Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:58 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:50 pm
Posts: 3656
Location: California/NYC
NOCTURAMA (Bentrand Bonello)

Wed., March 1, 2017, the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema opens. Here are some recommendations.

Find the Film Society of Lincoln Center's listings of all the films here.

Wednesday is the day when movies open in France so it's a good day to open the annual Unifrance-Film Society of Lincoln Center collaboration, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In his as usual excellent and interesting preview, Stephen Holden of the New York Times sums up this year's 23 films as being a lot about horror and fear. The dazzler, Bonello's Nocturama, about youths blowing things up in Paris, then idling and losing their focus at a posh department store the night thereafter, certainly is about boredom, anger, and malaise. So perhaps also is Bruno Dumont's strange but somehow wonderful period film Slack Bay/Ma Loute, about class differences, love and cannibalism. And Raw, a horror movie in Film Comment selects also included in the French series, is about flesh-eating too. (I'm not recommending it, though it might appeal to fans of foreign horror films.)

But let's just mention some of the other good films included this year. As Holden acknowledges, François Ozon's beautiful Frantz, also a period story, is or isn't maybe an "anomaly" but certaintly isn't about those nasty things but an anti-war story about guilt and romance and new beginnings, a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's Broken Lulliby. There's no denying that Jérôme Salle's Odyssey/L'Odyssé, a biopic about Yves-Jacques Cousteau, if a little bland and conventional, is beautiful and entrancing. Surprisingly, so is Katell Quillévéré's To Heal the Living/Réparer les vivants - about a heart transplant. It's a rich and humanistic treatment of what in lesser hands might just seem an afternoon special.

Though its humor may lose something in subtitles, Justine Triet's Victoria/In Bed with Victoria, an improvisation-filled rom-com about a ditzy but accomplished woman lawyer (a genius Virginie Efira) whose career was going fine while her personal life was disintegrating, shows the French talent for elegant, tongue-in-cheek comedy; Efira is ably abetted by Vincent Lacoste and Melvil Poupaud.

Some of the other more watchable films of the series this year are:

- The Dancer/La danseuse (Stéphanie Di Giusto, starring Soko) about Louïe Fuller, a turn-of-the century American dance and theater innovator, who found fame in Paris.
- Django (Étienne Comar 2017), the opening night film, about the great gypsy-jazz guitarist. The story's a bit blah but the music is absolutely great, and the filmmakers allow it to play through instead of giving only tiny clips.
- La Fille de Brest/150 Miligrams , Emmanuelle Bercot's filmed story of a Silkwood, Brockovitch-like lady whistleblower, whose battle was with French Big Pharma. The multi-hyphenate Bercot is serous about issues, and this one is notable for its commitment to the story and engaging leads by Sidse Babett Knudsen and Benoît Magimel.

Right Here, Right Now/Tout de suite mainetnant directed by Pascal Bonitzer has a panoply of French stars including Isabelle Huppert, who's on screen only briefly, but tears it up without lifting a finger. Deneuve isn't around this year, but Marion Cotillard and Louis Garrel have a brief romance in Nocole Garcia's From the Land of the Moon/Mal de pierres. You can see Lambert Wilson in both Odyssey in the lead role, and in Right Here, Right Now. Rising stars Pierre Niney and Vincent Lacoste are on hand in several films, Lacoste in Victoria and Right Hear, Right Now, Niney in Odyssey and Frantz.

There are only a few films in the series I'd be reluctant to say are entertaining or interesting. Anyway, there's no disputing matters of taste! But don't miss Nocturama. And note: many of the directors and some of the stars will be on hand for the festival Q&A's. For the fan of French cinema, those can be the best part. And again, look for all the FSLC listings HERE.

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group