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Spare a thought for the poor PR folks who should provide you with methods to
market the movies of absurdist auteur Quentin Dupieux. The
advertising and marketing peeps have focussed on promoting his newest,
Smoking Causes Coughing, as a satire of the superhero style. That is comprehensible, given
the perennial reputation of the style, nevertheless it buries the lede.
Smoking Causes Coughing is certainly a spoof of superhero
motion pictures, nevertheless it’s additionally a horror-comedy anthology, one whose tone falls
someplace between EC Comics and the Zucker Brothers.

The superhero storyline acts because the wraparound as we’re launched to
the Tobacco Drive, a quintet of Z-grade Energy Rangers, with every
member possessing the facility to wield a key ingredient of cigarettes as
a weapon. There’s Benzène (Gilles Lellouche), Methanol (Vincent Lacoste), Nicotine (Anaïs Demoustier), Mercure (Jean-Pascal Zadi) and Ammoniaque (Oulaya Amamra). Dupieux seems to be poking
enjoyable on the kind of anti-smoking campaigns that have been standard throughout his
childhood, during which half-baked knock-offs of standard comedian ebook
characters would take down baddies related to spreading the
behavior. Someday real superheroes would come up in opposition to such foes,
as in Superman’s antagonist Nick O’Teen.

We first encounter the Tobacco Drive by the eyes of a younger boy
who stumbles throughout the Drive in motion battling an enormous turtle. The
turtle is a stuntman in a rubber go well with, the type of villain William
Shatner used to scrap within the authentic Star Trek collection,
or that may be seen stomping Tokyo. Both method, it is a pleasant
reminder of a extra harmless period, a extra enjoyable time, and serves to level
out how boring superhero motion pictures have turn into previously few a long time as
they chase an grownup viewers.

After struggling to take down the turtle, the crew is contacted by
their boss, a Roland Rat-alike puppet named Chief Didier and voiced by
Alain Chabat, who sends them off to a lakeside retreat so as
to strengthen group cohesion. An amusing sub-plot sees each Nicotine
and Ammoniaque flirt with the fairly vile creature, who compliments
their breasts whereas drooling some odd inexperienced fluid from his fangs, and
who at all times appears to have one other lady in his mattress.

Smoking Causes Coughing review

Because the Tobacco Drive settle round a campfire, the anthology segments
are launched within the type of tales spun by the assorted members. One
tells of a quartet of pals who go to a close-by Air BnB house, the place
one in every of them finds a “pondering helmet,” a clunky welder’s helmet that
provides its wearer a brand new sense of readability. Donning the gadget, Agathe
(Doria Tillier) out of the blue realises how a lot she despises her
husband and their pals and units about murdering them with varied
family implements. Dupieux cleverly apes the slasher style’s POV
photographs as we view the motion by the postbox-like slot within the
welder’s helmet, and Adèle Exarchopoulos has enjoyable within the position of
last lady, a self-obsessed younger lady who cannot resist livestreaming
her personal demise.

Subsequent up is a really transient story of environmental terror advised by a younger
lady who seems out of nowhere and subsequently vanishes. That story
incorporates a fish, which is later caught by the crew and begins to inform
its personal horror story whereas it fries on a grill. This results in the
film’s spotlight, an absurdist story of a younger man caught in a wine
press that’s as hilarious as it’s ludicrous. The phase is
splendidly performed by David Marsais because the sufferer and
Blanche Gardin as his aunt. Because the latter’s makes an attempt to free
her nephew frequently backfire, dragging him additional into the
machine, the previous insists on apologising, claiming “It would not harm
so dangerous, actually.” The phase is a riot all through, capped off by a
basic EC Comics denouement.

Smoking Causes Coughing review

The haphazard nature of Smoking Causes Coughing‘s narrative and its transient 76 minute runtime counsel it is made up of
fragments of concepts Dupieux had for tales and vignettes that could not
be stretched to characteristic size (not that that is a consideration that is
stopped him previously). On this method it is kind of the cinematic
equal of an album like Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait, a bunch of odds
and ends thrown collectively within the hopes that followers of the artist will get
one thing worthwhile from the endeavour.

For those who’re a fan of Dupieux – and admittedly, why would not you be? –
there’s lots to maintain you amused right here, and that wine press phase
ranks amongst his best work. If the French filmmaker’s work typically
leaves you bemused, it’s best to most likely sit this one out. For those who’re
fully unfamiliar with Dupieux, this may be a very good place to
begin, as it’ll clue you into his off-kilter sensibilities with out
testing your persistence too closely.


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