Teenage Simone (Sophie Nélisse) faints after watching her mother’s brutal murder in the stairwell of her father’s apartment building. The experience kicks off a dreamlike journey through space and time that includes triggering incidents involving a mid-20s version of Simone (Mylène Mackay) working as an attendant in a sketchy parking garage and a senior citizen Simone (Lise Roy) lecturing on astrophysics and how films perceive and shape our reality.
Endorphine, the latest feature from noteworthy Quebecois cinematographer André Turpin, is impossible to fully describe thanks to its purposeful abstraction, but it’s still largely confused about what it exactly wants to convey. It’s too mundane to be terrifying, too jumpy to be a meditation on space-time physics, and too addled to remain on any topic for more than a few minutes at a time.
This could be intellectually stimulating material about the nature of dreams and how they could unlock the mysteries of human existence, but as Turpin relentlessly bounces his story around like a paddle ball, it’s hard to really get fully immersed in the disorientation he’s attempting to convey. At times some of his ideas and compositions are worthy of Jacques Tati, David Lynch and Shane Carruth, but every time he adds more detail, he forgets to slow down. It’s still interesting, but overall a mixed bag.
Is Endorphine essential festival viewing?
It’s inclusion in Vanguard is a bit misleading. This would be far more at home in the Wavelengths programme. Even still, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely successful even by those standards of cinema and art. Multiple watches definitely seem necessary.
Endorphine screening times
No further screenings