Eva Husson’s feature film debut is an audacious one to say the least. The opening shot looks out a window at a tranquil tree before a nude girl runs past and we’re taken inside a house where teenagers are engaging in several forms of debauchery. A slow motion tracking shot takes us deeper inside a party that makes Eyes Wide Shut look like your parents’ 25th Anniversary. A narrator tells us that this is what’s come to be known as the ‘Bang Gang’, before taking us 3 months into the past to show us how these orgies came to be.
These opening minutes succinctly establish what these kids are up to, the rest of the film is more of the same with a little bit of teen drama added while maintaining an uncomfortably intent gaze on their sexuality. I found the whole idea of teen orgies rather far fetched, until I learned that the film was inspired by similar events that happened in a small French town sometime in the 90s. The story has been updated with a heavy social media element added. Among all of all the smoking, snorting, tripping, fucking, and sharing (physically and socially), a romance inexplicably emerges after one girl is humiliated on YouTube. This would be the “Modern Love” story part, but it’s really more about the Bang Gang.
I don’t normally like to bring the director’s gender into a film’s analysis, but I can’t help but feel that the same film wouldn’t be interpreted as innocent or playful were it a man behind the camera. Eva Husson demonstrates style and competence, I just couldn’t connect with the subject matter. Bang Gang is like Spring Breakers without the fun, or Kids without the consequences.
SAT SEP 19 9:00 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1