Friday, June 05, 2015

Carne (1991 film)

Written and directed by Gaspar Noe, Carne is the story of a butcher who is trying to raise his mute daughter by himself as he is tempted by ideas of incest. The film is a prequel of sorts to the 1998 film I Stand Alone as it plays into a butcher trying to live a simple life despite his own hatred towards the rest of the world. Starring Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankye Pain, and Helene Testud. Carne is an eerie and entrancing short film from Gaspar Noe.

The film revolves the life of a butcher who is trying to raise his daughter while running a butcher shop that serves horse meat. It’s a short film that plays into this unnamed butcher (Philippe Nahon) who has been raising his daughter (Blandine Lenoir) all by himself after his wife left just days after the baby was born. Much of the film is told through inner-monologue where the butcher copes with raising his daughter as she is grown into a teen as he becomes attracted to her. It plays into a man’s inner struggle as well as his views on the world as he keeps to himself and do his work until an incident involving his daughter changes everything. One of which involved an innocent man and other moments that would force the butcher to re-think things in his life as he would get involved into a troubled relationship with a barmaid (Frankye Pain).

Gaspar Noe’s direction is quite simple in terms of compositions but it is also quite extreme in the way he captures some of these intense moments such as the butcher bathing his daughter and drying her body that is definitely creepy. Noe’s approach to close-ups and how he places the camera part of a person’s face is shown plays into how out of step these characters are with the rest of the world. Noe’s usage of zoom lenses for the close-ups are very eerie as it has an abrupt feel to it as it plays into the butcher being confronted by his surroundings. Noe’s usage of low-angles are also mesmerizing to capture not just a man dealing with the changes in his life but also how a mistake would only force him to confront these new realities. Even as Noe would feature graphic depiction of a horse being killed and other things to play into the world of the butcher and how it would differ from the reality around him. Overall, Noe creates a discomforting yet captivating film about a man trying to live a simple life despite his circumstances.

Cinematographer Dominique Colin does excellent work with the film‘s very vibrant yet sepia-based photography that plays into the graininess of the 16mm film stock as well as do great work in capturing the color of red with great detail. Editor Lucile Hadzihalilovic does superb work with the editing to create some unique rhythm and dazzling cuts to play into the intensity of the drama. The sound work of Olivier Le Vacon is fantastic as it features sound effects for some of the transitions and close-ups while capturing some of its sparse moments including the digetic music in the film that features a song by Umberto Tozzi.

The film’s brilliant cast includes a notable small performance from Helene Testud as a maid who looks after the butcher’s daughter while Frankye Pain is wonderful as the demanding barmaid whom the butcher would be with. Blandine Lenoir is amazing as the butcher’s daughter Cynthia as it’s this very silent and entrancing performance that mostly has her watching TV and look very sad as if she has no clue about the world around her. Finally, there’s Philippe Nahon in a phenomenal performance as the butcher as he does a lot of great work with his internal monologues as well as giving a restrained performance as someone that is just trying not to get angry.

Carne is a dark yet riveting short film from Gaspar Noe that features an incredible performance from Philippe Nahon. The film isn’t just a fascinating prequel to I Stand Alone but also a very fascinating short film that plays into a man coming undone by a simple mistake as he was just trying to protect the only thing he loves. In the end, Carne is a remarkable film from Gaspar Noe.

Gaspar Noe Films: I Stand Alone - Irreversible - Enter the Void - Love (2015 film) - Climax (2018 film) - (Lux Aeterna) - Vortex (2021 film) - The Auteurs #48: Gaspar Noe

© thevoid99 2015


Brittani Burnham said...

This sounds really dark and uncomfortable. Great review! I've never heard of it.

thevoid99 said...

I think it's still available on YouTube. It's not an easy short to watch but certainly a thrill.