×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

No Rest For The Brave

Call it the new avant-garde, or neo-surrealism, the puzzling yet consistently engaging "No Rest for the Brave" represents, at the very least, a striking first full-length feature for writer-director Alain Guiraudie. "No Rest," packed with visual gags but lacking (deliberately) a plot-line that makes any kind of rational sense, pic will pose a marketing challenge.

With:
Basile/Hector - Thomas Suire Igor - Thomas Blanchard Johnny Got - Laurent Soffiati Bodowski - Vincent Martin Sorano - Pierre-Maurice Nouvel Roger - Roger Guidone Lydie - Nicole Huc Dede - Jean-Claude Baudracco Daniel - Bruno Izarn

Call it the new avant-garde, or neo-surrealism, the puzzling yet consistently engaging “No Rest for the Brave” represents, at the very least, a striking first full-length feature for writer-director Alain Guiraudie (after sub-60 minute pics “Sunshine for the Poor” and “That Old Dream That Moves”). “No Rest,” packed with visual gags but lacking (deliberately) a plot-line that makes any kind of rational sense, pic will pose a marketing challenge, but could well be embraced for its sheer wackiness and unconventionality. It will probably crop up at fests later this summer.

Set in a rural community, pic begins with a lengthy conversation in a bar between two friends, Igor (Thomas Blanchard) and Basile (Thomas Suire). Basile seems strung-out, he raves on about someone or something called Faftao-Laoupo that he seems to have encountered in his dreams, and seems convinced that, if he sleeps again, he will die. Igor is understandably puzzled by his friend’s lengthy, semi-incoherent ramblings, and Basile walks out in disgust. Later, Igor goes to his friend’s village to see how he’s doing, but Basile’s mother complains she hasn’t seen him in ages.

When Igor hears there’s been a massacre in the village, and that 20 people have been shot dead, he goes to investigate. He teams with a journalist, but, as they walk through the deserted village at night, Basile shows up with a rifle and kills them both.

After this rather surprising development, the film switches gears and introduces a whole new set of characters who hang out at the bar run by Dede (Jean-Claude Baudracco). Here we find Basile again, now called Hector, a strange guy who lives with, and sleeps with, a much older man and who is involved in various weird adventures involving a couple of gangsters and a fugitive called Johnny Got (Laurent Soffiati). The increasingly hard-to-follow plot seems to involve drug dealing and revenge, but by now the viewer is likely to be very confused as to the time-frame and the relationship of these scenes to the opening sequences.

Comprehension remains elusive, but the writer-director’s sense of the absurd ensures the film remains watchable even when it’s unfathomable.

In one hilarious scene, Basile gets into a brightly painted light plane and roars up an airstrip. But he never takes off, and it seems this was just a way of transporting himself from A to B. Further, the towns in the district have been given surreal names based on real cities (like Buenauzeres, Glasgaud and Riaux De Janerrot), and just about all the characters behave in the most unconventional ways.

The treatment of this oddity is light, and direction bright and breezy, the ensemble perfs engaging and the location camerawork first class. It’s a film that’s difficult to categorize, but Guiraudie is clearly a talent who should be nurtured and who could well come up with interesting work in the future.

No Rest For The Brave

France-Austria

Production: A Paulo Films (Paris)/Amour Fou Filmproduktion (Vienna) co-production, in association with ARTE France Cinema, Canal Plus, Filmfonds Vienna. (International sales: The Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Natalie Eybrard, Jean-Philippe Labadie. Co-producers, Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu. Directed, written by Alain Guiraudie.

Crew: Camera (color), Antoine Heberle; editor, Pierre Molin; music, Bruno Izarin, Jacques Mestres; production designer, Eric Moulard; costume designer, Karine Vintache; sound (Dolby Digital), Sylvain Girardeau; line producer, Marie-Rose Eybrard; casting, Jean-Claude Montheil. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors Fortnight), May 20, 2003. Running time: 104 MIN.

With: Basile/Hector - Thomas Suire Igor - Thomas Blanchard Johnny Got - Laurent Soffiati Bodowski - Vincent Martin Sorano - Pierre-Maurice Nouvel Roger - Roger Guidone Lydie - Nicole Huc Dede - Jean-Claude Baudracco Daniel - Bruno Izarn

More Film

  • Mortal Engines

    'Mortal Engines' to Lose More Than $100 Million at Box Office

    “Mortal Engines,” a steampunk fantasy adventure, is also an epic flop. With a budget of just over $100 million and tens of millions in global marketing costs, executives at rival studios estimate that the movie will lose upwards of $100 million. Some even project that number could float to more than $125 million. “Mortal Engines” [...]

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. More Reviews [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content