Parisian composer, DJ and filmmaker Quentin Dupieux is a regular at the Sitges Festival. After
Under arrest (Au Poste)
, last year, he returns with a low-budget film and few actors shot in the Aspe Valley, Atlantic Pyrenees, in the beautiful mountain town of Sarrance, although the film does not specify where the story occurs. The tape is titled
Le Daim (Deerskin)
, and has in the main cast with Jean Dujardin (Georges), famous since he won the Oscar for
, and Adèle Haenel (Denise), whom we have recently seen in 120 beats per minute, A town and its king, Y Portrait of a woman on fire.
Dupieux remains faithful to its purpose of leaving the viewer stunned by pure absurdity and unexpected situations to which more shocking, although it seems to be abandoning the structure of its craziest tapes, some fascinating as the master
, where the metafiction was completely evident and managed to mix the real and the virtual of the television and cinematographic images to the point of breaking with all possible logic. In
, the metafiction is limited to the viewing on the screen of an old digital camera of how much Georges films with it, a series of improvisations with the locals, transcript of cinema verité, while playing a filmmaker in the streets of that mountain town where nobody seems to know anything. But otherwise, the story is linear and there is no abstraction or situations closer to the symbolic or dreamlike; the record is plausible although of course what happens is unheard of.
George is a useless and exploited guy, a narcissistic egocentric who has almost emptied the common bill with his wife to be able to pay for an old authentic Buffalo Bill style jacket for which he feels true fetishism. "You don't exist anymore" she will tell him in a weak attempt by him to return, which gives us an idea of how far the subject can go. The seller, who Georges must have contacted on the Internet, lives in a secluded high mountain place, and presents his client with an old digital camera for the large purchase. Housed in the hotel of a nearby town whose small population is bored mortally, it will register random events until, lost in its solitude and madness, it establishes a dialogue with the jacket. Georges believes that he says he wants to be the only jacket in the world, which coincides with his desire to be the only bearer of one, so he will try to strip everyone of the coat. One night, in a bar conversation with the young woman behind the bar (Denise), and a prostitute without clients (actress Marie Bunel), she pretends to be a film director. Apparently, Denise entertains herself as an editor in her spare time, and seems to be naively excited when Georges proposes to mount the film she is making, in which she registers locals voluntarily stripping off their coats by believing to participate in the film. As the tape progresses, Georges completes his dress with more suede garments (gloves, boots, pants and hat) while his madness pushes him to real nonsense in pursuit of his goal, and Denise, who witnesses those continued nonsense registered with the camera, keep riding excited.
The unusual thing about the situation is that Georges does not seem to have any brakes or empathy, and all nonsense seems the result of a peculiar predestination that chains the apparently fortuitous events without any obstacle in pursuit of the objective: to make the film. What happens is funny, hilarious for incredibly absurd, although, as in every black comedy, also horrifying. It is difficult to determine Dupieux's intentions – and that is probably part of his charm, as one might think of a certain degree of improvisation -, although on this occasion he seems to be befa of a broad spectrum that goes from fetishism to the filmmaker's own craft – it I was already in I did– As complex as it is to exercise it in a sea of lies, impostors and uncertainties: when the time comes, the waitress becomes a producer because she is the one with money and, therefore, is the one in charge; Dupieux seems to add one more injustice in the creative process, without omitting, as the film would also suggest, that anyone is trained to make films for infused science. Loneliness and boredom also explain some more characters. Georges has no true north, and Denise follows the game in a strange symbiosis that contains final surprises.
Dujardin and Haenel build their characters with conviction, in a footage that manages to absorb the viewer, and which states that Dupieux, despite not being a filmmaker in the slightest of masses, has achieved a disturbing discourse and dynamiting style that, for now , keep calling our attention year after year.
The film had its premiere at the Directors' Fortnight of the last Cannes Film Festival.