Chronicle Sitges 2018: “Lords of Chaos” black metal psychos

Chronicle Sitges 2018: “Lords of Chaos” black metal psychos

In “Lords of Chaos” the story of a young man who wants to give a new twist to the black metal scene in Oslo ends up having fatal consequences. The new movie of the father of the video clip, Jonas Akerlund , is a nimble, vibrant and unique hybrid of biopic, horror and teen-angst that tells the tragic and terrifying real events that concern the infamous history of the black metal band Mayhem from a tantrum so provocative and reckless, as definitely stimulating.

What is it?

“Lords of Chaos” tells the bizarre story of Mayhem after the death of “Dead”, one of its members; it was then that the relationship between bassist Varg Vikernes and his leader Euronymous led to the burning of some churches and a real blood bath.

Who’s behind?

Its responsible is none other than the renowned video artist Jonas Akerlund , prodigal son of the videoclip who has worked with such disparate groups as U2 , Blondie , Lady Gaga , Smashing Pumpkins, Rammstein, Madonna or Beyoncé . As a film director he debuted with the cult work “Spun” , a frantic descent into the world of drugs where comedy and debauchery reign that you can (re) discover in Filmin.

Who goes out?

Perhaps it is one of its main burdens, not because of the work of its actors, but because of the credibility and veracity of those who endow the recreation of this real story. That the Americans Rory Culkin , Emory Cohen and Sky Ferreira give life to the members of an intrinsically Norwegian band does not fit. Your language should be Norwegian and not English. Once again, commercial scope is imposed on artistic and conceptual rigor. It is what it is.

What is it?

“Metalhead” + “American Psycho”

What does it offer?

“Lords of Chaos” is an agile, vibrant and unique hybrid of biopic, horror and teen-angst that recounts the tragic and terrifying real events that pertain to the infamous history of the black metal band Mayhem from a treatment as provocative and reckless as definitely stimulating. And is that the rigor of the truth of the story directly collides with the transgression of it. Here there is room for huge blood baths, for excessive gore shocks, for the torture of animals, satanism, suicide, or even casual Nazism. All this under an extremely macabre and equally unprejudiced comic record, although it does not feel paradoxical, much less light. His virtuous ability to avoid bad taste or screw up in the politically incorrect when everything points to it is undeniable and at least praiseworthy.

Under this premise, the new and striking film by Jonas Akerlund we can identify as a leap without a network that, beyond telling us chronologically and in first person (the voice-over of the deceased Eponymus guides the whole story) the history of the group from its foundation until its first dissolution, it also stops at the relationship of bizarre rivalry between its two main leaders. A clash of egos whose friendship was always governed by the envy they professed for each other and in the competitiveness brought to its most extreme consequences. Not so much in terms of seeing who can do more, but in terms of who ends up becoming the true leader.

Praiseworthy conglomerate of attributes that would elevate “Lords of Chaos” to one of the most remarkable proposals of Official Section if it were not for two defects that for a server are fragrant. First, its submission to commercial scope. Let me explain, it is quite incongruous that a film begins with an emphasis on Welcome to Norway , which constantly insists on its Norwegian roots and how it affects it, which does nothing but repeat the motto of true norwegian black metal , be spoken in English. Even more so in the case of the staging of a real story. Nor is consistent with his treatment and tone that a work in which constantly resonates black metal ends to the sound of Sigur Ros. Anyway, you know, who pays. It’s the toll.

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Chronicle Sitges 2018: “Fugue”; I am no longer that

Chronicle Sitges 2018: “Fugue”; I am no longer that

One of the great challenges to overcome of the first directors who hit a real bombshell with their debut are the expectations that are generated around everything they will do next. This has been the case of Agnieszka Smocynska , director of the wonderfully excessive “The Lure” , a powerful debut that surprised at festivals such as Sundance and was an absolute success in its premiere on Filmin. Well, three years later, the young director presents her second work, “Fugue” , present at the Critics’ Week in Cannes and now premiered in Spain by the Sitges Festival. A continuation not without risks of which we can already consider as one of the most interesting Polish and European filmmakers of recent years.

What is it?

From the tunnel of a subway station, a woman appears, who stands on the platform and urinates before the astonished gaze of the other passengers. He does not know who he is or where he is. Two years later, her family finds her, forcing her to regain her place as mother, wife and daughter, and adding her to the fascinating list of women in crisis that recent horror films have given us.

Who’s behind?

The new Polish cinema has us in love. If in this past Atlàntida Film Fest we vibrate with the disturbing “Tower: A bright day” by Jagoda Szelc, Smocynska confirms her good health with “Fugue” , a risky second job that supposes a change of absolute record for the director that fascinated us with the lights and the glitter of “The Lure”. From a musical comedy starring two vampire sirens to atmospheric drama about trauma and memory.

Who goes out?

In this case, the one who leaves well could be worth to us who is behind. And it is that Smocynska has not been alone in the conception of ” Fugue”, because the script is signed exclusively by the protagonist of the film, Gabriela Muskala , a long-distance Polish actress who debuts for the first time in her career at the head of the libretto. The strong connection he establishes with his character becomes palpable in each and every one of the scenes he stars in, of a rawness and nudity that overwhelm.

 

What is it?

“Tower: A Bright Day” + “Forget me” in its darkest (and European) version

What does it offer?

Reception between the amazement and the division on the part of the critic, the new work of Agnieska Smocynska has supposed a radical change in appearance with respect to “The Lure” , that embraced the fantastic one of a much more literal way to re imagine the disturbing tale of ” The Little Mermaid “ by Hans Christian Andersen to take him to communist Poland and neon lights of the eighties. On this occasion, the disruptive element is a disease as terrifying as amnesia, which deprives the protagonist of her identity and throws her into a present without a past in which there is nothing but the now. A dark subway tunnel and its light at the end mark the beginning of this escape masterfully interpreted by Gabriela Muskala , a powerful female character who challenges the role that society imposes on her as a caregiver and abandons her husband and children after a mysterious incident. Years later, she was discovered in Warsaw after suffering a panic attack and her family managed to reunite with her. What could be expected as a happy celebration soon becomes uncomfortable situations and indigestible family meals where Muskala refuses to recognize herself in those now strange people, because now, she is no longer that.

Giving a twist to the gender roles that anchor women in the family nucleus and turn their escape into the biggest of the taboos, Smocynka builds a psychological drama at the touch of uncomfortable situations with a film that does not correspond to what we would all expect from his cinema after a work as dazzlingly unique as “The Lure” . Who nothing risks nothing wins, and although Fugue may be much less surprising than its predecessor in conception, is the confirmation of the strong talent of its director, who on this occasion has shown us that a powerful cinematographic temper supported by the magnificent interpretation of its protagonist.

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