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2013 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 2: Amat Escalante’s Heli

By the fest’s end in about nine days from now, we might pointing to the first film that showed during the ’13 edition as the “L’enfant terrible” selection of the fest. Amat Escalante’s Heli set the competition aflame for the film’s disturbing violent elements (a much talked about torture scene) which simply confirm that not unlike his peers, this Mexican helmer’s shock-filled social commentary on the cycle of violence (in all shapes and forms) is also a discourse on Mexico’s trickle down corruption. Following his equally jarring Sangre and Los bastardos (both premiered on the Croisette) Escalante’s simple modus operandi equation is to employ mostly non-actors, impale his audience with the more grotesque aspects found in human nature and favor hopelessness and miserablism over hope. The film was received with a below average type grade. Click on the chart below for the latest grades.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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