Job by Alexis Lebrun April 14, 2021
On the occasion of the unpublished broadcast of the film ENRAGÉ (Derrick Borte, 2020) with Russell Crowe, OCS has concocted a special program until April 23 around the “nervous”, these completely crazy male characters who often freak out in a surge of violence.
Losers who go into a spin
All it takes is often a spark to tip seemingly very calm characters into a destructive madness. After a slow bubbling, they explode like a pressure cooker and reveal their dark side. In ENRAGÉ (Derrick Borte, 2020), this trigger comes from an apparently banal scene of confusion between a driver and a driver.
The first (Caren Pistorius) is a divorced woman who is getting impatient: she is late to bring her son to school, and honks the car which is blocking her way at a traffic light. The driver (Russell Crowe) does not like this episode and asks her to apologize, but after having suffered a flat refusal, he flies into a mad rage and begins to stalk her to attack her. This is the starting point of a very harrowing thriller in the mode of chase, where the impressive stature and the menacing gaze of Russell Crowe sparks.
Derrick Borte’s feature film is inevitably reminiscent of a film that caused quite a stir when it was released: FREEFALL (1993), directed by Joel Schumacher. Michael Douglas shines there in the skin of a divorced unemployed man who suddenly freaks out while stuck in traffic jams in Los Angeles.
This trigger gives rise to a series of violent scenes where he lets his frustration burst out, and the film contains its share of controversial scenes, without forgetting that his character has become emblematic of the very pejorative figure of the “angry white male”. But CHUTE LIBRE is also a funny film and more relevant than ever, which also offers a large number of levels of reading and interpretation thanks to its reflections on current society, in particular American.
Another divisive film from the 1990s, THE FAN (Tony Scott, 1996) can fortunately also count on a solid acting performance, thanks to the performance of Robert De Niro in the role of a baseball fan who has lost his family. and his job.
The latter develops a morbid obsession for the star player of his team, whose poor performances worry him. Completely shaken, the poor fellow decides to take radical measures to remedy this situation, which launches the gears of a thriller for the less original.
Serial killers with a strong taste for blood
In this category, there are logically two gore films, led by characters who compete in cruelty and who are each suffering from particularly serious psychological problems. The most recent is MANIAC (2012), a remake of a fairly cult B-movie released in 1980 under the same name, and signed at the time by William Lustig.
The contemporary version – which we owe to French director Franck Khalfoun – retains the same bloody plot: a schizophrenic serial killer (Elijah Wood) and traumatized by his childhood with his mother (from whom he inherited a model store), can’t resist the urge to kill and scalp young women… An arty horror film (it was presented at Cannes) not to be shown in front of everyone’s eyes, especially since its production voluntarily places us from the point killer’s point of view: most of the scenes are filmed in first person view.
At least as disturbing, AMERICAN PSYCHO (Mary Harron, 2000) is without a doubt the best-known film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial literary work. It must be said that this is his best-known and most controversial novel, whose film of the same name obviously takes up the protagonist, namely Patrick Bateman, a yuppie obsessed with success and the outward signs of wealth, and who satisfies his psychopathic impulses at night, where he kills, tortures and inflicts atrocious abuse on women and the homeless mainly, even if he also hates gays.
A big fan of Donald Trump, this iconic character of 1980s Reaganism is wonderfully played by Christian Bale, who succeeds in particular in the challenge of restoring the grand-guignolesque dimension of Patrick Bateman on the screen, knowing that the scenes of violence are much less explicit in the film than in the novel. And the rest of the cast is incredible, since we find there Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Chloë Sevigny and Justin Theroux.
Vindicators who don’t cut corners
If the utter immorality of Frank Zito and Patrick Bateman is unbearable to you, perhaps the two anti-heroes that follow will be more to your liking. But be careful, it’s still in your interest not to be shy. And for good reason, in A BEAUTIFUL DAY (2017), presented in competition at Cannes by director Lynne Ramsay, Joaquin Phoenix embodies a sort of spiritual son of Travis Bickle, the tortured taxi driver in TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese, 1976). His character is indeed a former soldier who keeps heavy psychological scars from the war, and who has become a savior of women who are victims of human trafficking.
And if the final scene of TAXI DRIVER with Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster already freaks you out, know that it’s nothing compared to what our hitman faces to find the daughter of a senator. Its methods are of the expeditious kind, and A BEAUTIFUL DAY is a film with more than explicit violence, wrapped in a perfectly mastered direction and which can count on a Joaquin Phoenix in top form. It is not for nothing that he won the best actor award at Cannes, where the film was also awarded the screenplay award.
We stay in New York and in the tradition of Marty with a cult film publicly praised by Martin Scorsese precisely: BAD LIEUTENANT, released by Abel Ferrara in 1992. We find there one of the director’s favorite actors, Harvey Keitel, in the skin of a crooked cop and junkie who takes it into his head to find those responsible for the rape of a nun in a church, in order to receive a reward which should allow him to pay his debts to his creditors who threaten to kill him. Vibe.
Controversial film and shot in unimaginable conditions today, with a cocktail of violence, sex and drugs that has lost none of its sulphurous character nearly thirty years after its release, BAD LIEUTENANT is a unique film with a Harvey Keitel in a state of grace in this role of anti-hero in search of redemption, and who also has nothing to envy to De Niro in TAXI DRIVER. But don’t you dare imitate them…