Incredible but true

Incredible but true
Original title:Incroyable mais vrai
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Running time:74 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Alain and Marie move into a house. A trap door in the cellar will change their lives.

Mulder's Review

Discovering a new film written and directed by Quentin Dupieux is often like living a real cinematographic experience as his films are so surprising and proudly claim to leave the pre-established model of current French cinema. In the same way the music occupies an important place in each of them in order to often destabilize the spectators and let them enter a dimension in which anything can happen whether it is a vision of the discordant realist (Nonfilm (2011), Reality (2014), At the post! (2018)), a psychopathic tire (Rubber (2010)) or a giant fly (Mandibles (2020)). His new film joins this list of films with fantastic elements while remaining a dramatic comedy about the superficiality of life and its often-deceptive appearances.

In order to let the audience, discover this film for themselves, which is based on a fantastic element, we can simply say that it is based on a couple Alain (Alain Chabat) and Marie (Léa Ducker) who move into a house that has a certain particularity. Faced with an element that will destabilize them, their tight-knit couple will encounter difficulties and their lives will be forever changed. 

The director and screenwriter Quentin Dupieux has once again established himself as the master of the absurd and as the current troublemaker of French cinema. Each of his films seems to obey only a process that he has set up and in which he takes a malicious pleasure to explode our current world by bringing elements either fantastic or unrealistic to arrive at films that can be defined as unidentified cinematographic objects. His cinema joins that of directors like Spike Jonze or Charlie Kaufman in the sense that everything seems possible and everything can happen and even without reason.

As with each of his films, Quentin Dupieux was able to surround himself with an excellent cast and thus finds the actor Alain Chabat that he had already directed in Reality (2014). This excellent actor (but also writer and director) seems to take real pleasure here in embodying his deeply human character who seems to want to continue to live normally while his wife is gradually losing her mind. The cast also includes Lea Drucker (César for Best Actress for her role in Jusqu'à la garde), Anaïs Demoustier and Benoît Magimel (César for Best Actor in 2022 for De son vivant). Such a perfectly directed cast gives the film a very special aura. 

Incredible but true is the pure essence of independent cinema in the sense that it does not try at any time to please everyone and reserves surprises of all kinds whether it is a montage of certain scenes rather surprising, the contribution of scenes close to horror cinema (those suffering from myrmecophobia may have a bad time) or the clever use of the constraint of real time. One wonders at times if the real object of the film is not the superficiality of our very existence or a desire to no longer suffer aging. In the same way, it is interesting to look at the short duration of each of Quentin Dupieux's films as if he seemed to think that to really hold the attention of the spectators with simplistic stories it was better to go to the essential and not to weigh down the film with useless scenes that could impact the rhythm of the film.

We can also feel the director's will to explore new lands of realization and in particular by this montage of about ten minutes without dialogue that flies over moments of the story showing the ravages of time on the main characters. There is also a strong nod to the Apple company, with the presence of a surrealist gadget that can be controlled by a telephone and a shot of a rotten apple, showing the director's irreverent view of our current society of overconsumption. While the cinema has been deeply affected by the Covid 19 pandemic, Quentin Dupieux shows once again that by limiting the places of action, the characters present in the image, there is still a way to offer an excellent film to the public provided that the writing of the film is based on strong ideas and not on an overuse of outrageous digital special effects and often only present to hide the many flaws of some scripts. Finally, it is undeniable to note the influence of American cinema on the work of Quentin Dupieux, whether it is here a staging reminiscent of the 70s or the fact of immersing his characters in universes close to the Fourth Dimension, whose sketch film directed by Steven Spielberg in particular remains in memory indelibly. 

Incredible but true
Written and directed by Quentin Dupieux
Produced by Thomas Verhaeghe 
Starring Alain Chabat, Léa Drucker, Anaïs Demoustier, Benoît Magimel, Mikaël Halimi, Lena Lapres, Roxane Arnal, Nagisa Morimoto
Cinematography : Quentin Dupieux
Edited by Quentin Dupieux 
Production companies : Arte France Cinéma, Versus Production (Belgium), BE TV (Belgium)
Distributed by Diaphana Distribution (France)
Release date : June 15 2022 (France)
Running time : 74 minutes

With all our thanks to the 300 club of which we are proud to be a part.

Seen on June 2, 2022 at the Forum des Images, room 300

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