France's 'L'effondrement' ('The Collapse') Did 'Don't Look Up' But Better
Don't Look Up is the Adam Mckay-directed Netflix hit that will at least go home with the prize for The Most Talked-About Film Of The Final Three Days Of 2021. It chronicles a bunch of smart people losing their minds in a fruitless attempt to explain to America that the country's inaction against an otherworldly threat will cause the end of the world and how that would be bad.
Upon reading the premise, we could immediately tell this was going to be a hit -- America is just too in love with reality TV.
While certainly successful, the Internet has criticized the film for being pretty much the least subtle thing in existence. We have to agree. The whole thing stops just short of having Leonardo DiCaprio shouting "Americans, why u dumb?!" straight at the camera. The subtle moments come from people avoiding bringing up Jenifer Lawrence's unfortunate choice of bangs.
If you like the concept but are looking for something that won't lay waste to your senses, we suggest L'effondrement (The Collapse). That's an independent project by the French group Les Parasites composed of eight short episodes, each filmed in one continuous take. Seven of the masterfully directed episodes depict the realities of different groups of people after a mysterious civilizational collapse, which, just like in Don't Look Up, turns out to be a considerably smaller problem than the masses' lack of reasoning and empathy.
But the most important parallel comes from the final episode.
The eighth and final episode is the only one that takes place before the titular collapse and seems like a possible inspiration for Don't Look Up. It features a scientist warning the world of an imminent end of the world scenario on live TV to one of France's ministers before getting laughed off the air as a numbnuts.
We won't spoil the show further, but we'll let you know that Don't Look Up ends with the president, Elon Musk, and a lot of other rich weirdos escaping to another planet, and L'effondrement hits very similar notes (albeit on a least overt way, of course).
The Collapse, just like DiCaprio's film does a great read on today's issues, but, unlike Don't Look Up, it doesn't feel like it was informed mostly out of actually reading dumb tweets from nowadays – it was released in 2019 before we even started hearing about any pandemic, which maybe you should take as a definite reason to go see it, y'know, before it is too late.
Top Image: Netflix