Un couteau dans le coeur
starring Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet
screenplay by Yann Gonzalez, Cristiano Mangione
directed by Yann Gonzalez
by Walter Chaw Yann Gonzalez's Knife + Heart is a smart film by a smart filmmaker. It's a movie-lover's fugue, a tribute to the heyday of gay porn and the grindhouse theatres that showed it, a salute to editors, a shrine to multi-cultural myths about birds. It's a deep well with obvious pleasures, a film with a recognizable structure complete with solution that still manages to avoid the standard exposition and perfunctory resolution. The spiritual brother to Brian De Palma's Body Double (exploitative and sleazy and also commentary on exploitation and sleaze), it's a movie about looking that has as its central image a blind grackle--an extinct variety of the common pest that used to bring folks back from the dead by burning off the ever-after as it flew too close to the sun. Its central couple is gay-porn director Anne (Vanessa Paradis) and her editor and former lover Lois (Kate Moran), who churn out the sort of softcore masterpieces of art-film erotica favoured once upon a time by your Kenneth Angers, your Paul Morrisseys and Radley Metzgers. All of her work is autobiographical in some way. There's no line separating Anne's reality, nor her dreamlife, from the mindscreen of her movies.