The film is a remarkable portrait, convincing and performative, insistent and expressive, and ever incomplete.
“Never believe you’ve played your last hand,” instructs Jean Marc Calvet. “Never believe it’s too late, never believe that things will never work out.” Under his voiceover, you see Calvet walking into the frame, in slow motion. His sunglasses obscure his eyes, his bald head and hoop earrings overwhelming as he fills the frame, obscuring the traffic behind him.
As an introduction to the French-Nicaraguan painter, these first few moments of Calvet suggest his intensity, his determination, his capacity for self-reflection, They are also the last moment in Dominic Allan’s movie that moves so slowly, literally. From here on out, the pace is propulsive, as Calvet takes you on a journey through his past, passing by his present, and into his possible future. And the camera does its best to keep up with him.