Part David Lynch, partial Alain Resnais, with a tad of Inception tossed into a mix, Endorphine is a rigourously arresting, narratively obscure initial underline from French Canadian filmmaker Andre Turpin. Better famous as a cinematographer of such lauded homegrown efforts as Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies and Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, Turpin nonetheless showcases his directorial chops in this constrained and treacherous time-tripping story about a immature lady who witnesses her mother’s heartless murder and afterwards relives a events in dreams and waking life, acrobatics into a nightmarish wormhole she can never utterly escape.
Premiering in Toronto’s Vanguard section, this is a kind of film that could acquire a cult following during festivals and among midnight film fans, who could conclude a technical bravery and array of striking, mostly unfortunate imagery – not to discuss informative references trimming from a cinematic distraction of Robert Frank’s famous print “Trolley, New Orleans” to a stage true out of A Christmas Story.
Jumping between sequences set over several time durations – one involving a 12-year-old girl, Simone (Sophie Nelisse); another Simone as an adult (Mylene Mackay); and nonetheless another Simone as an aged lady (Lise Roy) – a story explores how deeply a lady is aggrieved when she watches her mom being killed in a stairwell of an bureau building. Unable to help, Simone passes out, usually to watchful in a incessant loop where she keeps saying a conflict over and over again during opposite stages of her life, unqualified of specifying between existence and a workings of her possess mind.
There’s no genuine murder poser here – we know who a torpedo is, though it doesn’t seem to matter – nor most of an scrutiny of impression over a sputter effects a carnage has on Simone’s psyche. The film does however offer adult an review into quantum production and relativity beliefs during a array of lectures are intercut with a movement – that also involves an ardour story between Simone and her singer neighbor, who she spies on Rear Window-style from opposite a alleyway.
Those viewers looking to fasten onto a thriller unfolding will so be unhappy by a film that intentionally turns in circles rather than charity a elementary three-act structure. But a leaps in space and time can be intriguingly handled, with repeated shots of Simone losing consciousness, infrequently on purpose around asphyxiation games she engages in with her cousin – a child she even tries to French lick on one occasion.
As weird as this all seems – and don’t forget a hole that unexpected appears in a center of Simone’s hand, or a stage where someone (her passed mother?) rips off her finger – Turpin’s positive instruction creates Endorphine a watchable affair, despite of an intensely dim and Lynchian variety. Working with DP Josee Deshaies (Saint Laurent) and sound engineer Sylvain Bellemare, he creates a clear dream universe that feels both genuine and movielike during a same time, forcing us to doubt a sincerity of what we see, only as Simone questions either her imagination has finally got a improved of her.
Production company: micro_scope
Cast: Sophie Nelisse, Mylene Mackay, Lise Roy, Guy Thauvette, Monia Chokri
Director, screenwriter: Andre Turpin
Producers: Luc Dery, Kim McCraw
Director of photography: Josee Deshaies
Production designer: Emmanuel Frechette
Costume designer: Valerie Belegou
Editor: Sophie Leblond
Composer: Francois Lafontaine
Casting director: Lucie Robitaille
International sales: Seville International
No rating, 84 minutes