Avida at the pinnacle of absurdity
A journey into humoristic and absurdist territory, Avida [+see also:
film profile], the second feature by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern after Aaltra, screened this afternoon out of competition as part of the official selection at Cannes.
Opening with Fernando Arrabal dressed as a rhinoceros hunter for the occasion, the film makes use of absurd gags and dialogue and a humoristic tone that, understandably, was not unanimously received by audiences. Filmed in black and white, Avida openly borrows from the silent cinema of Buster Keaton, Italian comedies such as Dino Risi’s I Mostri and even Monty Python films.
Depicting the misadventures of two Ketamine addicts and a deaf-mute reminiscent of Frankenstein (all three of whom work in a zoo), the film tells the story – along with other surprises – of their failed attempt to kidnap a dog from a billionairess and the unexpected consequences.
The film’s stars include Claude Chabrol, Jean-Claude Carrière (Buñuel's favourite screenwriter), Albert Dupontel, Bouli Lanners, Remo Forlani, singer Stéphane Sanseverino and Kati Outinen (Best Actress Award at Cannes in 2002 for Aki Kaurismaki’s A Man Without a Past [+see also:
film profile]). A randomly chosen cast for an unclassified film that jumps from pure burlesque to sarcastic social criticism, without ever crossing the line of absurdity to the extreme.
Co-produced by MNP (director Mathieu Kassovitz’s company), StudioCanal and No Money Productions, Avida, which is being sold internationally by Films Distribution, was made on a €1.1m budget that included a pre-sales agreement from Canal +.
(Translated from French)
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