Eden (London Film Festival 2014) Review

One more time. Mia Hansen-Løve has done it one more time with Eden, a sonically pounding drama loosely based on – and co-written by – her brother, Sven Hansen-Løve. Like Sven, Paul (Félixde Givry) is a semi-famous DJ in the 90s house scene whose Parisian lifestyle – an ongoing remix of sex and cocaine – spirals into an untenable loop.It’s 1992. The beat kicks in. Daft Punk are just Thomas and Guy, two acquaintances of fellow scratcher Paul. “Barely 20, very talented,” goes the description. Garage is a music movement about to happen, with Paul as a key instigator spinning decks in illegal raves. But what happens to the guy who builds steady, but not spectacular, success like his "Da Funk" buddies? Eden is a patient – albeit with quite some tempo – study of someone stuck in the same spot for 20 years: he stays on the deck, while everyone important in his life disappears for a different tune.imageJust as in Goodbye First Love, the actors don't physically grow old or have makeup applied to signify passing decades. Obviously this is symbolic with Paul, who's too busy sleeping around, snorting drugs and crafting beats to realise his hedonism at some point became a mask for depression. Other names come and go, mainly girlfriends – including strangely wooden Greta Gerwig and superbly spiky Pauline Étienne – who drift away and come back with new experiences, only to be shocked by Paul’s inertia.Of course, none of Eden would work without its pulsating music. Hansen-Løve does the impossible: it’s exhilarating to be sober and amongst dancefloor clubbers. A few Daft Punk tunes pop up, as do other contemporaries, and sonically I felt swept away by the rhythms. The eventual comedown is more than just a headache – it’s heartbreaking.’Eden’ is playing London Film Festival 2014 as part of the Sonic strand. Ticket information can be found here.

Overall

9

out of 10

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