15th October 2016 8.30pm at Embankment Garden Cinema
16th October 2016 3.00pm at Embankment Garden Cinema
Nocturama is a compelling French-language film by Bertrand Bonello about a group of Paris-dwelling youths who are conspiring to set the entire city ablaze. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks this might seem appalling, but Nocturama is truly unique for its daring ambiguity.
These attractive-looking kids are from radically different social strata. So what transpired to bring them together to commit such terror? It seems likely that it was school, but this remains uncertain, as Nocturama ardently refuses to provide us with a justification, while likewise not mentioning why these kids do what they do. But this frustrating aspect is what gives the movie its brilliance.
Nocturama commences protractedly – we see our radicalised protagonists on the Métro de Paris, jointly or separately executing their plans. Subsequently they hide in a posh shopping centre with no knowledge of what is happening or whether it’s known they are the culprits. The tension is expertly built in this movie. The curiosity remains as to what will follow. Some obscure moments are cleared up with cleverly placed flashback scenes, which makes Nocturama reminiscent of crime classics like Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, as that film was also characterised by its highly unconventional narrative techniques.
The soundtrack, which is mainly the kids listening to the expensive stereo equipment at the shopping centre, is also inventive. Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair is used to accompany the news of the tragedy and there is an amusing lip-synced rendition of My Way.
The performances of the actors in Nocturama were stellar, and despite the terror they committed you cannot help but feel sympathetic towards these youths, as they are portrayed as your average teens who… wandered.
Nocturama does not have a UK release date yet.
For further information about the 60th London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Nocturama here: