Review: ‘The Last Shot’

A young Romanian director tries to piece together the mystery of a dissident who moved to France 10 years earlier in "The Last Shot," a semi-parody of the mockumentary genre (itself a parody) that's of interest without being major. Humor is perhaps too sly for this to work outside French-speaking territories, though small-screen buyers could be interested.

A young Romanian director tries to piece together the mystery of a dissident who moved to France 10 years earlier in “The Last Shot,” a semi-parody of the mockumentary genre (itself a parody) that’s of interest without being major. Humor is perhaps too sly for this to work outside French-speaking territories, though small-screen buyers could be interested.

Virgil Iancu (Florin Piersic Jr.) arrives in Paris with an easily bored cameraman friend and no money to track down famed writer Constantin Dolinescu (Mihai Dinvale), whom Ceausescu booted out of Romania a decade earlier. Dolinescu is no longer news and disappeared a while ago after trying to write and direct a Kafkaesque movie, “The Negative,” which no one wants to talk about. After doorstepping various participants (including thesp Pierre Arditi, producer Pierre Drouot and composer Jean-Michel Jarre, playing themselves), and discovering Dolinescu behaved like an egotistical jerk, he finally meets the man himself, leading to a (not unexpected) twist. Director/co-writer Benoit Peeters takes some low-key digs at dissident celebrity and vanity filmmaking, and his cast joins in the spirit without overplaying, with the experienced Arditi especially in synch. Technically, it’s pro.

The Last Shot

(DRAMA -- BELGIAN)

Production

A Les Pierides production. (International sales: Les Pierides, Brussels.) Produced, directed by Benoit Peeters. Screenplay, Peeters, Sandrine Willems, Pierre Drouot. Camera (color), Ella van den Hove; editor, Andre Fosny; music, Ivan Georgiev; art director, Susanna Fossberg. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Filmmakers of the Present),Aug. 6, 1999. Original French title: Le dernier plan: Sur les pas de Constantin Dolinescu. (French and Romanian dialogue.) Running time: 91 MIN.

With

With: Florin Piersic Jr., Manuela Servais, Mihai Dinvale, Pierre Arditi, Jean-Michel Jarre, Pierre Drouot.
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