Olivier Assayas and Asia Argento are inarguably two of today’s most unpredictable filmmakers. Bring them together, and you get Boarding Gate. And if you think Assayas is going to push Ms. Argento in daring new directions, consider this passage from Glenn Kenny’s Cannes 2007 review: “Argento enacts a sort of “greatest hits” repertory in her performance—she strips, she screams, she’s drugged up, she pukes, she engages in nasty sex play, she falls down stairs, she fires guns.” He forgot “smokes like a chimney”, but it’s hard to keep up with her many predilections.
Then there’s this from Variety‘s Russell Edwards: “Aiming for an erotic thriller, this out of competition entry behaves with barely more decorum or logic than many of the straight-to-video fodder currently being ignored in the Cannes market.” But Edwards dismisses the fascinating demonlover in the next sentence, so he’s not a reliable witness. Still, if you’re not familiar with the cinema of Assayas, you might want to dip your big toe in Irma Vep before you try this genre deconstruction (and before you watch Irma Vep, I’d highly recommend checking out Francois Truffaut’s Day for Night). His films are thick with references, and the trailer for this latest picture gives off a highly impenetrable vibe.
Boarding Gate is ostensibly the story of an ex-prostitute who flees for Hong Kong after a violent S&M encounter with Michael Madsen (imagine that!). Whilst trying to gain citizenship in Hong Kong, she gets caught up in some kind of manipulative situation with a married couple (Carl Ng and Kelly Lin). I can’t wait to see how Kim Gordon figures into this imbroglio (the Sonic Youth member is glimpsed in the trailer).
Boarding Gate will receive a very limited release on March 28th (courtesy of Magnet Films).