Damien Odoul’s Deep Breath is equally indebted to Truffuat and Bresson—a frightening day in the life of a teenager (Pierre-Louis Bonnetblanc) who wakes up one day on his uncle’s farm to find himself slowly drawn into an existential crisis. The attention to psychological detail is explicit, like the ghoulish group dinner where men are seen as slaves to routine behavior, and David’s uncle draining the blood of a sheep and removing a pig’s innards. A feast is prepared and David bemoans his boredom; he helps with chores but gets in everyone’s way, seeking comfort in the music everyone else finds offensive. This is a startling vision of angst and arrested development—of not belonging to the world. Drawing a picture of a wolf on his arm, David loses himself to an inner world where he writhes in the nude alongside wild animals. Fantastical images depicting David swimming with his girlfriend inside a pool evoke the young couple’s emotional distance, and when David visits his sweetheart, her fairy-tale abode looms majestically above him—in stark contrast to his uncle’s measly farm. The idle David relishes his freedom though he is wholly oblivious to his moral responsibilities. Secretly longing for his father and acknowledging his respect for the uncle he would appear to loathe, he is oblivious that his boredom and sexual frustration will reach a breaking point. Only a sudden death forces him to acknowledge his adult responsibilities, and by film’s end, Odoul will stunningly blur the line between David’s erotic fantasies and the horrors of the boy’s crumbling reality.
- 77 min
- Damien Odoul
- Damien Odoul
- Pierre-Louis Bonnetblanc, Dominique Chevallier, Maxime Dalbrut, Jean-Claude Lecante, Jean Milford, Stéphane Terpereau
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