France, 2011 (MIFF 2012, International Panorama)

Director: Nicolas Klotz, Elisabeth Perceval

“From Cocteau to Garrel, there's long been an intensely oneiric strain to French cinéma fantastique, of which Low Life is a powerful example.” - Film Comment

Set in present-day Lyon, Low Life follows a group of 20-somethings who spend their days debating abstract ideas of love, poetry and philosophy. At a political protest, the mesmerising Carmen meets Hussain, an Afghani poet who resides in France illegally, and the two embark on an intense affair. However, when Hussain receives his expulsion orders, Carmen shuts herself away with him and forbids him to leave.

Intense and at times hallucinatory, Low Life - by masterful French auteurs Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval - combines its rich, dreamlike strain with a fierce political intent. Its philosophical, poetic focus on anguished youth continues a tradition of cinema that includes Jean Eustache's The Mother and The Whore, Philippe Garrel's Regular Lovers and Robert Bresson's The Devil, Probably.

D Nicolas Klotz, Elisabeth Perceval P Agora Films S Elisabeth Perceval WS Les Films du Losange L French w/English subtitles TD DCP/2011

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