Neïl Beloufa | France 2017, 73 minutes | 9pm, Friday 21 July
The creeping sense that something terrible is about to happen gradually swells to the breaking point, but the presentation of what exactly that something terrible is (and just how terrible we’re talkin’ here) and what happens next is an utter blast to behold (think The Towering Inferno meets the May ’68 riot scenes in Regular Lovers). – Dan Sullivan, Film Comment
The mood is heated. Demonstrations are taking place across France, also in front of the Paris hotel where an Italian named Giorgio is booking the bridal suite for him and his boyfriend Antonio. Hotel manager Diana doesn’t trust them and calls the police to get rid of the odd couple. Italians? Homosexuals? Criminals? In the charged atmosphere of the Hotel Occidental, little is needed for initial suspicions to be aroused.
Shot on a swaggeringly artificial set (later an installation), artist Neïl Beloufa’s Occidental is half thriller/half screwball comedy—perhaps the only tone fit for today’s political realities.
Occidental is preceded by Sarah Winchester, Phantom Opera (Bonello, 2016, 24 minutes).
D Neïl Beloufa S Neïl Beloufa P Jacques Dodart, Hugo Jeuffrault and Pierre Malachin C Guillaume Le Grontec E Ermanno Corrado
Language: French with English Subtitles
Distribution: MPM Film DCP
Unrated 15 +