Ubisoft presents...
4th Life, The
4th Life, The

Canadian Premiere

2006 | 88 min | 35mm
English language

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Screening Times

July 19th, 2007
7:00 pm
J.A. De Seve

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Two nearly nude female lovers entwined in rapturous embrace in a sustained overhead long take. Thus begins The 4th Life, a kaleidoscopic exploration of obsessive love detailing the on/off relationship of the dark-haired, over-protective and dangerous Caz, and the blonde, level-headed tough gal Marie. The film is set in a near future where a destitute city is ravaged by terrorist bombings, crime and random street violence. Caz, having escaped from an asylum for the criminally insane with slow-witted male accomplice George (“dimmer than a ten-watt bulb,” observes Caz), continues with her life of robbing homes. Marie is a sort of freelance “finder,” tracking down precious objects for her antique dealer/husband John. We learn through flashbacks and subjective memory flashes that Caz and Marie share a traumatized past at the hand of abusive parents and authority figures; Caz reacts by turning to a life of crime, while Marie suffers from momentary blindness and blurred visions. Unable to cope with Caz’s suffocating love, Marie leaves her, which sends Caz in murderous pursuit of her former lover, tracking her down at a two-bit hotel which leads to a rooftop climax and a new beginning…

The 4th Life is a Sapphic film noir imagined in world where women “take shits” and slap men around like Humphrey Bogart, while men are nervous, jittery and timid. In short, the traditional high-testosterone noir world turned on its phallic head. The film’s plot is fragmented across various points along the timeline of the Caz/Marie relationship in a manner reminiscent of the films of Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell. Nestled within the non-linear narrative are many allusions to other (mainly noir) films, including Blood Feast, The Big Sleep, Bound, Blade Runner and perhaps even Miron’s own earlier short, Resolving Power (hint: look to Caz’s preferred method of killing). While blending all the above as part of its noir revisionism, The 4th Life also weaves a rich visual tapestry of different textures (black and white, colour, grainy, overexposed) and tones (comic, reflexive, poetic, sensual). In the end one thing is certain -- with the film’s brash music cues, the selected over-the-top male performances and the intentionally cliché touches (“Darckeville” and “Sunnytown”), Miron’s tongue can be found firmly planted in his cheek.

—Donato Totaro

"A thriller that wholly immerses you in its world, only to alter reality as you know it for the duration of its 90 minutes. No mere plot synopsis can do justice to this film" - BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL program notes

"Bewitching... hallucinatory and twisted... stratified on different temporal planes and complex like a dreamlike picture-puzzle with a powerful visual impact... As if a Lynchian echo were superimposed on a wicked road movie filled with Gregg Araki provocation" – Stefano Coccia, GLI SPIETATI






Director: François Miron
Screenplay: François Miron, James Galway
Cast: Janet Lane Andrea Sheldon Vitali Makarov Tod Fennell Joseph Bellerose
Producers: François Miron, Pascal Maeder
Distributor: Atopia

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