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Boston Underground Film Festival 2019 Review: “Knife+Heart” (2018) ★★★


Certain films must be seen with our own eyes to witness how good or bad it is. For instance, after so many bad reviews received by Yann Gonzalez’s “Knife+Heart”, I finally got the chance to see it as part of the Boston Underground Film Festival and realized that how big the disconnect is between viewers and some stories that require extreme open-mindedness which the recent events in our society have proven – is lacking.

“Knife+Heart” is set in the Summer of Paris, 1979. Vanessa Paradis’ Anne Parèze is extremely devastated after her break-up with the love of her life, Loïs McKenna (Kate Moran), who happens to be Anne’s editor of her porn films. As the woman tries to get Loïs back, she decides to make a film that’s more grand, ambitious, and real. However, that plan will be turned upside down by a mysterious killer who begins killing her porn actors one by one.

The film itself is full of graphic scenes and sexual content. However, that is something which should never bother anyone if you already know that the film is based on the porn industry and its way of making films. Perhaps, “Knife+Heart” takes a different approach which is more artistic and revolves around gay porn stars in the most poignant way. The thrilling soundtrack and the performances of its stars ease the journey for anyone who is skeptical about the nature of the film.

The murder scenes are also executed with exquisite taste. No, not by glamorizing it but instead capturing it using a special light that won’t disgust anyone much, but rather exhibit it as part of a beautiful dance routine. Vanessa Paradis as an obsessed alcoholic who’s a very dedicated producer is not only convincing but terrifyingly real. Which makes me wonder why won’t she aim for more drama than she’s used to doing before? Her emotional depth through Anne is mesmerizing and impressive at the same time.

In conclusion, Yann Gonzalez’s “Knife+Heart” is a brave and visually captivating film. Whether it’s the colors, setting, or camera movement, everything about it is a pure form of art which, unfortunately, won’t be acknowledged by many. And that’s where the question arises, who do we make films for? Art can be affordable, but its message can’t be received and processed properly by many. And that’s what “Knife+Heart” is – it’s too good to be loved and it’s too provocative to be accepted. And when you do that, you will win the main prize as the most creative mind who’s able to see the world from a perspective not everyone will necessarily want to be a part of.

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