Léa Seydoux confronts her previous in an odd, Lynchian sci-fi | EUROtoday

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The new movie from Bertrand Bonello is in love with Léa Seydoux’s face: frankly, one can relate. This spirallingly creepy science-fiction fable, enjoying in competitors at Venice this 12 months, is all about emotion – each the stemming and venting of it – and the French actress’s countenance, typically millpond-still, typically twisted in terror, is a fine-honed instrument relating to each.

Seydoux stars as Gabrielle, a younger lady dwelling within the AI-dominated 2040s, who finds herself spirited again – by way of a shower of biodynamic black gunge – into two of her earlier lives. The object of the train is to purge herself of all feeling: a vital course of for any human on this coolly medical future wishing to safe themselves a plum societal position. But in every of her earlier existences, in Paris of the 1910s and Los Angeles of the 2010s, Gabrielle feels a gnawing horror that some dire, life-altering occasion – the “beast” of the title – is about to pounce from the shadows at any given second.

In each of these durations, one thing suitably cataclysmic does happen: within the first, the Great Flood of Paris; the second, the La Habra earthquake. But for Gabrielle, it’s her recurring connection to a mysterious younger man, George MacKay’s Louis – who, in 2044, can also be finishing the same emotional cleanse – that proves by far the extra harmful. First he seems as a mysterious suitor who approaches her at an elegant salon, then once more as a brooding incel who movies her on his iPhone from afar, whereas spluttering darkly in regards to the girls who by no means gave him an opportunity.

Bonello’s screenplay, written with Guillaume Bréaud and Benjamin Charbit, was loosely impressed by the Henry James novella The Beast within the Jungle, through which a person fritters away his life in a state of perpetual dread. But its self-fracturing construction and authentically dreamlike texture – by turns foggy and piercingly lucid – recollects David Lynch’s 2006 nightmare odyssey Inland Empire, albeit with the weirdness dialled down (a bit).

Each time interval has a particular look and temper, from the narcotised hum of the 2040s to the unforgiving digital sheen of the 2010s and the grainy, tactile romance of the 1910s. Only the final of those may very well be described as conventionally lovely – in a single breath-catching sequence, Bonello phases a fireplace in a flooded doll manufacturing unit, with Seydoux swimming by way of submerged workplaces and workshops in a linen slip.