ADVENTURE / FRANCE / 2018 / 110 MINS / R18+
“It’s as if Guy Maddin and Kenneth Anger adapted one of Joseph Conrad’s nightmares for a sexploitation producer,” said New York Times about this weird and wonderful debut feature by Bertrand Mandico that casts female actors in the roles of violent teenage boys (including Diane Rouxel who plays the lead in Raising Colours, also in this year’s Festival).
It is the beginning of the 20th century on the island of Réunion. A group of boys from well-to-do backgrounds commit a savage crime, which sees them put under the charge of a sadistic Dutch captain who takes them on a tyrannical voyage on his haunted sailboat. When the boat docks, it’s on a supernatural island where exotic and erotic vegetation transforms them and their reality.
Named after a book by William Burroughs, The Wild Boys is a heady "mélange" of Mandico’s influences – Jules Verne, Jean Cocteau, John Carpenter’s The Fog, Mario Bava, Fassbinder’s Querelle, Jean Genet and H.G Wells. Hyper-artificiality, rear projections, fake sets, prosthetic genitalia and bursts of shimmering colour through black & white are just some of the visual and visceral elements that meld together to create a special-effects-laden cinematic experience.
"Deliberately, alluringly unstable and destabilizing, 'The Wild Boys' is made even more turbulent by its superabundance of references and inspirations."– 4 columns
DIRECTED BY: BERTRAND MANDICO
STARRING: VIMALA PONS, DIANE ROUXEL, MATHILDE WARNIER, ANAËL SNOEK, PAULINE LORILLARD