January 18, 2022

“The Beta Test”, “A hero”, “The Snow Panther” … Films to watch this week


This week in theaters, the films agree to pinpoint the excesses and crosses of our media companies. In The Beta Test From man-orchestra Jim Cummings, a rogue agent turns out to be the pure product of a corrupt Hollywood system. With A hero, the chief casuist Asghar Farhadi subjects the individual to the inquisitive echoes of a public rumor such as it swells through the press as on the networks. Finally, in Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, the leak on the Internet of a homemade porn recording delivers a history teacher to the vengeance of an outraged horde of parents of pupils.

“The Beta Test”: in the clutches of the psychopathic agent

It was in 2018 that we got wind of Jim Cummings – born in 1986 in New Orleans (Louisiana) – when his first feature film, Thunder Road, produced, produced, edited and performed by himself, was released in France. After a werewolf comedy that has not been exported, we find him today with his third feature film, co-signed and performed with his friend PJ McCabe, The Beta Test.

More than ever at the center of fictional operations, Cummings this time plays a character named Jordan, a Hollywood agent with a stratospheric ego, but stressed and ulcerated, long past on the other side of reality. Through its escapades, the film represents the terminal level of Hollywood decadence, which indexes the value of human life in the market for success and recognition. Either a universe where all-out predation, moral, professional, sexual, is the minimum condition for survival.

The Beta Test thus seems to have come out entirely from the brain of a degenerate, systematically next to the plate without ever realizing it, and who would nevertheless blame it for the center of the Earth. “We are no longer in the days of Harvey” (Reference to producer Harvey Weinstein, in prison for rape), Jordan preaches, against all evidence, to better sell one of his rotten contracts. What the film shows in this regard is that sexual predation, far from being the consequence, goes hand in hand with the conquest of power. Jacques Mandelbaum

Film américain de Jim Cummings et PJ McCabe. Avec Jim Cummings, Virginia Newcomb, PJ McCabe, Wilky Lau (1 h 33).

“A hero”: a small case of conscience

Master of the scriptwriting illumination and flagship of Iranian cinema after the death of the giant Abbas Kiarostami, the director Asghar Farhadi likes nothing so much as to entangle his viewers in the thread of tangled stories, full of pitfalls, reversals, d cleverly instilled uncertainties. After some European tests (The past, 2013 ; Everybody Knows, 2018), Farhadi returns to the heart of Iranian reality. In Shiraz more precisely, in the footsteps of a news item which has hit the local chronicle, but which it transforms into a lesson in naturalistic haute couture.

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