Prince Des Cieux, Le (The Prince of Heavens) - SantaRita - DVD
Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 10 April 2017
Severed Cinema review of Le Prince Des Cieux on DVD from SantaRita http://severed-cinema.com/images/dvd_review.jpg

AKA: The Prince of Heavens

Directed by: David Thouroude
Written by: David Thouroude
Produced by: Asso SantaRita
Cinematography by:
Editing by: David Thouroude
Special Effects by:
Music by: Billy Dranty
Cast: Abdou M'Bodji
Year: 2014
Color: Color & B/W
Language: French
Country: France
Runtime: 48mins

Distribution: SantaRita

Translated as The Prince of Heavens, Le Prince Des Cieux is a very intense experience if you go in without prior warning. It is described as a journey into an unhinged mind, an unstable mind, etcetera. What is obvious is we are observing a very lonely broken mind and the whole film feels like a moving piece of art.

Opening with a chair shrouded by possible holy objects, whilst other things such as an animal skull lays nearby. What you have to understand is the film is relatively speechless, instead it relies on the viewer building a story around the central figure whom we meet readying himself facing a camera. Cut to a very lengthy segment of panning fields and rivers filmed from possibly a train. His face floats around, is he thinking of this?

Like the cover to Machine Head's second album, hands dig around in dirt and random hallucinatory images invade your eyes. With chants and a military sounding drum machine beat, most people would probably switch off by now, or worst case scenario for them, flick scene selections deeper within and have their heads totally fucked up!! You've got reversed voices crying out, our hero loads a projector and shows slides which are a montage of violence and still death photographs. There's a fire in the distance across the river and he watches wearing a bull's head. Did he cause the fire?

“Why is the music so bloody irritating?” my Horror Soulmate enquired like I would know the answer. It sounds sometimes like Tricky slapping foreheads with Goldie. Our man blows up and frames four graphic images of the dead. Relatives? A thoughtful statement on black men? Let me say, there is an epilepsy alert in this review so be ready as flashing shapes crash around a scene of him walking in slow motion down a street. There, Jay Creepy is thoughtful of others, see.

Are we witnessing the inner mind of a man who has become an outcast from so-called reality? Is he an experimental artist who is lost in his own world? “What the fuck is that?” gasped my Horror Soulmate as some kind of cat face thing flashed on the screen. “What's with the shapes again? It's pissing me off!” she began to lose her cool. Meanwhile, our friend takes his top off by a dark river and masturbates.

Onwards we go and he studies diseased or dead tissue, whilst humming throbbing music rumbled our TV set. Industrial kind of noise takes over as he visits a church, then he cooks up some naughty drugs -- but wait, he's building a sculpture filled with a hundred hypodermic needles. Ah, but later on he shoots up anyway.

To me, the most powerful scene is a simple one, as he stands motionless in the rain, eyes shut, as busy crowds pass him by. He listens. Great stuff. Yes, you do find messages and a story. I wondered if he was alive at all as I watched the conclusion. I could be way off the mark, or correct. Maybe there is no wrong or right story.

Le Prince Des Cieux is a pop video flashy edited affair, similar to Shaye St. John's Triggers videos (see my review here) but unfortunately, to me, the music kills a lot of the atmosphere. It's bordering on the ridiculous when at one point, a deep belch has been looped. There's so many awesome ideas and images (the cliff top bullhead scene should be an album cover!) and there's a graveyard scene which reminded us of a Jean Rollin film.

Arty? Experimental? Pure bollocks? Well, what I can say is this: if you can survive the whole 48-minutes like I did (my Horror Soulmate made her exit after 30 minutes or so) it is rewarding. Death, drugs, paranoia, loneliness, depression, it's all covered. As are painted faces, bleeding things, industry shots, which make you see a spreading like disease over Mother Nature, it fits, a corridor maybe representing his memories, and our hero wrestling with his coat over his head! I seemed to think of Jorg Buttgereit's Der Todesking more than once, along with some late night arthouse films which used to show in the UK on Channel 4 back in the 1990s. 

Abdou M'Bodji works very hard in this film. He carries you along with his character and does not play comical or morbidly downbeat at any time, just an average outcast who happens to have a lot on his mind. Top marks to David Thouroude for this madness and thanks to Asso SantaRita, the producer for sending me this to watch (perhaps one and the same man. Who knows?) I do look forwards to another one from this team.

As for the DVD, it's a bare bones release. Menu, Photos, that sort of thing.

By the way, to ready you a little bit, if you wish to walk this dark path, here's the trailer:

 

 

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

 

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 16:9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 
- Bande-announce
 - Photos
 

 

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 April 2017 )