Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival


Hold Me Tight – Mathieu Amalric's melancholy melodrama premieres at LEFFEST’21

LEFFEST’21 is honoured to have Mathieu Amalric in the first national screening of his eighth and most recent feature film, Hold Me Tight, premiered at the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

One of today’s most prestigious French actors, Mathieu Amalric is also one of the most original directors of the new generation of French auteur cinema.

As an actor, Amalric has collaborated with the biggest names in contemporary cinema, among them Wes Anderson, in The French Dispatch (2021), opening film of LEFFEST'21, Roman Polanski, Eugène Green, Alain Resnais, David Cronenberg, François Ozon, in recent Everything Went Fine, film with its première in Portugal at LEFFEST'21, Sofia Coppola and Olivier Assayas.

Since the 1990s, he has established himself also as a director, with films such as Mange Ta Soup (1997), La Choise Publique (2003), La chambre bleue (2014) and Barbara (2017), winner of Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and, the most recent, Hold Me Tight.

Adapted from the play Je reviens de loin, by Claudine Galea, Hold Me Tight presents the mysterious story of Clarisse (Vicky Krieps), a woman who appears to be struggling with the idea of leaving her husband (Arieh Worthalter) and children.

Why did Clarisse leave her family? And what happened to them after they were abandoned? Are we facing memories, projections or experiences?

All these questions only become harder to answer in a dizzying narrative structure filled with telescopic effects, echoes, juxtapositions, flashbacks and flashforwards. Reality and imagination become difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish.

The scenes escape any logical or temporal order, and enter a dialectic of proximity and distance in which Clarisse's escape oscillates.

Surrounded by melancholy, the film reveals itself to be a melodrama about loss, a feeling that is incomprehensible and sometimes hallucinatory. In the light of this, only imagination and memory are a way of mourning, of understanding and overcoming the reality of loss.

A poignant film about the state of fragility we are thrown into when a vital event tragically breaks into our lives, Hold Me Tight premieres, with the presence of the director, at LEFFEST ’21.
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