You and the Night

Review by Adam Woodward @AWLies

Directed by

Yann Gonzalez

Starring

Eric Cantona Kate Moran Niels Schneider

Anticipation.

Couldn’t miss another chance to see Eric Cantona show off his ball skills.

Enjoyment.

A banquet of body and soul.

In Retrospect.

Lacks an obvious money shot but is a better film for it.

‘Oo-er Cantona, say oo-er Cantona...’ Yann Gonzalez’s frisky French romp is a feast for the senses.

If your recent Google search history includes the terms “what’s the French for pork sword” and “Eric Cantona tackle”, you’ve come to the right place. Yann Gonzalez’s debut feature is the kind of chintzy softcore Eurotrash you might expect to come across while channel hopping at 2am on a Friday night. If that sounds like an unfavourable analogy, it’s not supposed to be.

The scene is set in the elegant upscale apartment of a bougie young couple (Xavier Dolan regular Niels Schneider as the eye-patch wearing Matthias, Kate Moran as the melancholic Ali) as they prepare to host an orgy with their tiara-wearing transvestite maid (Nicolas Maury). Joining them are The Slut (Julie Brémond), The Star (Fabienne Babe), The Stud (Cantona, natch) and the Teen (Alain Fabien Delon). One by one the guests arrive and proceed to reveal their orientation, desires and weaknesses – Cantona curses his unquenchable cock. It quickly becomes apparent that this is no ordinary sex party.

Replete with a “sensory jukebox” that pumps out pulsing synth beats by M83, You and the Night is aesthetically and tonally evocative of a performance art installation piece. Its dreamlike staginess is reinforced by the behaviour of this colourful ensemble who engage in light foreplay, demonstrate spray-gun orgasms and recall formative conquests and trysts via abstract flashback sequences.

This is a film preoccupied with more than pleasures of the flesh. Through the characters’ endless monologuing, Gonzalez conjures a slow-burning psychosexual fantasy in which the subjects of love, lust and mortality are unwrapped, stretched out and discarded like so many used condoms. It’s a bizarre, oddly enriching experience, even if it doesn’t always hit the right spot.

Published 3 Oct 2014

Tags: Eric Cantona M83 Yann Gonzalez

Anticipation.

Couldn’t miss another chance to see Eric Cantona show off his ball skills.

Enjoyment.

A banquet of body and soul.

In Retrospect.

Lacks an obvious money shot but is a better film for it.

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