Knife + Heart

Un Couteau Dans Le Coeur

by Max White


Paris, summer 1979. Anne is a producer of cheap gay porn. When Lois, her editor and companion, leaves her, she attempts to get her back by making a more ambitious film with the flamboyant Archibald.

5th July 2019

Yann Gonzalez

Yann Gonzalez, Cristiano Mangione

Running Time:
1h 42min


Yann Gonzalez has done what few have probably ever thought of doing: he’s created a Lynchian, homoerotic-cum-Eurovision slasher movie. It’s strange and it’s too long, but it’s much better than its reviews suggest.

Anne produces low-fi gay porn in a backstreet studio in Paris. It’s the summer of 1979, right before the AIDS crisis took hold, and her lesbian lover and co-worker Lois has left her.

One of her stars is fatally sodomised by a mysterious murderer’s dildo-dagger. His death inspires her to create her most ambitious film yet. “Homocidal” will both honour the late actor and win back the affection of Lois.

The police aren’t really fussed about following up on the case that inspired the film. Which leaves the masked maniac to pick off more of Anne’s cast.

The leather mask and the way he slays his victims gives him the air of a deranged gimp. And a genuinely scary one, too. He cuts a particularly evil presence amid the romp and pomp.

It’s camp and crass, but with a clear appreciation for cinema. Gonzalez takes a lot of inspiration from the work of David Lynch; Inland Empire in particular.

It’s not always obvious whether what we’re seeing is on-set or in real life. As silly as things get, it’s a deftly serious film.

There’s plenty of flair and skill to keep it all within what’s watchable. This is a director who respects his craft and who pushes its boundaries lovingly. It’s a beautifully scuzzy film that knows exactly what is, and that wears it with sass.

You can read our earlier review of Knife+Heart here.


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