Metamorphoses (London Film Festival 2014) Review
Knowing that Christophe Honoré had a new film playing the festival, I did my homework by delving into Beloved and La belle personne – the latter is terrific, by the way. Really, I should have been studying Ovid’s mega poem. Honoré adapts Metamorphoses with a 21st century take that still treats it like an ancient mystery that happens to take by a train station. It also takes the form of an elliptical puzzle, rather than the dumbed down manner in which high school comedies interpret Shakespeare.The cast of amateur actors (including Amira Akili, Sébastien Hirel, Damien Chapelle) take on a who’s who of famous Greek celebrities like Narcissus, Jupiter and Europa. Stories intertwine – as do riffs on multiracial relationships and the freedom of sex-ops – with occasionally dizzying effect, but never won me over. It might be the intrusion of modernity – young girls swim naked, cigarette in mouth, listening to French pop in overdone pop parody – or the way scenes would end on a shot lingering on a nearby motorway. Days after, I’m still wondering if I misunderstood a masterpiece. It requires a second viewing – but until then, I’ll made do with George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou.’Metamorphoses’ is playing London Film Festival 2014 as part of the Dare strand. Ticket information can be found here.