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The logline for And The World Belongs to Us is: One night, on a bridge… a stabbing. There’s Pouga. And there’s Julien. The two young men could probably have been friends. And yet…
Pouga is a rebel without a cause; he’s got the leather jacket, popped collar, permanent scowl and destructive personality and physical attributes reminiscent of James Dean and subsequently the iconic role he played as Jim Stark – minus the privileged family breeding. Instead he has a Parole Officer he believes he is in love with, and a crook fresh out of prison who lures him into a flawed two-man heist. Then there is Julien; an equally handsome and equally arrogant. A young man who, unlike Pouga, has everything to live for as a promising nation football player, a girlfriend, and a parent who cares. estranged father there is the sad absence of his mother. Both father and son struggle to see eye to eye on what seems like normal problems – Julien likes to party and fancies himself as a bit of a Casanova while his father seems to have a penchant for gambling.
Like many French indies this film is character driven, sometimes the direction of the story is so slow and uneventful, that you’ll wonder what could bring two very different leads to a head? This drawn out theme isn’t for nothing, in fact it begs the question: how many times do you pass someone whom you’ve never met that could change your life forever?
Pouga’s got ‘tragic end’ written all over him, partly due to the choices he makes and no doubt partly due to his upbringing. How he hits rock bottom is uncertain, but we are offered slight glimpses of the compassion and misguided ambition he finds so hard to articulate.
The last twenty minutes of the film offer some fantastic character arching scenes for both young men. It’s also beautifully shot and composed – Pouga’s story offers some of the best and adrenaline inducing scenes in the film whilst Julien’s take on more romantic and sexy undertones typical of what is conventionally familiar in modern french cinema. Impressive acting, wonderful cinematography and a very cool soundtrack makes this film a very good intro to the Raindance festival 2013.
Earthbound is a 100% Irish funded film and like Attack The Block, it merges two polar opposite concepts and throws them together. Science Fiction and comedy is nothing new but placing it in a location and amongst people not usually associated with that genre makes it kind of fresh.
When Joe learns that he and his father are fugitive aliens hiding out on planet Earth his whole world changes forever. For one thing his father dies (that’s not the spoiler guys) then he finds himself, fifteen years later he’s twenty-something, renting a room owned by a snoopy landlord, and working in a unfulfilling job in a comic book shop. There he meets Marie, the antithesis of a manic pixie girl, with large blue eyes and golden Shirley Temple hair, just a straight up no-nonsense lady (who happens to like Battlestar Galactica). She’s an irish beauty and she’s a 90+ percent match for Joe according to his father. Oh yeah, Joe’s dead father can still speak to him via hologram, like in Superman …but fyi, this was made in 2010. Hologram father tells Joe that in order to defeat the Aliens after them, he has to find a woman to bear his child and carry on the lineage before they can return to their home planet Zalaxon. Like a new age story of Moses. Still with me?
The crux of it is he falls in love, but when he tells Maria the truth about his heritage she thinks he’s experiencing a mental breakdown. The race is on when Joe believes he is being hunted by the intergalactic bounty hunters he and his father were hiding from and he has one day to prove to Maria and himself that his life hasn’t been one complete lie.
Mental illness is an issue explored, perhaps lightly, in this film but ultimately it’s a story of self belief, purpose and the jaded view humans sometimes have on the world and those oddball few who stand against it. Joe is a geek, a bit of a loner who believes he is destined for bigger things, but is it all in his head?
The opening credits offer a fun cram session into the back story of Joe’s life and the production value is impressive for an indie debut. If you like Doctor Who and The Man who Fell to Earth – this film should fall in line with your taste and if you just like a fun, well acted comedy with drama, action and romance thrown in for good measure then Earthbound is worth a watch.
Rafe Spall (Life of Pi), David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) and Jenn Murray make up the central cast of this heartwarming.
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