpret this film as the older brother having killed the younger brother, perhaps by mistake with the gun he used to join the gang. He can never be at peace but the gang affords him a distraction. No doubt the other members have gone down equally troublesome paths to be where they are now - unified.