AS part of their ‘French Revolutions’ selection of films, the London Film Festival will be screening fifteen films showcasing the ‘best in new French cinema’. One of the films showing will be the excellent Americano, written, directed and starring Mathieu Demy.
Mathieu Demy will be well-known to French audiences as an actor and also the son of famous French directors Agnes Varda and the late Jacques Demy.
Americano opens with Martin (Demy) finding out that his mother has just died. Although initially unwilling to travel to America where his mother used to live, the prospect of claiming his mother’s flat makes Martin travel to Los Angeles. What should be a simple process of signing a few documents to claim his mother’s flat takes an unexpected turn when an old neighbour he recognises shows him a picture of a young Mexican girl Lola, who he remembered as a kid. He finds out from the neighbour that Lola has been keeping his mum company occasionally over the years and that the pair were good friends. And so a course of events begins with Martin driving to Tijuana in Mexico in search of Lola. His experiences in LA and Tijuana bring back memories of his childhood and make him think deeply of his feelings about his mother and of his life, culminating in a voyage of self-realisation and discovery. Demy has to be commended for bringing alive this thoughtful and intelligent screenplay from both sides of the camera. There is also a memorable, mesmerising and seductive scene which introduces Salma Hayek’s character into the movie.
Americano is showing on the 14 & 15 October at the London Film Festival
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