The neoliberal present demands a new mode of realism, adequate to those structures of control that are cloaked by economic and informational avenues utterly inaccessible to all but the highest echelons of technocratic power. Russo has employed formal devices to inscribe these otherwise invisible relationships.
In Colo, three relatively ordinary people, a teenage girl and her two parents, are struggling to make ends meet. But by the end of the film, they are entirely new, having been shattered by trauma and reassembled into damaged, isolated individuals.
With naked bodies slowly twisting and writhing in a thick, inky chiaroscuro, a hazy but unidirectional light giving definition only to the rounded forms and flexing musculature of the women onscreen, it is clear that Grandrieux has painting on his mind.
Often the idea of the avant-garde implies a somewhat detached, contemplative mode of viewing, and this aesthetic stance is kilometers away from Gagnon’s bailiwick. Of the North seems to invite rubbernecking more than any conventional audienceship.
One could easily imagine German’s masterwork flickering through the gate in projection booths and then deposited in serpentine curlicues directly into a wet open pit, to be fermented like kimchi or composted like coffee grounds and eggshells.