Monday, 17 October 2016
Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama is a film of facades. Faceless mannequins draped in designer clothes alongside floor-to-ceiling mirrors; a teenager passionately miming along to Shirley Bassey’s cover of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, itself a reworking of a French song; an expensive bathtub not connected to running water, filled via multiple journeys to a bathroom with a bucket; a toy gun brandished like a real one; all found within the labyrinth of a designer shopping centre in Paris after dark. These are kids playing as adults, and this is the planetarium in Rebel Without a Cause. They revel in the freedom of their prison until they have no choice but to take responsibility for their actions. “We did what we had to do,” one of the kids postures. A boy changes out of his clothes and into an ill-fitting designer suit. A censored version of Chief Keef’s I Don’t Like blares from the speakers.