Thomas Vinterberg gets drunk on his own importance in 'Another round'

Thomas Vinterberg gets drunk on his own importance in 'Another round'

Danish director disguises 'Another round' as a psychological experiment, a moral fable about alcohol as falsely daring as it is conservative and confusing

Thomas Vinterberg gets drunk on his own importance in 'Another round'

A man alone before a cliff is a conscious man; aware of his fear, of his radical freedom (to commit suicide even) and of the deep sense of time. Yours. Everyone's. Kierkegaard called it anguish. And he placed in the hands of that paralyzing and terribly lucid sensation a millimeter out of nowhere the key to finding the meaning of almost everything. Thomas Vinterberg is, like the seductive Danish philosopher and theologian, distressingly Danish even. Now let us reimagine the hero who walks on the edge of the abyss, but drunk, so completely drunk that to the consciousness of himself and his time not necessarily happy, he adds the uncertainty of a simple stumble. Keep in mind that if you leave alive, you have the certainty of a hangover. Well this is 'Another round ', the harrowing star film of the day at Zinemaldia.

The director returns to the actor Mads Mikkelsen , with whom he would love so much 'The hunt' (2012). The whole film is supported by an experiment that four teachers undergo at first happily then not so much. “What if we force ourselves to maintain a blood alcohol level for the entire duration of a normal workday? What if we bring the experience to every second of our well-off perfectly bourgeois lives?” The protagonists say to themselves.

Thomas Vinterberg gets drunk on his own importance in 'Another round'

Let's say that Vinterberg, not in vain director of ' Celebration ', plays to provoke, to dislodge or to simply make reality (hence the provocation) what the common macho-facade , that Cristina Morales would say, in which we lived installed for a long time which he accepted as a hallmark: drinking lightens conscience and makes us more sincere. 'In vino veritas' , as Pliny the Elder would say. After all, how many of the men (always men) we admire are not or were consummate drinkers, though not necessarily holy? Churchill, Roosevelt, Hemingway, Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson, Scott Fitzgerald … Here, as the film itself points out, the only abstainer is Hitler.

The daring of the film is the starting point: the clarity of the abyss that is so popular in Denmark. They choose to drink not exactly for pleasure or just to see what happens, but to refute everything, to check the exact boundary of the loosely common and sincerely crappy place of the 'sincere drunk', call it that. So far, little to discuss. The film progresses precisely, completely free and commanded by simply great performances of pure wobbly. But one would say that Vinterberg stumbles again (now with more reason due to alcohol in the blood) as only he likes in a markedly moral and only falsely disruptive filmography.

As in ' The Hunt', that film that impressed so much despite its lacerating conservatism, the director does not hesitate to ruin much of what he has achieved when in the middle of the film he seems to be scared of the place he is going, which is none other than emptiness . And so, what wanted to be a devastating nihilist manifesto as close to ' Celebration ' as far from Alcoholics Anonymous, ends in the vagueness of the sentimental, in the complacency of the melodramatic. Such a trip to end up convinced that excesses are paid or that you have to drink, yes, but in moderation, it seems somewhat sad.

In other words, Vinterberg promises a detailed deconstruction of every hypocritical, macho and lacerating gesture that surrounds the culture of alcohol; Viterbergh seems to venture the thesis that the problem is not what we do when we drink, but the quiet drunkenness of a reality that passes for sober … And no. As we said, he takes a step back and prefers to lighten his voice, obscure the narration and pretend a depth that, in reality, is only a record of his most intimate confusion. And so. Kierkegaard, say something.

THE EMPIRE AND THE SENSES

For the rest, the official section, along with Viterbergh and the stunning, sincere, brutal, sad and very funny documentary 'Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan' (see chronicle), directed by Julien Temple and produced by Johnny Depp , the official section was completed with ' Simple Passion ', by Danielle Arbid and with the dancer Sergei Polunin and the actress Laetitia Dosch in the respective roles of meat of the meat of the other. And backwards.

Few exercises in cinema so elementary and so rigorous. The story focuses on the first scene in which the two lovers love each other. He threatens to move forward a couple of times and as many times he gets closer to the closest thing to destruction. But fear stays in fear stopped; in frozen simplicity; in the brightest of reds. It does not disappoint because its destiny is none other than to disappoint. There are no false expectations, because there can be no such thing as an expectation. It is not the first time that the cinema has rehearsed a display of naked passion like this, but it likes to remember it.

Also here (as in 'Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan' , by the way) there is an abyss. And drunkenness. But without morals.

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