Director: Thierry Jousse
Starring: Laurent Lucas, Lio, Michael Lonsdale, Margot Abascal, Noël Akchoté
Duration: 85 min.
Attempting to assuage his loneliness by seeking companionship though a telephone dating service, Bruno, an aspiring electronic musician becomes obsessed with the voice of a woman named Lisa.
Les invisibles is the debut feature film by Thierry Jousse, who served as editor for the famed Cahiers du Cinéma magazine in the 1990's. It premiered in the International Critics Week section of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The film follows Bruno (Laurent Lucas for once not playing a psychopath), an electronic musician working on his debut album with partner Noel (French Jazz guitarist Noël Akchoté). Bruno wanders the streets by day recording random sounds to use as samples, and spends his evenings on a party chat line. One evening he encounters a woman who calls herself Lisa, and he soon becomes obsessed with her and her voice.
Here Jousse disproves the rule that being a Cahiers du Cinéma critic translates to being a great filmmaker. The characters may be interesting, Michael Lonsdale is great in a small role, but the narrative is unpolished and we never get invested in the story. There's also a lengthy explicit scene that takes place in an underground sex club that is included for no valid reason. Perhaps to stir up controversy, but it just feels out of place here.
The music and sound design however are excellent. The film opens to a brilliant soundscape consisting of swirling layers of voice samples which are further developed throughout the film fused with various instruments and rhythms. There is also some impressive live jamming from Noël Akchoté, and a nice cameo from composer Philippe Katerine as the duo's sound engineer.
In the end, Les invisibles is a dark and vaguely mysterious film that falters dramatically but is made watchable due to its fine experimental electronic soundtrack.
— Bonjour Tristesse