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kilowog [Film Festival 11.16.11] scifi drama



Year: 2011
Directors: Jean-Baptiste Léonetti
Writers: Jean-Baptiste Léonetti
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: kilowog
Rating: 6 out of 10

If you are intent to find a straight-forward, simplistic narrative in your next moviegoing experience, you could do far better than writer-director, Jean-Baptiste Leonetti’s directorial debut, the beautifully shot but unfocused CARRE BLANC (WHITE SQUARE). Best labeled a dystopian sci-fi thriller, it is an abrupt 77 minutes of runtime where a lingering screenplay fraught with existentialism and thematic uncertainty, leaves you wondering at what point did the director put down the script pages, and simply decide to direct his shots with plot only to follow in the editing room.


Channeling 1984 and A BRAVE NEW WORLD, Blanc navigates us through a future society founded upon a sense of corporate or team think supremacy. The exact year our story unfolds is uncertain, nor are we aware why our society has devolved into the world we live in. The narrative, told on only the smallest of scales, introduces us to a teenage Phillipe not long before his mother commits suicide; throwing herself off their high-rise balcony. We soon shuttle back in forth through time via well-paced and seamlessly edited sequences witnessing Phillipe’s arrival at an educational center orphanage, and later and most affectingly the day-to-day life of a well-groomed and infinitely cooler adult Phillipe (Sami Bouajila) distilling said education years later for an unnamed, but high-powered company.

Framing the film is a bleak and quizzical soundtrack worthy of Kafka, frequently reminding us through a tinny P.A. much like at a high school or prison yard that to “hold a child back, is to deprive them of croquet.” It’s directives like these and others encouraging the young Phillipe to procreate despite being only a teen, that he finds companionship with the equally awkward and uncertain, Marie. As we revisit their relationship years later, they are now married and Marie (played as an adult by Julie Gayet) is far from happy not only with their relationship, but their very existence.

Where the story takes us from there is far more open to interpretation. Phillipe having been put through the ringer himself at the orphanage has ascended to mid-level management and now performs almost human resources like tasks. These task, are utilized to weed out the inferior employees as they undergo tests that equally humiliate them or just as often turn these subordinates into something best realized in a Brett Easton Ellis novel. The ultimate goal seems to be: who can be the best team player, though such an assumption cannot easily be made.

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