“Les Femmes du square”, “Ariaferma”, “Les Amandiers”… Films at the cinema this week


New and different ways of grouping occupy many of this week’s cinema releases. In Ariafermaby the Italian Leonardo Di Costanzo, guards and prisoners of an old Sardinian prison in the process of being dismantled are brought to fraternize during an extended stay. The Almond Trees, by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, evoking the ephemeral school of actors directed by Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Romans in the 1980s at the Théâtre de Nanterre, describes the emergence of young people forming one body within a troupe. Finally, Comaby Bertrand Bonello, tells how the Internet combined with confinement is redefining our relationship with others.

“Ariaferma”: prison as utopia

Here we are in the cinema, but also somewhere in the theatre: imagine a circular, central space, similar to a panoptic surveillance device. In the arid mountains of Sardinia, the prison of Mortana (an invented name) is about to be dismantled. Its director is about to leave, but the transfer of the last detainees is suddenly interrupted for administrative reasons. Gargiuolo (Toni Servillo), an experienced goalkeeper, is appointed temporary manager and will have to manage the transition with a handful of colleagues, until the situation is unblocked. Guards and inmates took up their new quarters around the central rotunda.

Constantly installing doubt on space, the choreography ofAriaferma, of Italian Leonardo Di Costanzo, would deserve a chapter on its own. By filming an imaginary place of detention, in a disused prison, the director from the documentary, born in 1958, creates more than a fiction: his film is a utopia examining the possibility of a community between guards and prisoners. Clarisse Fabré

Italian and Swiss film by Leonardo Di Costanzo. With Toni Servillo, Silvio Orlando, Fabrizio Ferracane, Salvatore Striano (1h57).

“Les Amandiers”: rising sap

Late 1980s. A forecourt, a cold sky, a swarm of coats and turtlenecks… Dozens of young people crowd towards a large building with red metal siding. They look for their name on a piece of paper glued to a glass door. Unleashing of tears, anger or joy. The admitted will form the second (and last) promotion of the school founded by Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Romans (both now deceased) at the Théâtre des Amandiers, in Nanterre.

Presented in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Almond trees, by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, former student of the class (which also had Eva Ionesco, Agnes Jaoui, Vincent Perez or Bruno Todeschini), traces the first months of learning for these girls and boys. A search for alchemy, a fanfare of emotions, slamming doors, flushed cheeks, plasticity of bodies turning around, looking at each other and loving each other, the film crackles in the heart of the troupe. The apprentice actors play together, love each other, argue, devour each other, make love… We don’t enter Les Amandiers like in any other school. Maroussia Dubreuil

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“Les Femmes du square”, “Ariaferma”, “Les Amandiers”… Films at the cinema this week