John Frankenheimer will be back at the beach with Seconds, first screened in Cannes in 1966. This feature film is a good example of the bold visual style of the American filmmaker, who took risks at a time when Hollywood was still very reticent about casting off its conformist codes.
Photo from the film © RR
John Frankenheimer, who made his first appearances in the 1950s, created a very personal film aesthetic that is constantly changing. The director is also famous for his solidly rooted ability to take on current social issues. Seconds was the eighth feature film of the New York director when it was unveiled on American screens.
The film is also the third sequel in a trilogy on the theme of paranoia, which began with The Manchurian Candidate (Un Crime dans la Tête) (1962) and Seven Days in May (Sept Jours en Mai) (1964). Adapted from a science fiction novel by David Ely, Seconds tells the story of a disenchanted banker who decides to escape from his morose existence by entering into a pact with a secret organisation that can offer him the life he always dreamed of. At the time of its release, the feature film met with a frigid reception.
Shot in black and white, the film experiments with distortion and the disconnect between the situations and the narration, which amplifies the feeling of malaise that the main character is experiencing. A feeling that is also accentuated by the director's decision to restrict the space in which the character evolves, to crush him even more.
Seconds is screened in its full version, restored by Criterion (Copies DCP 2K).
Monday 19 May / Macé Beach / 9:30 p.m.