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Thread: RendezVous with French Cinema 2010 at Loncoln Center

  1. #16
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    Xabia Molia: 8 Times Up (2010)

    To be released in France in April 2010.

    Meeting on the way down: a film about economic marginality

    Xabia Molia's first feature, 8 Times Up/Huit fois debout, a psychological and social study with a light touch, seeks to be an easy film about a hard subject, and largely succeeds in this aim. The narrative describes a process of decline but it's more spinning in circles than a straight drop. Hopelessness and desperation are tempered by whimsy, and however downbeat the film, it is delicate and specific.. . .8 Times Up is a film that shows how thin the line between security and homelessness can be. But the light touch in part backfires: the very delicacy and the tenuousness of the couple's relationship makes the film feel itself marginal and tentative at times.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:18 PM.

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    Christophe Honoré: Making Plans for Léna (2009)

    Having completed what he now calls his "Paris trilogy" -- Dans Paris, Love Songs, and La Belle Personne -- and now being married with a daughter, he wanted to return to his native Brittany and focus on family, children,the role of women. And so, collaborating on the script with the writer Genevieve Brisac, he has made a more mature and many-layered work than he has ever done before.

    He has also fulfilled his promise to work again with Chiara Mastroianni and provide her with a major role.

    As Variety reviewer Jordan Mintzer writes of this career-capping performance, Mastroianni "manages to channel real energy into her character early on, making for a strong performance reminiscent of both Emmanuelle Devos in (Desplechin's) Kings and Queen and Gena Rowland's unruly protags in the films of John Cassavettes." And the thing is, the other principal actors are also in top form and do some of their best work.

    (French title: Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:20 PM.

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    Mona Achache: The Hedghog (2009)

    In this adept and well-acted little sentimental charmer, a screen adaptation of Muriel Barbery's bestseller The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a precocious and artistic little rich girl, an intellectual concierge, and a benevolent Japanese gentleman come together in a posh Parisian apartment building for a brief period of understanding, communion, and the beginnings of love. The story is a little like an episode from Kay Thompson's Eloise, but set in Paris with philosophical and orientalist touches, a girl who is more smug and priggish than cute and an increasingly saccharine trajectory that is only just barely saved by a tart finale.

    For the Festival Coverage review click on the title above.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:20 PM.

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    Lucas Belvaux: Rapt (2009)

    For the full Festival Coverage review, click on the title and director's name above. Below, an except of the review:

    The accomplishment of Rapt is to carry its story beyond the conventional climax into a kind of heroic struggle for identity and power, a drama of the essential loneliness of man and the dominance of image in the modern world. Some of the speeches in the last segment might come from a contemporary version of Corneille or Racine. Attal is remarkable, suffering, Christlike in confinement, also resembling the death mask of Marcel Proust; then reborn, fiery, but surrounded by confining police protectors and intimate betrayers of trust so his freedom seems anything but that and the real brutality may be in release, the real prisons wealth, power, and fame. But it's not that simple: Rapt isn't preachy or tendentious; it supplies you with a damn good time but leaves you pondering. It may be a better film than it seems, or even than its makers realized. In his famous "Trilogy" Belvaux played with genres. Here he uses a single genre to transcend genre. Like Cantet's Tell No One, this plays very well as a mainstream film, but is much more.

  5. #20
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    You put a lot of work and love into this post. I tried to read most of them. I would love to see "Making plans for Lena." I tried to bring it up on Netflix but it is not available yet. Great post, Chris. Excellent work. Bravo.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  6. #21
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    R-V -- US releases or DVD's?

    Thank you, cinemabon, for your compliments! I'll try to keep you posted on availability of the films. Making Plans for Lena has been picked up by IFCFilms. They are promoting it and Honoré is appearing at several venues, Lincoln Center, IFC Center (Sixth Ave. at W. 3rd St.), and at BAMcinématek (30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn) during the R-V public screenings of the film in March. It will be on DVD later, perhaps also in US theatrical release.

    Any of the films that have been out for four months or more in France are available on French DVD's.

    Directors and or stars of nearly all the films will on hand for public screenings (but these are not what I am attending).

    In addition to that there will be special evenings with Vincent Lindon (at the Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center) and Yvan Attal (at the Alliance Francaise), both of whom are in several of the films this yea. The Alliance Francaise is at 22 E 60th St. between Park and Madison.

    March 21 there will be a special screening of Honoré's 2008 IFC release, Love Songs, with the director and Chiara Mastroianni on hand for discussion, this at the Alliance Francaise.

    It looks like a majority of the series this year have good US art house potential, but i don't have much information, and the economy makes one less optimistic.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:25 PM.

  7. #22
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    For Filmleaf's Festival Coverage section review of this film click on the title below:

    Xavier Giannoli: In the Beginning (2009)

    Philippe Miller is a lone con man who lives on the road.
    One day he comes across an abandoned highway project halted several years ago by eco-activists to save a colony of beetles.
    The work stopage has been an economic catastrophe for the inhabitants of the region.
    Philippe sees in this a chance to achieve his best swindle ever. But his deception will get away from him.
    --Allociné.

    Like Belvaux in creating Rapt, Giannoli has taken little item in a newspaper (about a petty swindler who built a highway) and turned it into a great film that transcends genre and shows why French cinema is still worth following.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:25 PM.

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    Axelle Ropert: The Wolberg Family (2009)

    A Jewish mayor in a Basque town in rural France and his family turn out not to be as harmonious as he might like. First feature by the screenwriter for Serge Bozon (La France). Striking dialogue, acting, and cinematography; some disunity in the sequences.

    To read the full Festival Coverage review click on the film title above.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:26 PM.

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    Christian Carion: Farewell (2009)

    A bland spy story.

    For the full review, click on the film title above.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:29 PM.

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    Philippe Lioret: Welcome (2009)

    Illegal immigration is the subject of this ironically titled film. But whatever generalizations it has to make are embodied in beautifully realized and touching characters and a specific story, which combines one of France's ablest and most experienced actors, Vincent Lindon, with a young Kurdish newcomer, Firat Ayverdi. Ayverdi plays the role of Bilal, a 17-year-old Iraq-born Kurd who needs to get from France to England to meet his sweetheart. He's in France illegally and decides to swim the Channel. Simon (Vincent Lindon) is a swim coach whose aid he seeks.

    This film was substituted and Christophe Blanc's White As Snow/Blac comme neige, which has a European theatrical release dat of March 17, was omitted from the original slate.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:30 PM.

  11. #26
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    The Rendez-Vous with French Cinema public screenings schedule is now available on the FSLC website and can be viewed here. Tickets are available online and at the box office.

    The series runs from March 11th to 21st and is shown at both Lincoln Center (all but opening night's Farewell/L'affaire Farewell shown at the Walter Reade Theater, the latter at Alice Tully Hall) and the IFC Center, New York.

    The series is jointly sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and uniFrance.

  12. #27
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    Riad Sattouf: French Kissers (2009)

    A funny and richly detailed and gross-out French version of the popular genre of obsessed-with-sex adolescent coming-of-age comedy. Probably not a likely hit with non-francophone audiences since much of the humor is in the language. But extremely well received (with praise from critics of outlets both hip and conventional) in France as a summer release after inclusion in the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes.

    For the Festival Coverage review, click on the title above.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:32 PM.

  13. #28
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    Claude and Nathan Miller: I'm Glad That My Mother Is Alive (2009)

    Strange film based on a true story of an adopted child who pursues his birth mother when he is twenty years old. The film doesn't quite work, but there is great chemistry betwen Vincent Rottiers as the youth and Sophie Cattani as his birth mother. A project delayed 13 years and originally initiated by Jacques Audiard. It marks the writing and directorial debut of Claude Miller's 4-year-old son Nathan, long a cameraman on his father's films.

    For the Festival Coverage review, click on the film name above.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2010 at 09:33 PM.

  14. #29
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    François Ozon: Le Refuge (2010)

    Ozon departs from from the playfulness of some (but not all!) of his earlier films for a beautiful and serious feature focused on a pregnant drug-addicted widow that refers to themes of loneliness, single parenthood, gay parenting and drug addiction, but his glossy, sunlit meditation feels only skin deep.

    Fair reviews in France (Allociné 2.1, 44 points), wide distribution coming including Strand Releasing purchase in the US.

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    RENDEZ-VOUS 2010 SUMMARY

    Click on the title above title for concluding thumbnail comments on each of the main slate selections and my picks from this year's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. On the Festival Coverage Thread.

    Again, the series runs from March 11-21 2010 and is co-sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and uniFrance All films are screened at both the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center and at the IFC Center. You can get the FSLC program and ticket sale information here.

    Links to the reviews:

    8 Times Up (Xabia Molia 2010)
    Army of Crime, The (Robert Guédiguian 2009)
    Farewell (Christian Carion 2009)
    French Kissers, The (Riad Sattouf 2009)
    Hedghog, The (Mona Achache 2009)
    I'm Glad That My Mother Is Alive (Claude and Nathan Miller 2009)
    In the Beginning (Xavier Giannoli 2009)
    King of Escape, The (Alain Guiraudie 2009)
    Mademoiselle Chambon (Stéphane Brizé 2009)
    Making Plans for Léna (Christophe Honoré 2009)
    OSS 117: Lost in Rio (Michel Hazanavicius 2009)
    Rapt (Lucas Belvaux 2009)
    Regrets (Cédric Kahn 2009)
    Refuge, Le (François Ozon 2010)
    Restless (Laurent Perreau 2009)
    Thorn in the Heart, The (Michel Gondry 2010)
    Welcome (Philippe Lioret 2009)
    Wolberg Family, The (Axelle Ropert 2009)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-05-2010 at 08:28 PM.

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