Olivier Assayas’s Non-Fiction is a Funny but Empty Comedy: TIFF Review


Olivier Assayas is the sort of director whose films talk quite a lot but he’s also one to lose himself in that conversation, and Non-Fiction builds itself within that realm. Yet there’s also another level to which the films of Assayas can find themselves teetering between being as insightful as ever or outright self-indulgent. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of his work, for his ability to make the very most out of small conversations that happen within the heat of the moment already feels like enough to make for something entertaining – and while I’m not going to deny that Non-Fiction has its more entertaining moments, I ended up leaving with an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction over myself. It stings even more, because this still remains the Olivier Assayas that I’ve always loved – yet here I am torn between deciding whether this is where he feels worn out or maybe I’m the one being worn and alienated. But I think if there’s anything else that I can say about what I’ve learned about Assayas from the many films of his that I’ve watched, it would be that I’ve always admired him more as a writer than I did as a director.

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2017: A Year in Review

Another year is complete, but not without having talked about the wonderful experiences we’ve had at the cinemas. Together with the not-so-wonderful films. But alas, this has been an extraordinary year for films for the highlights still managed to stick their landing inside of our minds – and the inevitable “what about such and such?” will come but I will remind you that it would have been outright impossible for me to have been able to catch virtually every movie that had come out the previous year to make sure I wouldn’t forget other highlights that may not have made it.
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Personal Shopper – Review


I’m still trying to piece together what exactly it was about Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper that didn’t work so well for me on my first viewing, because on another go I suddenly had found myself loving it to the point I don’t even remember what I thought was wrong about the film in the first place. And knowing already what Olivier Assayas had managed to bring out of Kristen Stewart from Clouds of Sils Maria, it was only fair to expect more greatness coming along from both one of the most fascinating directors working today as well as one of the most interesting actresses of her own generation. To say the least, there was a resonant effect present in Personal Shopper that only kept it lingering in my head since my first viewing, and on rewatch I quickly saw why it begun to stuck with me.

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Demonlover – Review


Now for one of the most underrated films of its own time we talk about Olivier Assayas’s Demonlover, which has found itself categorized as a part of the New French Extremity movement. This erotic thriller drew a wide range of reactions going from great dislike to high praise. On behalf of the latter half of its own audience what I can only come to say about Demonlover is that it might indeed very well be one of Olivier Assayas’s best films. If there was anything to be proven with Demonlover it was that Assayas was certainly amongst the most versatile filmmakers of his very own kind, going from experimental drama films now to a cyberpunk erotic thriller – it’s a shame that this film has gone underseen over the years but here’s hoping it gets a critical reevaluation that I believe it deserves. Perhaps it may prove a baffling work for some but I still think there’s something all the more hypnotizing about that quality to Assayas’s work: and it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Boarding Gate – Review


My great admiration for Olivier Assayas’s films has only pushed me further to getting around to Boarding Gate in spite of its mixed reception after finding nothing but excellence in another fairly polarizing effort in his body of work, Demonlover. If a pairing of Asia Argento and Michael Madsen could not even manage to make what should sound thrilling any more than such, where did everything go wrong? Soon I remembered that there was a commentary behind Demonlover which at least granted even more intrigue for the material it was presenting but memories of Something in the Air came by, for this may be the worst Olivier Assayas film I’ve come around to.

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