WEEKEND CLASSICS: HEADING SOUTH (VERS LE SUD) (Laurent Cantet, 2005)
323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.
February 12-15, 11:00 am
Series runs through March 6
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, Laurent Cantet’s Heading South is a captivating, disturbing look at misguided passion in a postcolonial world. Based on three short stories by Dany Lafèrriere, the film is set in late 1970s Haiti, at a resort where wealthy white women come to be served — in all possible ways — by the local black men. Karen Young stars as Brenda, a troubled woman who returns to the beach resort for the first time in three years, seeking to find the sexual release with Legba (Ménothy Cesar) that changed her life. But she has a rival in Ellen (Charlotte Rampling), a longtime island regular who has taken Legba under her wing (and under her sheets). Sue (Louise Portal) tries to maintain the peace while dallying with her own boy toy, Neptune (Wilfried Paul). And observing it all from a cold distance is the resort manager, Albert (Lys Ambroise), a proud, distinguished gentleman who resents having to serve white people almost as much as he resents the black escorts who sell their bodies. As the three women convince themselves that they are truly in love, danger lurks from the nearby city, as Port-Au-Prince is about to explode. And yet no matter what happens, things are bound to continue as is, with young Eddy (Jackenson Pierre Olmo Diaz) ready to take over for the next generation. Heading South is a well-acted, well-written examination of sex and love, power and poverty, and race and politics, with trouble and turmoil seething beneath virtually every scene. It’s screening at eleven o’clock in the morning February 12-14 as part of the IFC Center’s eight-film Weekend Classics tribute to Rampling, being held on the occasion of the release of her latest movie, 45 Years, which has earned the British actress, model, and singer her first Oscar nomination; the series continues through March 6 with François Ozon’s Under the Sand, Michael Cacoyannis’s The Cherry Orchard, and Dick Richards’s Farewell, My Lovely.