This week on the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re featuring a Q&A from the 60th New York Film Festival with director Albert Serra on Pacifiction, moderated by FLC’s Senior Director of Programming Florence Almozini, and a special programmers preview with the curators behind the 51st Dance on Camera Festival, taking place through Monday and featuring 30 new films from 35 countries.
Watch/listen to the discussions below and don’t forget to subscribe here for more filmmaker conversations.
Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra reconfirms his centrality in the contemporary cinematic landscape with this mesmerizing portrait of a French bureaucrat (a monumental Benoît Magimel) drifting through a fateful trip to a French Polynesian island with increasing anxiety. Pacifiction charts the various uneasy relationships that develop between Magimel’s autocratic yet avuncular High Commissioner, De Roller, and the Indigenous locals (including nonprofessional actor Pahoa Mahagafanau in a hypnotic breakthrough as De Roller’s trusted right hand and maybe lover) who operate essentially under his faux-benevolent thumb, many of whom we meet at a resort that caters to the prurient exoticism of foreign tourists. Serra’s gripping, atmospheric thriller is a slow-building fever dream that lulls before catching us by surprise with the depths of its darkness, a film that allows its incisive social commentary about the remnants of colonialism to surface through quiet observation and aesthetic audacity.