Cinema releases: “The Green Flame”, “Los Delicuentes”, “Apolonia, Apolonia”, “No Waves”, “The Queen’s Game”…


In theaters this week, an Iranian fable by Mohammad Reza Aslani, a little-known but first-rate director; an Argentinian tandem that gently breaks the bank; a portrait of French figurative painter Apolonia Sokol, a rising artist; gems of Soviet animation; or the adaptation of a trilogy on the Tudor dynasty in England.


“The Green Flame”: a Persian tale about the vanity of power

The shock produced upon its release, in August 2021, by L’Echiquier du vent (1976), a cursed Iranian film, banned and then miraculously exhumed forty years later, had alerted us to the existence by Mohammad Reza Aslani, a first-rate artist who has escaped the net of the cinephile watchdog. In addition to an experimental production in short formats, which earned him the suspicious label of “intellectual” filmmaker, he was only able to finalize two feature-length fiction films, thirty-two years apart.

It is now up to the most recent of them, La Flamme verte (2008), to be released in theaters, thanks to a freshly restored copy. A family crossing the desert by car stops in front of a fortress. Guided by a prophecy announcing her marriage to a dead man, Nardaneh, evading the supervision of her parents, finds an inanimate man at the back of a room, his torso pierced with seven thorns. A grimoire left at his bedside teaches him how to bring him back to life, provided he reads the seven stories its pages contain. Each is an opportunity to replay in different eras the meeting between the lovers, cast in the shoes of legendary characters. A fable emerges, not hazardous under this regime, about the vain glory of commanding. Ma. Mt.

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“Los Delicuentes”: take the sorrel and get out, Argentinian style

Signed by an Argentinian filmmaker rare in our region, Rodrigo Moreno, Los Delicuentes features two modest servants of a banking system which dazzles them daily without depriving them of its comfort. Their names are Roman and Moran. The anagrammatic tandem – touchstone of a narration haunted by duplication – is put at the service of a heist film which breaks even before the crime takes place.

Moran gently steals $650,000 from the establishment, entrusts the package to Roman, and expects three years in prison before returning to share this loot with the accomplice. On the program: refusal of productivist routine and existential income, poetic impulse towards Edenic lands, love to live now or never – of which the very construction of the story, adventurous and disaffected, adopts the beautiful utopia.

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