Tuesday, November 8, 2011
AFI FEST 2011: "Carre Blanc"
CARRE BLANC (2011) ***1/2 80mins. D: Jean-Baptiste Leonetti. Sami Bouajila, Julie Gayet, Jean-Pierre Andreani.
In a depressing, dystopian future, suicide is prevalent, statutory rape is pretty much encouraged and cannibalism is a part of life. The weak are deemed useless and are killed for "processing". An intrusive announcement over a P.A. continously updates everyone on how many people there are in the world and taking pride in announcing when someone has a baby. This same P.A. can be heard telling children as young as 12 that it's okay to be artificially inseminated and you don't even need your parents permission. Finally, the dead are "processed" for human consumption.
The film follows Philippe who watched his mother kill herself. She worked at the plant where the meat is processed and couldn't take it anymore. Philippe is taken to an orphanage and is, for the lack of a better word, brainwashed to believe that the weak are cowards. The film picks up years later when he is an executive who puts interviewees through degrading and sometimes painful exercises that often results in "processing." Something occurs that makes Philippe have doubts about all he's been brought up to believe and wonders if there's a way out.
Leonetti paints a very dark portrait of an Orwellian like future where the viewer would probably want to kill themselves then rather have to live in that world. Buildings are undistinguished, rooms are very drab and one of the most memorable things is a computerized P.A. telling a clerk what to do as he interacts with a customer. Interaction, even when physical, is automated. There are countless other films I thought of while viewing this, not necessarily a bad thing, "Soylent Green," "1984," "Brazil," "A Clockwork Orange" just to name a few. "Carre Blanc" stands on its own as another film that foresees a bleak future where our dependence on modern technology will control us as opposed to letting us live.