Actors: Mathieu Amalric, Katja Rupe
Favorites of the Moon was one of the films screened at this year’s City of Lights City of Angels Film Festival, a French film fest based out of
The new print of this classic film has been digitally remastered for this Blu-ray release of Otar
Iosseliani’s surreal absurdist comedy, and it looks great despite being a film
best reserved for open-minded viewers. The ensemble intersecting storylines
touch upon issues of class, though without ever feeling weighed down by heavy
political agendas. Hollywood
Similar to the ensemble oddities within Robert Altman’s Short Cuts or Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, Favorites of the Moon takes its title from a line from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, as a description of thieves. This is fitting, as theft is what carries some of the film’s most significant symbols throughout the film. Opening with a sequence showing the creation of a set of 18th century Limoges china and the simultaneous painting of a 19th century painting being created in the same home at a different period, we spend the rest of the film following these items into modern times. They are stolen by an assortment of characters, passed along through a maze of intersecting subplots.
Among these intersecting storylines is an arms dealer (Pascal Aubier), who sells explosives to an untrustworthy terrorist with the help of his friend, Gustave (Bernard Eisenschitz). Gustave’s girlfriend (Katja Rupe) is sleeping with the police chief (Hans Peter Cloos), who is also a rightful owner of the painting, prior to an inevitable theft. In a running gag of the film, each time the painting is stolen, it becomes smaller from the cutting out of the frame. These thefts are predominantly carried out by father/son team (played by Jean-Pierre Beauviala and Mathieu Amalric). There are additional anarchist characters, among the most entertaining being a group of elderly men who set out to destroy a statue they dislike.
The Blu-ray release is most recommendable due to the clarity of images in the restored print, but there are also some additional extras to make it worthwhile. Along with the feature-length commentary track by critic Phillip Lopate, the package comes with a booklet insert that features a new essay by critic Giovanni Vimercati.
Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 6.5/10