Middle-aged house hunters get more than they bargained for in Quentin Dupieux’s delightfully screwball French comedy brimming with his usual penchant for deadpan wackiness and offbeat situations.
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Another spaced-out slice of cine-eccentricity from Quentin Dupieux, the prolific French filmmaker whose latest film Smoking Causes Coughing is also screening in this section. Rivalling Charlie Kaufman as the modern auteur of the absurd, this Gallic gem offers a cherry twist on an enduring sci-fi trope.
Married couple Marie and Alain are hunting for a new abode and are shown an enchanting modernist property by a droll realtor who doesn’t hold back regarding the single mysterious secret the house has to offer: a basement portal that can bend the fabric of time itself.
Like last year’s fest hit Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Dupieux’s film juxtaposes tantalising quantum mechanics with distinctive low-key dynamics. The portal de-ages you by 72 hours while the world around moves forward 12 hours in time. If that starts to hurt your head, don’t fret, Dupieux isn’t interested in confounding with a Stephen Hawking analysis of the conceit. The film is more concerned with the moral dilemmas that arise around our collective fear of decay – a wedge that opens cracks in the couple’s previously harmonious relationship. The unsettling cosmic hazards of such a portal are endless, but this is a Dupieux film, and so of course we have a mechanical penis linked to a smartphone and other wild amuse-bouches that permeate this odd and delightful watch. — Ant Timpson