P&I: NAME ABOVE TITLE (2020)
A woman throws herself off a balcony and lands next to a serial killer who has just murdered his latest victim. As he kneels next to her, she whispers something to him, and he kisses her before she dies. The crowd gathered around them has recorded the scene, and social media immediately explodes with the video of the final kiss, viewed as an act of kindness toward a dying woman. But when someone investigates what the whispered words really were, our killer’s fate takes an unexpected, twisted, and iconic turn. This second feature from Portuguese director Carlos Conceição is a fantastic homage to our beloved giallos and a twisted tale of misinterpretation (with a little social media critique added to the mix) – without a word of spoken dialogue.
Everything in this film is superb, from the art design to the cinematography. It’s stylish and meticulous, flashy and fashiony. Even the main actor (Frenchman Matthieu Charneau) is impossibly gorgeous. There is no doubt that Conceição is one of the most exciting new voices in Portuguese cinema, and while NAME ABOVE TITLE (the film’s original Portuguese title means “A Scarlet Little Thread”) is barely clocking in at one hour — and oh, do I wish the film were longer! — you should not miss this little gem of a neo-giallo. (ANNICK MAHNERT)