‘Lost Bullet’ whizzes past car chases, fistfights

 “Lost Bullet” is French director Guillaume Pierret’s first feature. (Supplied)
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Updated 29 June 2020

‘Lost Bullet’ whizzes past car chases, fistfights

CHENNAI: There is nothing like a film packed with nail-biting car chases and bullets whizzing past to beat lockdown boredom. French director Guillaume Pierret’s first feature, “Lost Bullet,” has these ingredients and more, including a very human story of two brothers. Now streaming on Netflix, “Lost Bullet” inched itself to No. 4 among the top 10 titles in the UK last weekend.

Written by Pierret himself, the plot’s protagonist is automobile mechanic Lino (Alban Lenoir), a genius with rammed cars. The first scene has Lino and his friend Quentin (Rod Paradot) crashing their vehicle into a jewelry store and running through one concrete wall after another.

Chased by the police and unable to run away because his seatbelt is stuck, Lino ends up in prison. Noticing his potential and talent, the head of a special drug unit, Charas (Ramzy Bedia), strikes a deal: Work for us as a mechanic and enjoy an early release.

Everything seems hunky-dory, but Charas is killed in what appears to be intra-police rivalry, and Lino becomes a convenient scapegoat. He escapes and knows he has to prove his innocence, and the clue to this is a bullet lodged in Charas’s car.

Good scripting and direction draw “Lost Bullet” away from a predictable plot, entrenching it firmly on a path of suspense and sheer thrill. This also helps us understand the motives behind the actions of each character, fleshing them out in the process.

Much like the popular French star of the 1970s, Jean-Paul Belmondo, who was a master at performing his own, often very dangerous stunts, Lenoir did the death-defying acts himself, without doubles or CGI. In fact, some of the scenes were re-written with Lenoir’s help to achieve this.

There are some great moments, especially when Lino takes on a dozen cops in a police station. The final car chase sums up the work that Lenoir and Pierret put in to turn “Lost Bullet” into one long exciting affair. But do not look for logic.

In Lebanon, single-concert festival serenades empty ruins

Updated 05 July 2020

In Lebanon, single-concert festival serenades empty ruins

  • The Baalbek International Festival was streamed live on television and social media
  • The night kicked off with the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra and choir performing the national anthem

BEIRUT: A philharmonic orchestra performed to spectator-free Roman ruins in east Lebanon Sunday, after a top summer festival downsized to a single concert in a year of economic meltdown and pandemic.
The Baalbek International Festival was instead streamed live on television and social media, in what its director called a message of “hope and resilience” amid ever-worsening daily woes.
The night kicked off with the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra and choir performing the national anthem, followed by Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna,” a 13th century poem set to music.

The program, which ran for just over an hour, included a mix of classical music and rock and folk tunes by composers ranging from Beethoven to Lebanon’s Rahbani brothers.
Held in the open air and conducted by Harout Fazlian, the 150 musicians and chorists were scattered inside the illuminated Temple of Bacchus, as drones filmed them among the enormous ruins and Greco-Roman temples of Baalbek.
Festival director Nayla de Freige told AFP most artists performed for free at the designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
The concert aimed to represent “a way of saying that Lebanon does not want to die. We have an extremely productive and creative art and culture sector,” she said.
“We want to send a message of civilization, hope and resilience.”
Baalbek itself became a militia stronghold during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, but conservation and tourism have revived the ruins over the past three decades.
Lebanon is known for its summer music festivals, which have in past years drawn large crowds every night and attracted performers like Shakira, Sting and Andrea Bocelli.
Other festivals have not yet announced their plans for this year.
Lebanon has recorded just 1,873 cases of COVID-19, including 36 deaths.
But measures to stem the spread of the virus have exacerbated the country’s worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Since economic woes in the autumn sparked mass protests against a political class deemed irretrievably corrupt, tens of thousands have lost their jobs or part of their income, and prices have skyrocketed.
Banks have prevented depositors from withdrawing their dollar savings, while the local currency has lost more than 80 percent of its value to the greenback on the black market.