Cannes Film Festival

The film premiered on 18 March during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, in the Directors' Fortnight section.

Directed and writen by Danielle Arbid
Produced by Charles Gilibert & Nathanaël Karmitz
Starring Melvil Poupaud, Yasmine Lafitte, Carol Abboud, Alexander Siddig, Sarah Warde
Cinematography Céline Bozon

  A Lost Man. Lost life of alive.
Film review
«How can you show someone that you disconnected from the life?» – This arguable question full of Arabic philosophy with French taste of bitterness raises Danielle Arbid in her film «A lost man». The film premiered on March 18 during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and could be appreciated by the lovers of deep thoughtful drama, which worth seeing not only the preeminent plot, but for sexual graphic. Speaking about the plot, must admit that it is rather unfamiliar to the European public, who is weary for something unpredictable. This near-premise less work is as much about the rationale lost expression on its main character's face as it is about how haughty films of this sort thrive on confounding audiences.
With the best tradition of the European films the plot centers round few characters. One of the characters is Thomas Koré (Melvil Poupaud), a French photographer who travels around the Middle East, searching for extraordinary experiences. His experiences mean screwing with prostitutes in hotel rooms and taking photographs of these pranks. A Frenchman makes a challenge Representations of Sexual Behavior in Middle Eastern Society But his way is crossed by solitary man Fouad Saleh (Alexander Siddig), who left Beirut seventeen years ago. Thomas hires him as an interpreter and tries to uncover Fouad’s secret, who suffers from amnesia. The secret turns to the story how Fouad killed his life. The story of mysterious assistant, his confession changes Thomas and he ends up his experiences.

The film unfolds like a revelation, similar to the chemical processes which make it possible for a photograph to materialize, and it's an artistic as well as human revelation. The photographer will no longer feel at ease, tears all the ties, and after all he finds permanent relief.

The film was inspired by the life of the French photographer Antoine D'Agata. Danielle Arbid contains technical gesture of capturing the image, these moments stolen from intimacy. Body movements look like separate reflections, which magnify us over the film. It is one of the first frustrations the film causes for those who admire Agata's work and his stunning nudes.

It lies not on the surface, but inwardly that «A Lost Man» is absolutely not a film on photography. The director of Lebanese produce films in HD, mostly in natural light, which makes picture closer to Agata's stereotypes, the inhabitant of the night who is not identified on his prime.

The «otherness» stands out against a background of conflict disobedient souls. Nudity is revealed under the photographer's camera: a provocation in countries where sexuality, as well as prostitution, is concealed to the eye.

Two characters absolutely differ from each other but the fact that they are people without future and the past unites them. «Lost man» is a state being unconscious and at the same time living the way you live. The conflict lies between the person’s attitude to himself. What destroys your life? You are, dare say.

From the one hand you see the collision of cultures, from the other - shock of naked bodies, which in my opinion, are very intimate presented. One of the weak points of the film is length of the scenes that’s why it is difficult not to lose concentration. Sometimes you notice that it would rather less unattractive scenes used, but in more detailed immersion you get accustomed to it. Setting is also not accidental. Middle East as a setting is shown with all problems, preserving the atmosphere of national originality.

Concerning roles should say that Poupaud is convincing in this role where he again plays a photographer, as he did in Time to Leave by Franзois Ozon. He will remain exhausted by his fictional alter ego, the troubling Alexander Siddig, seen in season six of the TV series 24 and in the excellent Syriana. He carries the intermixture of various stained emotions in his complicated inconceivable character.

Analyzing the speech of the characters, they attract great notice thanks to few words, which encloses the philosophic attempts to be taken without attention. The dialogs are ragged as the heroes. We cannot sympathize fully to the Thomas or Fouad, we share the resemblance of their dissonance. The film imposes their emotional mental strain on us. You can feel it in the moments when camera takes a close-up of the characters.

The film is not easy watching, rarely instantly understood, as our life which brings up a question: are we alive or lost? But if you lost «How can you show someone that you disconnected from the life?».
Director: Danielle Arbid
Danielle Arbid, Christoph Gotzmann
Thomas Koyré, a French photographer, travels around the world in search of extreme experiences. He crosses paths with Fouad Saleh, a strange man with a failing memory. The Frenchman tries to uncover his story and travels with him for a while through the sulphurous and secret East. The experience leaves him a changed man.

See also

MK2's "Paranoid" parked in 72 territories
Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park has been soaring down the sales half-pipe, with distribution deals in 72 territories worldwide, French sales agent and distributor MK2 said Wednesday.

"Un Homme Perdu" Selected for Cannes
Lebanese filmmakers Nadine Labaki and Danielle Arbid have just been selected for the Directors' Fortnight section of the venerable Cannes Film Festival.

Director's Fortnight page (FR)

Other stuff