Over-Eater , The



Former soccer star Eric Cantona’s attempt to forge a new career as a movie actor finally pays off with The Over-Eater, an unusual and highly atmospheric first cinema feature by director Thierry Binisti. Cantona plays Richard Selena, a morbidly obese Marseilles police superintendent who is given a year to live unless he can conquer his severe eating disorder. Involved in a murder investigation when handed the prognosis, Selena seems set on a course of self-destruction. Suspecting the young and beautiful Elsa (Rachida Brakni) of being responsible for the murder, he decides to impose his own perverse ‘sentence’. In order to avoid being arrested, Elsa is obliged to visit Selena every evening at his home and endure the spectacle of watching him devour mountains of food.
Based on a popular graphic novel, Binisti’s film mercifully underplays the social commentary as it builds up a fascinating picture of a child-like figure who is trapped in a monstrous body. A subtle use of flashbacks suggest that some childhood trauma lies at the heart of Selena’s troubles, and his encounters with Elsa reveal that she too is haunted by secrets from the past. More important than the suspense of the murder investigation is the film’s highly stylised look, which endows it with the qualities
of a fairy tale. In fact, this is essentially a modern variation on Beauty and the Beast, with Cantona in very impressive form (despite the layers of prosthetics) as the monster who must discover his beauty.
Plus Apporte-moi ton amour, an Eric Cantona-directed short based on a story by Charles Bukowski.
France, 2002. English subtitles. Colour. 11minutes.
Eric Cantona will be present to discuss his films.

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