Cannes: Serebrennikov presents his creature ‘Limonov’ and Costner his western saga | TV5MONDE

Cannes: Serebrennikov presents his creature ‘Limonov’ and Costner his western saga | TV5MONDE
Cannes: Serebrennikov presents his creature ‘Limonov’ and Costner his western saga | TV5MONDE

Cannes discovers on Sunday the film in competition by the Russian in exile Kirill Serebrennikov, a rock biopic on the 1,000 lives of the troublemaker of Russian politics Edouard Limonov, the western saga of Kevin Costner ruined to produce it and finally a feminist horror film with Demi Moore .

“Limonov, the ballad” is the adaptation of the novel by Emmanuel Carrère, who introduced the public to this unclassifiable character, half shadow, half light, who died in 2020 at the age of 77.

Limonov was by turns a thug in Kharkiv, Ukraine, a new anti-Soviet guard poet in Moscow, a heartbroken loser in New York, a revered writer in Paris, a mercenary in the Balkans and in Moscow again, the leader of a party of young red-brown anti-Putin revolutionaries, which earned him the frozen penitentiary.

The performance around the theme of the cursed artist and exile is entirely carried by the Briton Ben Wishaw (Q in James Bond), who slips into English with the r’s rolled into the skin of the character.

“The second time I read the script, I said to myself: ‘Oh no, this guy is really disturbing,’” he said in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Kirill Serebrennikov told him that he saw in this film the possibility of a “self-portrait”.


Considered one of the most daring Russian artists of his generation, the director benefited for a time from the favors of those in power.

Having become troublesome for his anti-conservative and pro-LGBT positions, he ended up under house arrest in 2017. The sentence was served on him in the middle of filming “Leto”, presented at Cannes in 2018.

The Limonov project was started immediately. The war in Ukraine is still distant but, in February 2022, the filming planned in Moscow is interrupted and the team urgently redeploys to Latvia.

The script evolved to include more and more messages about Russia today and yesterday, and the Russian world before so dear to Putin which “was total chaos and in that way wildly amusing”, says in the film Limonov who has a love-hate bond with the USSR.

In the evening, “The Substance” by French director Coralie Fargeat, a feminist horror film, promises a gory moment with Demi Moore who seeks to obtain the best version of herself through the substance of the title.

Crazy freedom

Another feminist film, this time out of competition, that of the Frenchwoman Noémie Merlant: “Women on the balcony”, where she plays alongside Souheila Yacoub (seen in “Dune II”) and Sanda Codreanu. A very beautiful charge against toxic patriarchy, shot with crazy freedom.

Kevin Costner came to show off his baby for which he told AFP that, like Francis Ford Coppola, he had to commit his personal fortune by mortgaging “his house”. “Horizon: An American saga” is a western which is divided into several parts and which the actor began writing… 36 years ago.

Almost halfway through the competition, many critics are predicting a prize for “Emilia Perez” by Jacques Audiard, an extraordinary film about a Mexican drug lord who changes his life and becomes a woman. Even a second Palme d’Or for its director.

“Like a rose that blooms in the middle of a minefield, it is a miracle that +Emilia Perez+ by Jacques Audiard exists”, marvels Variety in the United States, when the Guardian in the United Kingdom salutes “a story totally implausible (…) driven by a Broadway-style kitsch energy.”

In France, Le Figaro came away delighted with this film on transidentity which breaks macho codes, and predicts that “this burning epic towards redemption (…) will make things happen”.



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