Magazine article Screen International

Atlas

Magazine article Screen International

Atlas

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Antoine d'Agata. France. 2013. 76mins

A disturbingly beautiful film that mesmerises, appalls and saddens, French Magnum photographer Antoine d'Agata's film Atlas takes his camera into the dark and dangerous world of prostitution and drugs. It is a complex and darkly disconcerting film, bleakly watchable but shot with a stark elegance that is at odds with the dank and dingy environments he shoots in.

Sad and painful images, and a strikingly bleak film.

Filming a series of sad and bleak tableaux he depicts naked and partially naked women posing sadly; men and women taking drugs; animals being killed and attacked, all shot as a series of beautifully composed oil paintings. The film screened in competition at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen.

He depicts a dark hellish world where prostitution and drug abuse leaves the human body ruined, emaciated and tortured. The voiceovers from various prostitutes - "I feel no pleasure...I'm like a puppet on a stage" and "Here we bury the dead and fuck the living" - match the sad and often plaintive images. …

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