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Cannes 2019: “La Gomera”, a Noir with Black Humor and Interesting Twists

     La Gomera, Corneliu Porumboiu`s fifth feature film, had the premiere on Saturday evening, at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is in competition. The film crew was received with big rounds of applause at the world premiere and enjoyed a lot of attention from the international critics.
     The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “This highly entertaining but dense tale of a cop double-crossing both his department and the gangsters with whom he`s in cahoots constantly corkscrews around in every sense, deploying flashbacks frequently as it reveals twist after twist.”   “Porumboiu`s recurring preoccupation with language, loyalty and the legacy of Nicolae Ceaușescu`s repressive regime is still there, just approached from another angle.” “The whole package is perfectly enjoyable.”
     IndieWire wrote that Porumboiu`s film is “A polished mashup of genre motifs that suggests what might happen if the Ocen`s 11 gang assembled on the Canary Islands. (…) The Whistlers is a covert remake, since it revisits the energy and wit of heist movies before it, as well as the filmmaker`s own structural sophistication of his previous works and revitalizes both traditions in the process. (…) Porumboiu, a cerebral director whose narrative style always comes equipped with a prankish spirit, imbues this slick ensemble piece with a wry agenda. (…) Porumboiu treasures the chemistry between his characters.(…) Catrinel Marlon`s dynamic screen presence makes her a genuine discovery.”
     The Wrap finds that “Porumboiu`s film is an oversized, deliciously twisted ride that slips in references to John Wayne and Alfred Hitchcock.” “It is an oversized, deliciously twisted ride that runs on an endless supply of black humor and a sizeable body count.” “Porumboiu is in a playful mood from the moment the film opens with Iggy Pop`s «The Passenger». “Nobody`s innocent, hardly anybody survives and the ride is stylish fun the whole bloody way.”
     Screen Daily appreciated that “ever since his breakout film, 12.09 East of Bucharest, the Romanian auteur Corneliu Porumboiu has been interested in what language can reveal and conceal.”
     And Variety said that “the film is an enjoyable affair with just enough of a slant to feel a little offbeat. (…) The director has long been established as the most skewedly humorous of the Romanian New Wave brigade, but that mischief-maker reputation does not mean his films have lacked substance. If anything, his style of disingenuously deadpan wit has given us some of the most lacerating commentary of the whole movement, cutting deeper because the critique is hidden under a smile – or more likely, a slow, owlish blink.  (…) Moments of transcendent grace occur, sometimes in the very last frames, and always in the least encouraging of environments: bureaucratic offices, police stations, living-room sofas, dismal playgrounds.”

Tags: cannes film festival 2019, catrinel marlon menghia, corneliu porumboiu, la gomera film, rodica lazar, vlad ivanov