Bertrand Bonello / 2016 / 130 minutes / Spine #10

The new film by Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, House of Pleasures) is a terrorism thriller like no other, recalling Robert Bresson’s The Devil, Probably as much as it does George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. We first follow a group of tense, shifty adolescents as they prowl the streets and subways of Paris, learning through carefully delineated sequences that they’re already well underway with a bombing plot. And then it becomes something familiar, yet altogether different, as these subversives tuck away inside a shopping mall and lose themselves in consumer culture — clothes, televisions, toys, and a stirring soundtrack that includes Blondie, Chief Keef, Shirley Bassey, Bonello’s menacing electronic score, and Willow Smith. Will they survive the unseen, encroaching authorities? Or, as the walls close in, will they even survive each other? Nocturama forgoes easy answers, making way for one of the 21st century’s most stunning cinematic experiences.


• Two Short Films by Bertrand Bonello
– Sarah Winchester: Ghost Opera (2016, 24 min.)
– Cindy: The Doll is Mine, starring Asia Argento (2005, 15 min.)
• Interview with Bertrand Bonello (20 minutes)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Booklet featuring a director’s statement and an essay by critic/programmer Dennis Lim


→ Read Bertrand Bonello’s 10/10 list
→ Read Dennis Lim’s essay on Nocturama


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  • "The Nocturama [blu-ray] exceeded all of my expectations. Everything from the technical presentation to the packaging design is of the type of high-quality that the folks at Criterion deliver with their releases. Simply fantastic. Very highly recommended.
  • "An essential, illuminating movie... a hypnotic portrait of youth in revolt."

    — David Ehrlich, Indiewire
  • "Mesmerizing. One of the year’s most significant and aesthetically accomplished films. A haunting vision of the world gone beautifully mad."

    — Justin Chang, LA Times
  • "As exquisite and symphonic a display of pure genre pleasure as any movie this year."

    — Robert Koehler, Sight & Sound
  • “Bonello’s daring and controversial follow-up to his Yves Saint Laurent biopic is even more stylish—an abstract thriller.”

    — J. Hoberman, New York Review of Books
  • "In every respect, Nocturama is a bravura feat of filmmaking."

    — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The AV Club
  • "A disturbingly relevant snapshot of contemporary tensions. Magnetic and purely cinematic."

    — Pamela Pianezza, Variety
Trailer / Clips