Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2018 (New York, Mar. 8-18, 2018)

Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center with UniFrance

The Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York is one of America's most extensive series of new French films and I'm covering it for the 13th year. In my fall 2017 Paris movie journal I already reported on six of the 24 2018 Rendez-Vous films, Barbara, Number One, See You Up There, Montparnasse Bienvenue, C'Est la Vie! and Comfort and Consolation in France. I recently watched Cantet's The Workshop/L'Atelier twice and am preparing a review; its US theatrical release is 23 Mar 2018. Below are the series blurbs, to which I've added a few other details, such as the French theatrical release dates and AlloCiné French press ratings, highlighting in red those with the warmest home receptions, a 3.5 or above. That's not to imply others are of not also of interest, but it's good to know the home reaction.

Jeanne Balibar, Mathieu Amalric in Barbara

Barbara - My Paris coverage
Mathieu Amalric 2017 France 98 minutes
Opening Night · U.S. Premiere ·
Introductions by Mathieu Amalric and Jeanne Balibar
A chameleon-like Jeanne Balibar stars in this tantalizing, meta-cinematic tribute to Barbara—a legendary chanteuse and enduring icon of French culture—from actor-director Mathieu Amalric. France 6 Sept. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 4.1).
Showtimes March 8 6:30 PM 9:00 PM

12 Days/12 jours
Raymond Depardon 2017 France 87 minutes

N.Y. Premiere · Q&A with Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret
Continuing a 30-year collaboration with sound recordist and producer Claudine Nougaret, renowned photographer and documentarian Raymond Depardon has made a startling, face-to-face look at mental illness and the French legal system. France 29 Nov. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 4.2).
Showtimes March 15 6:30 PM


Léa Mysius 2017 France 105 minutes
N.Y. Premiere

The breathtakingly bold debut feature from Léa Mysius—about a 13-year-old girl taking in as much of life as she can before she goes blind—is a coming-of-age tale unlike any other. France 21 Jun. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.5).
Showtimes March 11 8:30 PM
March 16 9:15 PM

Before Summer Ends

Before Summer Ends/Avant la fin de l'été
Maryam Goormaghtigh 2017 France/Switzerland 80 minutes

N.Y. Premiere
Three thirty-something Iranian friends embark on a late summer road trip through the sunny South before one of them heads back to Iran in this endearingly wry and perceptive travelogue about what it means to be an outsider in a foreign country. 12 Jul. 2017 France (AlloCiné press rating 3.5).
Showtimes March 17 1:00 PM

C’est la vie!/Le sense de la fête - My Paris coverage
Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano 2017 France/Canada/Belgium 117 minutes

U.S. Premiere
The behind-the-scenes planning of an elaborate wedding makes for a deliciously deadpan comic soufflé from the directors of the smash hit The Intouchables. 4 Oct. 2017 France (AlloCiné press rating 3.7).
Showtimes March 10 9:30 PM
March 18 7:45 PM

Comfort and Consolation in France/Pour le réconfort - My Paris coverage
Vincent Macaigne 2017 France 91 minutes

North American Premiere · Q&A with Vincent Macaigne on March 14
One of France’s most distinctive rising talents, Vincent Macaigne directs this daringly iconoclastic chamber drama about the clash between France’s haves and have-nots. France 25 Oct. 2017 (AlloCine press rating 3.2).
Showtimes March 14 8:45 PM
March 18 1:00 PM


Custody/Jusqu'à la garde
Xavier Legrand 2017 France 93 minutes

N.Y. Premiere · Q&A with Xavier Legrand
Winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, this riveting domestic drama is a harrowing study of a family coming undone in the midst of a bitter custody battle that "depicts, practically in real time, the white-knuckle moments in which an abused wife manages to pry herself away from a dangerous and controlling husband," says Peter Debruge, who gave it a rave in Variety at Toronto last September. France 7 Feb. 2018 (AlloCiné press rating 4.3).
Showtimes March 11 3:00 PM

Endangered Species

Endangered Species/Espèces menacées
Gilles Bourdos 2017 France/Belgium 105 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Gilles Bourdos and writer Richard Bausch on March 11
Drawing from Richard Bausch’s short stories, Renoir director Gilles Bourdos delivers an explosive emotional epic about the tangled relationships among parents, children, husbands, wives, and lovers. France 27 Sept. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.2).
Showtimes March 11 5:30 PM
March 15 1:30 PM

The Guardians/Les gardiennes
Xavier Beauvois 2017 Switzerland/France 138 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Xavier Beauvois
A resilient young woman weathers the turbulence of World War I in the quietly affecting new film from Of Gods and Men director Xavier Beauvois. France 6 Dec. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.4).
Showtimes March 16 6:00 PM


Jeannette, The Childhood of Joan of Arc/Jeannette, l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc
Bruno Dumont 2017 France 105 minutes

N.Y. Premiere · Q&A with Bruno Dumont on March 9
The ever-unpredictable Bruno Dumont (Slack Bay) takes another thrilling hairpin turn with this audacious heavy metal musical about the spiritual awakening of a young Joan of Arc. France 6 Sept. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.2).
Showtimes March 9 6:30 PM
March 13 4:15 PM

July Tales/Contes de juillet

July Tales/Contes de juillet - Prochainement (1h 10min)
Guillaume Brac 2017 France 68 minutes

North American Premiere
Two languorous summer days, two tales of romantic misunderstanding: this deceptively breezy diptych channels the spirit of Rohmer as it explores the thorny relationships between men and women. Not yet released in France.
Showtimes March 9 2:15 PM
March 12 9:30 PM

Cécile de France, Francois Damiens, Just to Be Sure

Just to Be Sure/Ôtez-moi d'un doute
Carine Tardieu 2017 France/Belgium 100 minutes

N.Y. Premiere
Life gets complicated for a middle-aged man when he discovers his father is not his father—and his girlfriend may be his half-sister—in this witty, winning seriocomic charmer. France 3 Sept. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.4).
Showtimes March 18 3:00 PM

The Lion Sleeps Tonight/Le lion est mort ce soir

The Lion Sleeps Tonight/Le lion est mort ce soir
Nobuhiro Suwa 2017 France/Japan 103 minutes

North American Premiere
Living legend Jean-Pierre Léaud stars in this self-reflexive ghost story—a playful consideration of cinema, mortality, and the actor’s own status as an emblem of film history. France 3 Jan. 2018 (AlloCiné press rating 3.4).
Showtimes March 9 4:00 PM
March 15 9:15 PM

Benoit Magimel in A Memoir of War/]La douleur

A Memoir of War/La douleur
Emmanuel Finkiel 2017 France 127 minutes

North American Premiere · Q&A with Emmanuel Finkiel on March 17
Marguerite Duras’s autobiographical memoir—a heartrending reflection on wartime grief—receives a haunting and hypnotic adaptation starring a profoundly moving Mélanie Thierry. La douleur was one of Duras' most passionate and personal works. France: 24 Jan. 2018 (2h 06min) (AlloCiné press rating 4.0).
Thursday, March 15, 3:45pm Saturday, March 17, 3:00pm (Q&A with Emmanuel Finkiel)
Showtimes March 15 3:45 PM
March 17 3:00 PM


Montparnasse Bienvenüe/Jeune Femme - My Paris coverage
Léonor Serraille 2017 France 97 minutes

New York Premiere · Q&A with Léonor Serraille & Julie Roué on March 9
A newly single young woman attempts to restart her life in this refreshingly complex portrait of an all-too-human heroine veering between instability and strength. Winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes for best first film. France 1 Nov. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.9).
ShowtimesMarch 9 9:30 PM
March 12 1:15 PM

Emmanuelle Devos in Numéro une

Number One/Numéri une - My Paris coverage
Tonie Marshall 2017 France 110 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Tonie Marshal on March 10
Emmanuelle Devos stars as an ambitious businesswoman navigating a sexist corporate minefield as she attempts to crash the boardroom boys’ club in this timely feminist drama from Tonie Marshall (Venus Beauty Institute). France 11 Oct. 2017 (AlloCine press rating 3.3).
Showtimes March 10 6:30 PM
March 17 9:15 PM

Orchestra Class/La Mélodie
Rachid Hami 2017 France 102 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Rachid Hami
A violinist is tested when he signs on to teach music to a class of middle-school students on the multicultural outskirts of Paris in this refreshingly naturalistic ode to the transformative power of music. France 8 Nov. 2017 (AlloCine press rating 2.9).
Showtimes March 14 6:00 PM

A Paris Education/Mes provinciales

A Paris Education/Mes provinciales
Jean-Paul Civeyrac 2018 France 137 minutes

North American Premiere · Q&A with Jean-Paul Civeyrac on March 17
Director Jean Paul Civeyrac's new feature, about a young French film student come to Paris from the provinces, premiered in Berlin's Panorama section French theatrical release: 18 Apr. 2018. (Hence, no press rating.) Jordan Mintzer's review in Hollywood Reporter: ", A Paris Education may very well be a whiny French film par excellence. . . Yet that doesn’t make it any less compelling, and with its pared-down aesthetic and grounded naturalistic performances, Education recalls such “whiny” classics of French cinema as Jean Eustache’s The Mother and the Whore and Philippe Garrel’s Regular Lovers — movies about young intellectuals who spend their days and nights smoking, having sex, sitting around cafés and arguing a lot about art and politics." AlloCiné press rating 3.8.
Showtimes March 12 3:30 PM
March 17 6:00 PM

Petit Paysan

Petit Paysan
Hubert Charuel 2017 France 90 minutes

N.Y. Premiere
A farmer’s desperate attempts to save his cows from a deadly epidemic yields a surprisingly tense thriller rooted in everyday life. France 30 Aug. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 4.1).
Showtimes March 11 1:00 PM
March 14 4:00 PM

See You Up There/Au revoir là-haut - Paris coverage
Albert Dupontel 2017 France/Canada 117 minutes

N.Y. Premiere
This spectacularly surreal comic caper—in which an ex–World War I soldier and artist embark on an audacious get-rich-quick scheme—is a whimsical wild ride through Jazz Age Paris. France 25 Oct. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.9).
Showtimes March 13 8:45 PM
March 18 5:15 PM


The Sower/Le semeur
Marine Francen 2017 France/Belgium 98 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Marine Francen on March 10
Writ in bucolic, golden-hued images that recall the paintings of Jean-François Millet, this quietly provocative, Napoleonic-era fable imagines a community of women into whose midst wanders a lone male. 15 Nov. 2017 (AlloCiné 3.1).
Showtimes March 10 3:30 PM
March 13 2:00 PM

Tomorrow and Thereafter/Demain et tous les autres jours

Tomorrow and Thereafter/Demain et tous les autres jours
Noémie Lvovsky 2017 France 91 minutes

U.S. Premiere
As her mother steadily loses her grip on reality, a young girl escapes into a fantasy world of her own in this alternately enchanting and cathartic family portrait from acclaimed actress-director Noémie Lvovsky. France 27 Sept. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.3).
Showtimes March 10 1:00 PM
March 16 2:00 PM

Waiting for the Barbarians/En attendant les barbares
Eugène Green 2017 France 76 minutes

North American Premiere · Q&A with Eugène Green on March 13
Six strangers confront their uniquely 21st century anxieties with the help of a sorcerer in this playful performance art consciousness-bender-cum-ghost story about the search for meaning in the age of social media. (Apparently no France, but Spanish, release; no AlloCiné listing.) The one available review in Cineuropa is unpomising.
Showtimes March 13 6:30 PM
March 16 4:00 PM

Mathieu Lucci, Marina Fois in The Workship/L'Atelier

The Workshop/L'Atelier
Laurent Cantet 2017 France 113 minutes

N.Y. Premiere · Q&A with Laurent Cantet on March 12
Director of the 2008The Class/Entre les murs (Palme d'Or at Cannes its year) Laurent Cantet returns with a tense, provocative exploration of contemporary French society as seen through the eyes of the next generation, again focused on a classroom situation, this time in summer, outdoors, a writing workshop where multicultural youths seek to compose a thriller set in their hometown, the port La Ciotat, under a successful Parisian crime novel writer played by Mariina Foïs. Scenario by Cantet reuniting after a break with his regular collaborator Robin Campillo, who also edited. Not at Cannes in Competition, but nominated for the Un Certain Regard award. France : 11 Oct. 2017 (AlloCiné press rating 3.9.)US theatrical release begins 23 Mar. 2018.
Showtimes March 12 6:30 PM
March 14 1:30 PM


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