Black flies: Sensory and hypnotic (review)

Black Flies: sensory and hypnotic (review)

By following emergency doctors in the darkness of New York, Frenchman Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire transcends classic material with his hallucinatory gaze.

The New York of emergencies, flashing lights in the night, broken lives seen on the fly, the time to load the stretcher into the ambulance, heading to the nearest hospital… It's a known material, a marked iconography ( ofAt an open tomb to the series New York 911) which takes hold in Black Flies (discovert in competition at Cannes) Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, adapting a book by Shannon Burke, novelist who himself was paramedic At New York. Tye Sheridan plays Ollie Cross (we hear “Holy Cross”), an emergency room doctor's apprentice, who wants to become a doctor, heal the world, save it – when he's not in his paramedic outfit, he wears a jacket making angel wings on his back. Alongside a washed-up old man played by Sean Penn, he will begin an increasingly dangerous journey into the New York court of miracles. Can we walk through the darkness without getting caught up in it?

After Johnny Mad Dog And A Prayer Before Dawn, Sauvaire continues his quest for a sensory, hypnotic cinema, where the desire for spiritual elevation mixes with brutal realism, with a desire for an uppercut, creating on arrival a sensation of semi-hallucinated truth. The idea is to immediately reach the highest point of intensity, and stay there. One line of dialogue sums up the film's mix of prosaism and lyricism: “There are us (the emergency workers), the dead and the dying.” The conclusion – a compilation of New York views against the backdrop of Wagner, which gives the impression that Sauvaire can no longer stop filming – superbly says that this story is endless.

By Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. With Tye Sheridan, Sean Penn, Katherine Waterston… Duration 2 hours. Released April 3, 2024

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