East Coast Premiere

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2020 • France | Belgium | Luxembourg • 93 min.

Director: Zoé Wittock
Screenwriter: Zoé Wittock
Cast: Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bastien Bouillon

March 29, 2020 @ 8:30 pm

Brattle Theatre

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A shy amusement park janitor finds love on the job in the form of an 80-foot Tilt-A-Whirl.

Jeanne (Noémie Merlant, Portrait of a Lady on Fire) lives at home and works the overnight shift as an amusement park cleaner. Margarette (Emmanuelle Bercot), Jeanne’s bartending mother, is still reeling from an unexpected breakup with her daughter’s father; her coping mechanism is hedonism and her hope is that the awkward young Jeanne will blossom, find a man, live happily ever after, etc. In spite of mom’s good intentions, Jeanne would rather spend time in her room building fully functional miniature replicas of the rides she polishes nightly.

When a new Tilt-A-Whirl arrives at the park, Jeanne is immediately enthralled by “his” magnificent machinery and names him Jumbo. She soon discovers that Jumbo responds to and communicates with her via his various lights and finds herself head over heels in love for the first time. The feeling seems mutual and a surprising romance blooms, in secret, between the two. Bursting with uncontainable happiness, Jeanne eventually decides to share the news, but not everyone is ready to understand and accept this unusual arrangement.

Writer/director Zoé Wittock’s fantastical and heartfelt debut is rooted in the common reality that many of us are not accepted for who we are and/or whom we love. While the premise of an objectophilic love story seems ripe for comedy to some, Wittock infuses this somewhat surrealist tale with earnestness, good-natured humor, and unbridled joy.

Watching the story unfold from Jeanne’s perspective gives the audience a front-row seat to the literal thrill ride that is this young woman’s journey of self-discovery; we here at BUFF are all for letting freak flags fly with pride. This is the note we chose to end this year’s festival on and we hope you’ll join us for this unforgettable, literal joyride.

Special thanks to WTFILMS.

– Nicole McControversy

Playing With:

Hunting Season

Shannon Kohli, Canada, 11 min.

A small-town gas station attendant has an unexpected encounter which will change the course of her life forever.