She Is Conann Film Review
Welcome to our review of “She Is Conann,” the highly anticipated film directed by Bertrand Mandico. In this article, we will delve into the mesmerizing world created by Mandico and explore the film’s themes, characters, and visual aesthetics. Join us as we embark on a fantastical journey of love, barbarism, and glitter.
A Unique Filmmaker’s Artistic Devotion
Bertrand Mandico is no stranger to pushing boundaries and challenging cinematic norms. With “She Is Conann,” he continues to showcase his artistic devotion to poetic dialogue, iconoclastic gender-bending, and, of course, glitter.
This film marks his best work to date, combining a clear and propulsive story arc with his signature fantastical architecture.
The Story of Conann: Love, Violence, and Transformation
“She Is Conann” follows the life and loves of Conann, a barbarian queen, from her violent upbringing at the age of 15 to her transformation into an aged matriarch. What sets this film apart is the unique structure of Conann’s story.
Every 10 years, her life takes a new phase, each portrayed by a different actor. We witness her as a braggadocious warrior, a love-drunk stuntwoman thrown through time, a sinister figure with Nazi undertones, and finally, a grotesque and tongue-in-cheek climax.
The Constant Presence of Rainer
Throughout Conann’s multiple incarnations, one character remains a constant presence: Rainer, portrayed by Elina Löwensohn.
Rainer is a perverse dog-faced oracle who follows Conann throughout her life, documenting her journey with his Instamatic camera and delivering some of the film’s most memorable lines. As narrator and taskmaster, Rainer reminds Conann of her commitment to barbarism and ensures her evolution, even when she resists change.
The Queer Aesthetics of “She Is Conann”
One of the defining aspects of “She Is Conann” is its fluid and queer-coded sexuality. The film explores Sapphic relationships, with one of Conann’s phases dominated by her intense love affair with Sanja. However, beyond the textual lesbianism, the film embraces a broader sense of queerness.
The glitter, the tall and sculpted women wielding broadswords, and the rough edges of the film’s fantasy aesthetic all contribute to its outsider feel, firmly placing it in the realm of queer art.
The Evocative Production Design
The production design by Anna Le Mouël adds another layer of visual richness to the film. Each phase of Conann’s life is reflected in the changing aesthetics. Early scenes are filled with long, tangled hair, gorilla-like fursuits, and ragged fake snow. In contrast, Conann and Sanja’s New York City apartment embodies the “cocaine decor” look. The cinematography, skillfully executed by Nicolas Eveilleau, seamlessly transitions between black-and-white and color, enhancing the visual storytelling.
A Stylized and Gory Experience
Prepare yourself for a stylized and gory experience in “She Is Conann.” The film embraces its theme of barbarism, taking it to the extreme.
Splitting corpses in half, reaching into sockets to pull out bloody, beating hearts, and even a choice between cannibalism and poverty are just a glimpse of the visceral moments the film offers. The stylized gore adds a layer of self-reflexive satire, challenging our perceptions of violence and its depiction in cinema.
Mandico’s Vision: A Strong Authorial Hand
Bertrand Mandico’s vision shines through in “She Is Conann,” displaying a strong authorial hand despite the collaborative nature of filmmaking.
While the narrative and characters take a backseat to the visual spectacle, the consistency of Mandico’s style across multiple films and crews is a testament to his unique voice. The film may not be character-driven in the traditional sense, but it unleashes the savagery of “Conann,” giving birth to a ferocious and fabulous Athena.
1. Is “She Is Conann” suitable for all audiences?
While “She Is Conann” offers a unique and visually stunning cinematic experience, it is important to note that the film contains explicit content, stylized violence, and queer themes. It may not be suitable for all audiences and viewer discretion is advised.
2. How does “She Is Conann” compare to Mandico’s previous works?
“She Is Conann” stands as Bertrand Mandico’s best work to date, showcasing his artistic devotion and unique vision. While it maintains his signature elements of poetic dialogue, gender-bending, and glitter, the film’s clear story arc sets it apart from his previous works.