IN COMPETITION – Borgman: a horror thriller with a touch of black humour

Film cast © AFP

Warning: this film is not what you might expect. Alex Van Warmerdam‘s Borgman is one of the surprises in the selection. The Dutch filmmaker, who is also a playwright, painter, writer and actor, has not been to Cannes since 1998. That was the year he presented Little Tony, his fourth film, in Un Certain Regard. 

Borgman is the first Dutch film in Competition since 1975. It is true that, with the exception of Paul Verhoeven who now works in the United States, new filmmakers from this little country are rare. As for Alex Van Warmerdam, he does not only make films. He is also a painter, playwright, threatre director and writer. This explains why, in his 30-year career, he has made “only” 8 feature films, including the cult film The Northerners, which met with great success when it was released in 1992, being described as “staggering”, “untellable, mad and funny”. His third film, The Dress, was also very well received and won the International Critics award at the Venice Film Festival in 1996.

Film still © RR

Alex Van Warmerdam has often been compared to Buñuel, Tati and Kaurismaki for his absurd and unique universe. According to the filmmaker, Borgman is nonetheless darker than his previous films. “I wanted to dive into a dark and unknown area of my mind to see what I would find there.” He found Borgman: a man who rings on a middle-class family’s doorbell and asks if he can take a shower. What is he? A dream, a demon, the incarnation of our fears? It will be up to the spectator to find the answer, for Alex Van Warmerdam wanted to make a film that was open to interpretation, which asks more questions than it gives answers.


Béatrice de Mondenard

Sunday 19th May / Grand Théâtre Lumière / 8.30 p.m.
2.30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday 20th May / Salle du Soixantième / 11.45 a.m.

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