Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream review – strangely moving movie-memoir | Film

Actually, this film may make you scream – or at the very least roll your eyes at the self-seriousness of it all. Frank Beauvais’s cine-memoir is a 75-minute collage of the 400 or so films he binge-watched while living alone for six months in an isolated Alsace village 30 miles from the nearest station. Each clip – lasting three to four seconds – gives visual expression to Beauvais’s tortured voiceover. He explains how after a break-up, drinking too much and not sleeping, he filled his 18-hour days watching movies – “film bulimia” he calls it. Catnip to those who like to poke fun at intellectual pretentiousness.

Beauvais writes very well, perhaps distractingly so. His narration has more impact than the images he gleans from across the movie spectrum (everything from Elf to Éric Rohmer, though skewing to arthouse). He grew up in Alsace and moved back from Paris with his boyfriend for the cheap rent. After they split, he stayed alone, and became depressed. Losing interest in the script he was meant to be writing, he began mainlining films, an unstoppable five-a-day habit. The script is self-laceratingly honest. Beauvais describes himself as an “unstable unfinished adult” (spoken as a noose swings across screen). He’s got something of Karl Ove Knausgård’s skill for unflinchingly intimate accounts of everyday encounters (if not the same humour). But the misanthropy here can feel off-putting; he is particularly nasty about the locals in Alsace.

Beauvais’s film is perhaps inspired by Christian Marclay’s 24-hour long installation The Clock, a montage of thousands of images from films and TV showing the actual time. But I was reminded of Snuff, Irvine Welsh’s grimly funny short story about a depressed man who watches every film in Halliwell’s Film Guide and then records his own suicide on a camcorder. Beauvais lived to tell the tale – often in engrossing detail.

Source: The Guardian

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