Bird People Screen 17 articles

Bird People


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  • It’s [Ferran's] first project since the now eight year-old Lady Chatterley (2006), and one can imagine that at least half of that hiatus was spent working on the film’s CGI effects alone, which are some of the most subtle but meticulous to be employed in any film yet in existence. The only problem is that so much narrative playfulness and structural innovation gets seriously bogged down by Ferran’s awkward direction and a script filled with lame dialogue...

  • It’s this stretch of avian whimsy—constructed out of adroit but hardly remarkable airborne point-of-view shots that suggest Pazuzu dans la metro—that has created the love-it/hate-it buzz around the movie. And, since I don’t think Ferran’s late flight of fancy works at all (and gets far too cute to boot), I guess I have to put down stakes in the second camp. But the film’s first half is problematic too...

  • The strongest aspect of Pascale Ferran’s Bird People, in contrast, is the diagnosis of the soul-crushing ennui of jet-setting corporate life in the film’s first half... The second panel of Ferran’s cinematic diptych, however, registers a disappointing drop in quality as the film switches focus to a Parisian hotel room-cleaner...

  • Bird People isn't daring enough to fully embrace the narrative fragmentation that it sporadically assumes. Offering only tantalizing glimpses of the other stories lurking at its fringes, it ends up vesting too much time and interest in assigning half-conceived story outlines to its two under-developed main characters, and so its populist approach becomes less about any actual meditation on universal connection than a soft-touch "everybody hurts"-style roundelay.

  • Ferran’s new film, “Bird People,” is both another step in the same hermetic direction and a flailing, frustrated view of her own hermetic enclosure. It’s an artistic disaster, but a fascinatingly symptomatic one.

  • That Bird People ultimately abandons these more deeply unsettling implications for a banal vision of connection across language and class barriers speaks less to a lack of imagination than to a failure of thematic follow-through. At the risk of taking the avian symbolism a step too far, I’d wager that telegraphing one’s intentions to interrogate the realities of 21st-century dislocation only to settle for hands-across-the-water truisms seems a little chicken.

  • it’s a rather hard concept to swallow, at least at first, although things come around enough in the final minutes to partially justify such a strange narrative leap. But why Ferran decided to take things in that direction is anyone’s guess, and although the late sequences are well handled and fascinating to watch, they’re so far out in left field that's its rather difficult to find one's way back... the performances by Demoustier and Charles go a long way in making the story palpable...

  • This first section, which lasts a full hour, is banal and bitter in equal measure. The way Ferran approaches the couple’s breakup, and specifically a lengthy scene wherein they converse via Skype, is seemingly straightforward—unadorned, nondescript locations abound—but it isn’t until a mid-film break with reality that these sequences begin to fully reveal and reorient themselves as potential keys to unlocking the fantasies of its second half.

  • The setting might call to mind Tati’s similarly airport-adjacent Playtime, but filmmaker Pascale Ferran grounds her feature in a randomness more stealthily magical than modern-life chaotic, establishing a sort of breezy melancholy. Early on, she zeroes in, one at a time, on individual commuter-train passengers, letting us into their headspace as they listen to music, make mundane calculations, or else give air to more intimate thoughts in internal monologue.

  • In its second half, for reasons best left unspecified, Pascale Ferran’s Bird People has cause to frequently adopt a flying bird’s perspective or observe an avian perfectly hitting its marks. The seamlessness throughout is clearly unrealizable naturally, but I couldn’t tell at any point what was computer-assisted or generated. This is CGI even more invisible than David Fincher’s color correction — I couldn’t spot it at all, which means the job’s been done perfectly.

  • This year, I don’t know what could be the excuse for keeping Pascale Ferran’s Bird People away from Jane Campion. It’s the most inspired thing I’ve seen... Not only don’t you know how it got made — you also don’t quite know how what’s been made has made you this happy this profoundly.

  • It’s delightful, and delightfully eccentric... It is very satisfying, after years of watching Mr. Charles on “The Good Wife,” to see him take possession of a new character, especially one whose motivations are as much a mystery to the character as to you. For an hour, you discover a man finding himself, incremental layer by layer, expression by expression.

  • Despite loving Ferran’s adaptation of Lady Chatterley, I’d been put off by early word describing Bird People—its second half in particular—as whimsical. While this segment requires bold leaps of faith creatively and critically—I spent a long moment wondering if I could extricate its brilliance from a kind of forced awe—the filmmaking is more Kafka than Jeunet, cool intelligence the unexpected bedfellow of an SFX tour de force.

  • ...Bird People finds new ways to anatomize 21st-century malaise. Firmly rooted in everyday particulars — primarily the transactions (business, emotional, or otherwise) facilitated by the time- and space-obliterating devices to which we are constantly tethered — Ferran's movie dares to venture, for much of its second half, into fantasy.

  • Bird People is sui generis, and if the inevitable epilogue in which Gary and Audrey finally meet disappoints, that’s mostly because it’s the sole conventional element of a film that finds beauty and drama in the tiniest places.

  • One could easily argue that 2006 years later, [two of the stanzas from Ovid's Metamorphoses] have been cracked open and scrambled into Pascale Ferran’s Bird People, the most bizarre and knowing examination of metamorphosis and humanity in recent memory. The immediate correlation is Perdix’s transformative fall from grace, which Ferran, for her purposes, adapts into a life affirming, empowering respite.

  • Ferran's impulse is essentially humanistic - everyone contains a whole world; note the prologue - but her methods are escapist; the result is beautiful, and perhaps my favourite film of the year.

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