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Best Canadian First Feature Film Toronto International Film Festival 2009, Winner Audience Award 2010 Slamdance Film Festival

The Wild Hunt

2009, regia di Alexandre Franchi


Scheda: Nazione: Canada - Produzione: Animist Films, Mad Monkey Films - Distribuzione: Hannover House, TVA Films - SceneggiaturaAlexandre Franchi, Mark Antony Krupa - FotografiaClaudine Sauvé - MontaggioStephen Philipson, Arthur Tarnowski - ScenografiaKatka Hubacek - CostumiPatricia McNeil - MusicheVincent Hänni, Gabriel Scotti - Effetti specialiiFrancis Bernard, Alexandra Vaillancourt - Formato: Color - Durata: 96'.

Cast: Ricky Mabe, Mark Antony Krupa, Trevor Hayes, Kaniehtiio Horn, Kent McQuaid, Claudia Jurt, Nicolas Wright, Kyle Gatehouse, Terry Simpson, Spiro Malandrakis, Victor Trelles, Martin Stone, Holly O'Brien, Nicholas Simard, Claude Gauthier, Orn Arnason.





Trama e commenti: - - - «Evelyn lascia il fidanzato Erik per andare nei boschi dove si svolge un gioco di ruolo (in gergo, “Larp”, live action role-playing) che porta i partecipanti a vestire i panni di Celti e Vichinghi. In passato anche Erik partecipava agli stessi giochi, ma oggi, assorbito dalle faccende della vita quotidiana (il lavoro, la cura del padre malato), li ritiene stupidi (“giocare tutta la vita è da perdenti”). Temendo che la fidanzata lo abbandoni per sempre, questa volta, però, la segue: il suo arrivo sul campo da gioco porta a un superamento dei confini tra la realtà e la messa in scena che si concluderà con esiti tragici. The Wild Hunt parte da uno spunto originale che consiste nell’ambientare nel contesto dei giochi di ruolo la classica idea del contrasto e della mescolanza tra finzione e realtà (da molti film esplorato in relazione alle dinamiche di un set cinematografico o all’allestimento di uno spettacolo teatrale). Sullo sfondo di questo spunto narrativo stanno poi risvolti ambiziosi. Nell’angoscia di Erik (i “sogni oscuri” che lo affliggono) – e nella contrapposizione tra lui e il fratello che ancora crede in questi giochi e ai miti che vi stanno dietro (i due personaggi possono essere visti come due facce di uno stesso individuo) – si intravede il tema della perdita di senso di cui parlano i filosofi del “postmoderno” e i sociologi della “società liquida” e, quindi, il tema dell’invenzione di riti e di azioni collettive che diano all’esistenza degli individui un significato che trascenda le contingenze della vita quotidiana. Ma se, come si diceva, lo spunto di The Wild Hunt è interessante, la realizzazione non appare all’altezza dell’idea di partenza. La prima parte, che si sviluppa con toni di commedia venati da un po’ di malinconia, soffre di qualche lentezza, ma, complessivamente, funziona e, con il suo andirivieni tra la realtà più prosaica e la dimensione del fantasy, diverte. Quando però cambia direzione con una svolta tragica e truculenta del tutto esagerata e non adeguatamente preparata e "giustificata", il film perde la bussola. Si conclude così accumulando più di un finale e lasciando emergere anche qualche ambiguità nella risoluzione del tema della violenza e dell’“eroismo”» (Rinaldo Vignati).

Plot Summary, Synopsis, Review: IMDb - - - - «After his girlfriend Evelyn (Kaniehtiio Horn) leaves for a weekend claiming to need some space, Montreal native Erik Magnusson (Ricky Mabe) realizes fairly quickly she’s heading off to join his older brother Bjorn (Mark Antony Krupa) in the Canadian wilderness to partake in his medieval re-enactment games. Never a fan of these events, especially as they’ve forced him to stay at home at take care of their sick father all on his own, the young man nonetheless swallows his pride and follows the woman he loves into nature, scared he might be losing her to his sibling’s silly and secluded fantasy world. Things are even worse than he imagined. Evelyn has been captured by Shaman Murtagh (Trevor Hayes) a charismatic player role-playing as a Barbarian mystic who has become dangerously infatuated with the young woman. Bjorn quickly convinces Erik that the only way for him to win back his lady love is to embrace his Viking heritage and play the game like everyone else in the camp, the two entering into an uneasy alliance the former hopes will fix the growing divide keeping them apart. The Wild Hunt could be some sort of wacky and unhinged romantic comedy based on that description, but it’s not. It could be some sort of dark and twisted psychological study of societal misfits drowning in their own fantasies, and while the movie certainly goes in that direction (especially during the last 15 minutes) I wouldn’t really say it’s that, either. Instead, even with the setting, the costumes and the twisted nature of the final act, director Alexandre Franchi’s film is really nothing more than your basic Mumblecore semi-romantic independent drama the type of which Jay and Mark Duplass, Lynn Shelton and Joe Swanberg have been making since we entered into a new millennium. Not that there is anything wrong with that. There is a sweet simplicity to the basic relationships here that’s even with all the Viking jargon, Barbarian paraphernalia and Arthurian gibberish most of it comes through rather strongly. I liked Erik, and as silly as his journey for romantic reconciliation sometimes became it somehow still felt genuine to me. I also really liked how Krupa (who co-wrote the script with Franchi) manages to find Bjorn’s center, and as larger than life as his character is there the actor still manages to make him relatable in human in a way that’s surprisingly touching. But there is no getting past the fact that nothing much happens here, and although the surroundings are intriguing the central problems facing the two lovebirds is nothing to write home to mom about. It does not help that the filmmakers do not give viewers a solid insight into their relationship pre-medieval re-enactment camp, and while I’ve already said how much I liked Erik I can’t say the same for Evelyn. She comes across as a bit of a brain dead narcissist, and why our hero would be so crestfallen for her was something I could never quite figure out. It should also be noted that when this picture goes off the rails it does so in a way that is brutally unforgiving and maybe even a tiny bit off-putting. While this mental breakdown transforms into a physical violence with relative believability, I’m not sure the Shakespearean overtones of the final moments have been even close to earned. This is one of those times where I sat in the theatre mouth agape not quite believing what it was I was bearing witness to, and the longer I ruminate on it now the more it frustrates me. The film does look fairly stunning considering its low budget roots, Claudine Sauvé’s cinematography particularly striking. Franchi also manages to stage a few wonderfully intimate moments especially between Erik and Bjorn, while Evelyn’s final scene is almost hypnotic in its hauntingly tragic beauty. I also found the look on Murtagh’s face as he finally stopped to take in the carnage he unwittingly unleashed was breathtaking, the actor having a moment of quiet poignancy I found to be rather emotionally profound. All that said, and as much as bits and pieces stay in my memory and hold me captivated, on the whole I can’t say The Wild Hunt is a picture I’m likely to ever return to again in the future. I just didn’t feel like it earned the human wreckage left in its wake, that it took too long to get to its sensationalistic denouement that ultimately brought things full circle. Nice performances, interesting ideas and intriguing visuals aside, the final product is as cold as the environment its set in, and as such my medieval instincts are to urge people to ultimately leave this particular picture alone» (Sara Michelle Fetters).

Approfondimenti: Movie Review

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