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Vincent Cassel Toplines Dominik Moll’s ‘The Monk’

The filmmaker behind 2005’s Lemming is finally getting back into the director’s chair. Dominik Moll announced his intentions midway last year, but the good news is he’ll begin lensing this month in Spain up until July on The Monk or Le Moine. Judging by the cast, this should be a Franco-Spanish film with Vincent Cassel toplining alongside Déborah François, Géraldine Chaplin and Sergi López who’ll be re-teaming with the director again…

The filmmaker behind 2005’s Lemming is finally getting back into the director’s chair. Dominik Moll announced his intentions midway last year, but the good news is he’ll begin lensing this month in Spain up until July on The Monk or Le Moine. Judging by the cast, this should be a Franco-Spanish film with Vincent Cassel toplining alongside Déborah François, Géraldine Chaplin and Sergi López who’ll be re-teaming with the director again, both worked on 2000’s With a Friend Like Harry. A late great Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière attempted to film a version of The Monk in the 60s.

Domink Moll The Monk

An adaptation of classic from Mathew Gregory Lewis published in 1796, the story concerns Capucin Ambrosio (Cassel) – this centers on a well-respected monk in Spain – and his violent downfall. He is undone by carnal lust for his pupil, a woman disguised as a monk (Matilda), who tempts him to transgress, and, once satisfied by her, is overcome with desire for the innocent Antonia. Using magic spells Matilda aids him in seducing Antonia, whom he later rapes and kills. Matilda is eventually revealed as an instrument of Satan in female form, who has orchestrated Ambrosio’s downfall from the start. In the middle of telling this story Lewis frequently makes further digressions, which serve to heighten the Gothic atmosphere of the tale while doing little to move along the main plot. A lengthy story about a “Bleeding Nun” is told, and many incidental verses are introduced. A second romance, between Lorenzo and Antonia, also gives way to a tale of Lorenzo’s sister being tortured by hypocritical nuns (as a result of a third romantic plot). Eventually, the story catches back up with Ambrosio, and in several pages of impassioned prose, Ambrosio is delivered into the hands of the Inquisition; he escapes by selling his soul to the devil for his deliverance from the death sentence which awaits him. The story ends with the devil preventing Ambrosio’s attempted final repentance, and the sinful monk’s prolonged torturous death. Ambrosio finds out by the devil that the woman that he had raped and killed, Antonia, was indeed his sister.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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