I Put a Spell on You: The Films of Bertrand Bonello
April 29 – May 4
In the cinema of Bertrand Bonello—one of the most daring, intelligent, and virtuosic figures in French cinema today—the human body is constantly under scrutiny: objectified, exchanged, idealized, studied, violated, manipulated, undressed, and dressed up. Few filmmakers working today are as skilled at grounding wide-angle social critiques (of late-capitalist power structures and of the political stagnation in contemporary France) in the physical movement of bodies through space: a couple trapped in winter gridlock; an aging pornographer and his much younger stars; a commune of revolutionary hedonists; a house of 19th-century prostitutes; a psychotic aesthete and the object of his desire; a fashion designer and his rotating coterie of friends and admirers. A trained composer, Bonello approaches his movies like pieces of music, allowing competing tonal elements to collide and rearrange themselves in bracing configurations. On the occasion of the US release of his latest feature film, Saint Laurent (opening at the Film Society on May 8, with a special sneak preview during this retrospective), we are pleased to present Bonello’s body of work, which consistently pushes viewers into new and surprising territory. Programmed by Dennis Lim with Florence Almozini, Dan Sullivan, Rufus de Rham and Tony Trius.
Don't miss a selection of works from Bonello’s recent exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Bertrand Bonello, Résonances, in the Furman Gallery and Film Center Amphitheater.
See more for less with a 3+ Film Package!
Zeroing in on a dark, hedonistic, wildly creative decade in the life of its subject, Bonello’s latest feature is a kaleidoscopic torrent of lavish excess—and a delirious twist on the modern biopic’s rules and limitations. An NYFF52 selection.
Bertrand Bonello Shorts Program
The shorts included here, most of them very seldom screened in the U.S., range from autobiographical reverie (Où en êtes-vous, Bertrand Bonello?) to emotionally charged chamber drama (Cindy: The Doll Is Mine and Where the Boys Are).
House of Pleasures
Q&A with Bertrand Bonello on April 30
This gorgeous, opium-soaked fever dream of life in a Parisian brothel at the turn of the century, filmed with a mixture of casual detachment and needlepoint precision, might be Bonello’s greatest work to date.
Ingrid Caven: Music and Voice
Bonello’s engrossing portrait of Ingrid Caven is a showcase for the work of a truly sui generis musician—a sort of cabaret singer for the 21st century—and a respectful tribute to one artist from another.
Q&A with Bertrand Bonello on May 1
In Bonello’s nutty, exhilarating symphony about an artistic community in revolt, Mathieu Amalric plays a harried filmmaker who, after an on-set brush with death, retreats to a rural hedonist commune.
Introduction by Bertrand Bonello at the 9:30pm screening on April 30
Bonello emerged as a major filmmaker with this ambitious, tragic meditation on what would become two of his recurring obsessions: the use of sex as economic capital, and the post-’68 state of political radicalism in France.
Portrait of the Artist
Bertrand Bonello stars as “Bertrand,” a filmmaker obsessed with monstrosity as the central theme of his new work in this disquieting yet fascinating (and funny!) mixture of body horror and character study.
Introduction by Bertrand Bonello at 9:30pm screening
Bonello’s rarely screened first feature, about a young married couple living in frigid Montreal, starts with the basic materials of the domestic drama and rearranges them in invigorating, startling new configurations.
This lyrical and disturbing modern update of the myth of Tiresias, in which a Brazilian transsexual develops the gift of prophecy after surviving an act of violence, is perhaps Bonello’s richest and most elusive film to date.