Directed by: Jérôme Lescure
Starring: Alexandre Laigner, Alice Pehlivanyan, Jean-Pierre Loustau, Stéphane Rouabah
The final film for this year’s Twin Rivers Media Festival is Jérôme Lescure’s A.L.F. (Animal Liberation Front). In terms of content, it’s a film that will play better to the “true believers” than the average viewer—some of whom are apt to be put off by the film’s shock-effect cutaways to scenes of animal torture. That mostly didn’t offend me—though I will say I’d rather not see these things—but the sometimes self-righteous tone of the movie is a bigger turn-off. As filmmaking, it’s definitely of some interest. The idea of presenting the story in the manner of a crime story is a good one. So for that matter—up to a point—is the way the film is structured, moving back and forth between the preparations for a raid on a vivisection clinic and the legal fallout from that raid. The problem with it is that the structure finally doesn’t quite work, because it can’t cover up the fact that it’s obscuring a mystery element that isn’t really there. It does, however, keep the film moving, ensuring that none of its running time is ever dull.
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present A.L.F at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 8, at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com
In Brief: Slick animal rights film structured to resemble a crime thriller. In the main, this works, but it sometimes seems too clever for its own good. The cutaways to scenes of animal cruelty will be too much for some, while the inevitable preachiness will be a downside for others.