Review by Sean Boelman
Marc Collin’s new music industry drama Le Choc du Futur (which translates into “The Shock of the Future”) is sure to be one of the grooviest films that audiences will see this year. Despite a simple and minimalistic premise, Collin makes a movie that is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to a catchy soundtrack and a charming lead performance.
The film tells the story of a young musician living in Paris in the 1970s as she tries to break into the industry with her unique compositions of electronic sounds. Although the movie isn’t based on any one musician, it is dedicated to all of the women pioneers of the electronic music genre, and so has a certain feel of authenticity about it.
What Collin has to say with this film isn’t particularly deep, but it’s still an important message nevertheless. While the main conflict of the movie involves the shock of this new sound landing in the music scene, the real driving force of the film is the shock that its creator (or in real life, creators) breaking onto the scene has.
Ana is a very compelling protagonist, and even though her arc is a relatively conventional underdog story, it works because it is so uplifting. The final fifteen minutes of the movie have an uncommon amount of empathy, allowing the film to stand out. Alma Jodorowsky’s performance is fun to watch, which is particularly impressive given that the story mostly follows her as she works on machines.
The interesting cast of characters that Ana encounters over the course of the day is also very interesting. The people who cross her path range from quirky to charming, but the interactions they have with Ana are consistently entertaining. Even when the narrative doesn’t seem to be moving along as strongly, these amusing sessions will keep the viewer’s attention.
As one expects, a large deal of this film’s success will revolve around the viewer understanding and appreciating the style of music that defines it. Collin depicts the process by which the character creates her music in particular detail in one sequence, and that is above and beyond the most impressive in the movie.
However, it is worth noting that the film as a whole has a tremendous sense of style. The soundtrack is phenomenal and provides the pacing for the editing. (Collin provided the music for the movie as well, as he started as a composer himself.) The cinematography by Stefano Forlini is also very good, drawing the viewer into the world of the film, most of which takes place in Ana’s studio.
Le Choc du Futur won’t be to one’s tastes if they aren’t a fan of the style of music to which it pays homage, but those who are fans of early electronic music will find themselves in awe. It’s a simple movie, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Le Choc du Futur was set to screen at the cancelled 2020 SXSW Film Festival and is currently streaming as a part of the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection on Amazon Prime.