Canada | 2021 | 75min
Director: Denis Côté
Screeanwriter: Denis Côté
Cinematography: François Messier-Rheault
Editing: Nicolas Roy
Producer: Denis Côté, Aonan Yang
Antonin is a bit of a dandy. He has a way with words that could have made him a famous writer, but instead mostly serves to get him out of trouble. Torn between twin urges to be part of society and also to escape it, his charm and wit are put to the test by five women who are about to lose their patience with his live and let live attitude: his sister, his wife, the woman he desires, a tax collector and a victim of his mischief.
All of Berlinale regular Denis Côté’s films are unique, but SOCIAL HYGIENE feels defiantly free, and bears testimony to the way in which the constraints of a pandemic can be the mother of invention when it comes to cinematic forms and storytelling. Côté’s use of language is playful, unchained. And as he gradually homes in on his verbally jousting protagonists, one ponders the sheer joy of being given such an opportunity to explore the penetrating impact of diction and tonal shifts. In fact, the charismatic actors are also clearly relishing this socially hygienic reaffirming of a performing troupe’s creative energy.
Berlinale 2021 Encounters
Born in New Brunswick, Canada in 1973, after studying film he made shorts and worked for several years as a film critic. In 2005, he made his feature debut with DRIFTING STATES which won the Golden Leopard in the video competition at Locarno. After the Forum screened his internationally celebrated film BESTIAIRE in 2012, VIC+FLO ONT VU UN OURS took part in the Competition. MAY WE SLEEP SOUNDLY screened in the Forum, while BORIS SANS BEATRICE and GHOST TOWN ANTHOLOGY were both in the Competition. He has already had 20 retrospectives devoted to his work around the world.