Flight risks abound in Pascale Ferran’s charming, audacious Bird
People, a film that tracks the dizzying rush to freedom of two restive
souls both grounded in a dreary, confining location: an airport hotel.
The bulwark-like Hilton that’s a quick shuttle ride from Paris’s Charles
de Gaulle Airport becomes a crucial way station for identities to be cast
off and reconfigured. Firmly rooted in everyday particulars, primarily
the transactions facilitated by the time- and space-obliterating devices
to which we are constantly tethered, Ferran’s movie dares to venture,
for much of its second half, into fantasy. Bird People begins with the
bustle of a morning commute aboard a regional train line. Among the
passengers is Audrey (Anaïs Demoustier), an adrift university student on
her way to her housekeeping job in that grim Hilton. She punches in at
the lodging shortly before the check-in of Gary (Josh Charles), a Silicon
Valley executive who’s scheduled to be in Paris for less than 24 hours.
Both characters, who don’t officially meet until the film’s closing minutes,
signal growing restlessness, increasingly distracted by airborne objects.
After these introductory scenes, Bird People splits into two chapters that
trace each protagonist’s leap into the unknown, a risk that results in a
complete, liberating transformation.
“Delightful, and delightfully eccentric. A blast of pure cinema.”
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Pascale Ferran and Guillaume Bréaud
RUNNING TIME 128’
PRODUCTION France, 2014
FORMAT(S) Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD
IFC Films / Sundance Selects