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Thread: Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Lincoln Center 2014

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    Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Lincoln Center 2014


    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014

    Links to the reviews:

    2 Autumns, 3 Winters /2 autunnes 3 hivers(Sébastien Betbeder 2013)
    Age of Panic, The/La bataille de Solférino (Justine Triet 2013)
    Apaches/Apaches, Les (Thierry de Peretti 2013)
    Castle in Italy, A/Un chateau en Italie (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi 2013)
    French Minister, The/Quay d'Orsay (Bertrand Tavernier 2013)
    Eastern Boys (Robin Campillo 2013)
    Gilded Cage, The/La cage dorée (Ruben Alves 2013)
    Going Away/Un beau dimanche (Nicole Garcia 2013)
    Grand Central (Rebecc Zlotkowski 2013)
    His Wife/Son épouse (Michel Spinosa 2014)
    If You Don't, I Will/Arrête ou je continue (Sophie Fillières 2014)
    Love Battles/Mes séances de lutte (Jacques Doillon 2013)
    Love Is the Perfect Crime/L'amour est un crime parfait (Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu 2013)
    Marchers, The/La Marche (Nacir Ben Yadir 2013)
    Miss and the Doctors/Tirez la langue, mademoiselle (Axelle Ropert 2013)
    Mood Indigo/L'Écume des jours (Michel Gondry 2013)
    On My Way/Elle s'en va (Emmanuelle Bercot 2013)
    Playing Dead/Je fais le mort (Jean-Paul Salomé (2013)
    School of Babel, The/La cour de Babel (Julie Bertuccelli 2013)
    Suzanne (Katell Quillévéré 2013)
    Tip Top (Serge Bozon 2013)
    Tonnerre (Guillaume Brac 2013)
    Under the Rainbow/Au fin du conte (Agnès Jaoui 2013)
    Young and Beautiful/Jeune et jolie (François Ozon 2013)



    Tavernier directing THE FRENCH MINISTER/QUAY D'ORSAY

    Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2014 complete lineup announced

    [Following is an edited version of a press release from the Film Society of Lincoln Center.]

    SERIES LAUNCHES WITH EMMANUELLE BERCOT’S ON MY WAY, WITH STAR CATHERINE DENEUVE IN PERSON ON OPENING NIGHT. CLOSING NIGHTSELECTION IS BERTRAND TAVERNIER’S THE FRENCH MINISTER

    IN-PERSON APPEARANCES ALSO INCLUDE BERTRAND TAVERNIER, SÉBASTIEN BETBEDER, SERGE BOZON, GUILLAUME BRAC, JACQUES DOILLON, MICHEL GONDRY,FRANÇOIS OZON, THIERRY DE PERETTI, KATELL QUILLÉVÉRÉ, AXELLE ROPERT, JEAN-PAUL SALOMÉ, JUSTINE TRIET, NABIL BEN YADIR, REBECCA ZLOTOWSKI


    Films, Descriptions & Schedule
    Main Venues: BAMcinématek (BAM)/Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (EBM)/
    IFC Center (IFC)/Walter Reade Theater (WRT)
    Opening Night: The Paris Theater (PARIS)


    OPENING NIGHT
    ON MY WAY
    Emmanuelle Bercot, France, 2014, 113m
    In French with English subtitles
    Catherine Deneuve plays against type and delivers a performance unlike any other in her legendary career as Bettie, a former Breton beauty queen turned bistro owner, in Emmanuelle Bercot’s fourth feature. When her mother (Claude Gensac) tells her that her married lover has ditched her for a 25-year-old beautician’s assistant, Bettie takes to the road with no particular destination in mind and eventually winds up at a dive bar named Le Ranch, where an evening of drunken revelry sets the stage for much tomfoolery to come. Bettie’s resentful daughter Muriel (French pop musician Camille) then asks her mother to chauffeur her son Charly (Nemo Schiffman) to his grandfather’s, and the pair sets out on a trip that will ultimately lead Bettie to revisit her past even as she travels further away from it. Nominated for two 2014 César Awards: Catherine Deneuve (Best Actress) and Nemo Schiffman (Most Promising Actor). A Cohen Media Group release.
    Thursday, March 6, 7:30pm – PARIS; Friday, March 7, 6:45pm – BAM; Saturday, March 8, 7:00pm - IFC
    In Person: Catherine Deneuve

    CLOSING NIGHT
    THE FRENCH MINISTER (QUAI D’ORSAY)
    Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2013, 113m
    In French with English subtitles
    The veteran auteur Bertrand Tavernier returns to Rendez-Vous with a sly, energetic film about the daily grind of diplomacy. Arthur (Raphaël Personnaz), a graduate of all the right schools, is the new speechwriter for the Minister of Foreign Affairs (a hilarious Thierry Lhermitte). While he tries to navigate internal politics, the various strong personalities around him (such as a ruthless policy advisor played by Julie Gayet), and the stress of finding the Minister’s “voice,” Arthur must also write a speech for the Minister that will hopefully put them both in the history books. Based on co-screenwriter Antonin Baudry’s own graphic novels about his experience working in the Foreign Ministry under former Foreign (and Prime) Minister Dominique de Villepin, The French Minister takes us for a breathless ride through the halls of French government. Nominated for three 2014 César Awards: Julie Gayet (Best Supporting Actress), Niels Arestrup (Best Supporting Actor), and Antonin Baudry, Christophe Blain and Bertrand Tavernier (Best Adapted Screenplay). A Sundance Selects release.
    Sunday, March 16, 3:40pm, 9:00pm - WRT
    In Person: Bertrand Tavernier

    2 AUTUMNS, 3 WINTERS (2 AUTOMNES, 3 HIVERS) Filmleaf review
    Sébastien Betbeder, France, 2013, 90m
    In French with English subtitles
    Director Sébastien Betbeder follows his acclaimed debut, Nights With Theodore, with an endearing, inventive romantic comedy, steeped in offbeat charm and an offhand cinephilia. Sad-sack Arman (Vincent Macaigne) first meets Amélie (Maud Wyler) when he bumps into her while jogging; his attempts at connecting with her fail one after the other, until circumstances grant him the opportunity to rescue her from would-be muggers. Thus begins the story of a relationship by turns breezy and momentous. Alongside his longtime friend from art school, Benjamin (Bastien Bouillon), Arman navigates life with his newfound love. Directly addressing the camera and in monologues that comment on their respective situations, these winning characters describe the trajectory of old-fashioned relationships in this millennial age. A Film Movement release.
    Saturday, March 8, 4:00pm – WRT; Sunday, March 9, 5:30pm - IFC
    In Person: Sébastien Betbeder

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    AGE OF PANIC (LA BATAILLE DE SOLFÉRINO)
    Justine Triet, France, 2013, 90m
    In French with English subtitles
    During a time of great political change, a frazzled young mother tries to keep it together on the home front. Laetitia (Laetitia Dosch), a cable news reporter off to cover the 2012 French presidential elections, leaves her daughters in the care of a hapless babysitter (Marc-Antoine Vaugeois) with strict instructions to keep them away from Vincent (Vincent Macaigne), her ex-husband and their father. But Vincent, determined to see his kids, disrupts the already chaotic household by enlisting a neighbor to negotiate a divorce agreement with Laetitia – while she’s out reporting amid election crowds in front of Socialist Party headquarters. In her enormously promising first feature, a very funny comedy of discomfort infused with documentary-style energy, director Justine Triet pits micro social problems against the macro body politic of France, all within the frame of one manic day in Paris. Nominated for Best First Film in the 2014 César Awards.
    Friday, March 7, 6:30pm – WRT; Saturday, March 8, 3:00pm – BAM; Sunday, March 9, 7:30pm – IFC; Monday, March 10, 1:00pm - WRT
    In Person: Justine Triet

    LES APACHES
    Thierry de Peretti, France, 2013, 82m
    In French with English subtitles
    On the island of Corsica, a tension constantly simmers between the wealthy tourists and the lower-class locals. Aziz and his friends aren’t considering any of this when they break into an empty seaside house, looking for some illicit fun and a pool to lounge beside. But when the owners arrive for their vacation, there are dire consequences for the teenagers, who prove exceedingly easy to track down. Unbeknownst to Aziz, his pals also stole a pair of hunting rifles during the break-in, and might not be as loyal to him as he is to them. An atmospheric thriller simmering with adolescent sexuality, Les Apaches explores aspects of French culture that the mainstream cinema often ignores. The title refers to the slang term used by Paris police for juvenile delinquents, and the film, whose young characters are of Arab and Moroccan descent, narrows in on the subject of racial tension with considerable intelligence and nuance.
    Monday, March 10, 12:00pm – EBM; Tuesday, March 11, 6:30pm – WRT; Wednesday, March 12, 7:00pm - IFC
    In Person: Thierry de Peretti

    A CASTLE IN ITALY (UN CHÂTEAU EN ITALIE) Filmleaf review
    Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, France, 2013, 104m
    In English, French and Italian with English subtitles
    Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s semi-autobiographical third feature — her first film since the acclaimed Actresses (2007) — is as restless as the character she plays in it. The actress-director-screenwriter (she co-wrote the film with Noémie Lvovsky and Agnès de Sacy) crafts a sad, whimsical and tender portrait of a family whose glory days are over, and who must confront some ugly facts about their present reality: financial troubles, a younger brother dying of AIDS, a sprawling estate they can no longer maintain. Louise (Bruni Tedeschi) herself is approaching her mid 40s, and wants desperately to have a child and find enduring love. This boldly self-revealing, possibly cathartic work draws both directly and obliquely from Bruni Tedeschi’s real life: Louis Garrel, her former partner, plays Nathan, her young French lover; Nathan's father in the film is a renowned filmmaker who directs his son, as does Garrel’s father, Philippe; and Valeria’s own mother, pianist Marisa Borini, simply plays herself. Marisa Borini is nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 César Awards.
    Monday, March 10, 6:00pm – IFC; Thursday, March 13, 9:00pm – WRT; Sunday, March 16, 6:30pm - WRT

    EASTERN BOYS
    Robin Campillo, France, 2013, 128m
    In English, French and Russian with English subtitles
    Arriving from all over the Eastern Bloc, the men who loiter around the Gare du Nord train station in Paris are scraping by however they can, forming gangs for support and protection, ever fearful of being caught by the police and deported. When the middle-aged, bourgeois Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin) approaches a boyishly handsome Ukrainian who calls himself Marek for a date, he learns the young man is willing to do anything for some cash. What Daniel intends only as sex-for-hire begets a home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship. The drastically different circumstances of the two men’s lives reveal hidden facets of the city they share. Presented in four parts, this absorbing, continually surprising film by Robin Campillo (director of Les Revenants and a frequent collaborator of Laurent Cantet’s) is centered around relationships that defy easy categorization, in which motivations and desires are poorly understood even by those to whom they belong.
    Tuesday, March 11, 9:00pm – WRT; Wednesday, March 12, 1:00pm – WRT; Wednesday, March 12, 9:00pm - IFC

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    THE GILDED CAGE (LA CAGE DORÉE)
    Ruben Alves, France/Portugal, 2013, 95m
    In French and Portuguese with English subtitles
    José (Joaquim de Alameida) and Maria (Rita Blanco), a middle-aged Portuguese couple, have been living in Paris for 30 years. He is a respected construction foreman and she is the concierge at the ritzy apartment building where they live in a cramped ground-floor flat. Their life has been a fulfilling one, with a grown daughter and a teenage son who have spent their lives in France. But when José inherits the family winery and the opportunity to finally return home becomes tantalizingly within reach, they begin to question the level of comfort they’ve achieved and whether it all has been worth the cost. Alves’s immensely likable semi-autobiographical comedy-drama features a sprawling cast of oddballs and mixes farcical situations with razor-sharp observations about class and generational differences and the difficulty of balancing family and work. Nominated for Best First Film at the 2014 César Awards.
    Sunday, March 9, 9:30pm - WRT; Tuesday, March 11, 6:00pm – IFC; Saturday, March 15, 7:15pm - WRT

    US PREMIERE
    GOING AWAY (UN BEAU DIMANCHE)
    Nicole Garcia, France, 2013, 95m
    In French with English subtitles
    Veteran director-actress Nicole Garcia’s refreshingly understated seventh feature follows the formation of an improbable bond between Baptiste (Pierre Rochefort), a commitment-averse substitute teacher, and Mathias (Mathias Brezot), a young student emotionally neglected by his separated parents. Filling in as a temporary surrogate father for Mathias, Baptiste soon finds himself entangled with Mathias’s hard-working, hard-partying mother, Sandra (Louise Bourgoin). When a couple of thugs show up to collect an outstanding debt, the chivalrous Baptiste takes it upon himself to resolve the conflict. Full of sharply and empathetically drawn characters (embodied by an excellent cast, including Dominique Sanda as Baptiste’s mother), Garcia’s intimate film also speaks profoundly about the responsibilities bound up in the connections people forge.
    Friday, March 7, 6:00pm – IFC; Monday, March 10, 4:00pm – EBM; Saturday, March 15, 9:30pm - WRT

    GRAND CENTRAL
    Rebecca Zlotowski, France/Austria, 2013, 94m
    In French with English subtitles
    A nuclear power plant serves as the setting for a forbidden romance as volatile as the facility itself in the intense, brilliantly acted second feature from Rebecca Zlotowski (Belle Epine). Gary (A Prophet's Tahar Rahim) is a poor, unskilled laborer looking for easy money and a place to fit in. Karole (Léa Seydoux) is the fiancée of longtime plant employee Toni (Denis Ménochet), one of the many underpaid men and women who daily brave illness and possible death from radiation poisoning. Soon Gary and Karole fall rapturously in love, and their moonlit trysts in the bucolic surrounding countryside pose a growing threat to the staff's tight-knit bonds. Zlotowski focuses both on the everyday routines of the workers and on the swooning passions of the love triangle at the film’s heart, with electronica pulsating on the soundtrack as her characters gamble ever more perilously in work and love. Olivier Gourmet is nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2014 César Awards.
    Friday, March 7, 9:00pm – WRT; Saturday, March 8, 4:45pm – IFC; Sunday, March 9, 4:30pm – BAM; Monday, March 10, 3:30pm - WRT
    In Person: Rebecca Zlotowski

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    HIS WIFE (SON ÉPOUSE)
    Michel Spinosa, France/India/Belgium, 2014, 108m
    In English, French and Tamil with English subtitles
    In Michel Spinosa’s emotional, superbly acted drama, a widower named Joseph (Yvan Attal) travels to India to meet Gracie (Janagi), a young Tamil newlywed who knew his late wife, Catherine (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and whose erratic behavior suggests that she may be possessed by the dead woman. Soon enough, Joseph’s journey to the small village near Pondicherry where Gracie lives unveils itself to be not only a form of tribute to Catherine but also a bid for forgiveness. Spinosa (who co-wrote Rendez-Vous 2013 selection Renoir) coaxes magnetic, complex performances from Attal and especially Janagi, who is a revelation as a woman under the influence – of grief and even more mysterious forces.
    Friday, March 7, 10:15pm – IFC; Wednesday, March 12, 1:00pm – EBM; 6:30pm – WRT

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    IF YOU DON'T, I WILL (ARRÊTE OU JE CONTINUE)
    Sophie Fillières, France, 2014, 102m
    In French with English subtitles
    Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos are Pierre and Pomme, a couple whose marriage is on the verge of collapsing. As Pierre goes through the motions of his daily routine while hardly disguising his anger, a bewildered Pomme slowly absorbs all the signs of impending crisis, searching for ways to reconnect with her partner. “We don’t dance anymore, we grow old,” she complains, before pulling Pierre onto the dance floor at a party. But their attempts to rekindle the passion are inevitably, sometimes comically, thwarted. Can they redefine their relationship or will they end up going their separate ways? During one of their weekend hikes, Pomme reaches a breaking point and decides, quite literally, to get lost. With wry humor and great delicacy, director Sophie Fillières (Gentille) crafts an intimate portrait of a pivotal moment in a long-term relationship.
    Friday, March 7, 3:45pm – WRT; Monday, March 10, 10:15pm – IFC; Saturday, March 15, 5:00pm - WRT

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    LOVE BATTLES (MES SÉANCES DE LUTTE)
    Jacques Doillon, France, 2013, 99m
    In French with English subtitles
    “All my strength, all the force of my love… if I heaped it on you, I’d demolish you”: Jacques Doillon’s latest is a bruising investigation into the fault lines that both separate and connect eroticism and violence. James Thiérrée (an acrobat and performance artist, and also Charlie Chaplin’s grandson) and Sara Forestier play Lui and Elle (“Him and Her”), almost-lovers unable to get on the same page, psychosexually speaking. In regular meetings they strive to resolve the impasse (or perhaps, just to expend pent-up energy) through no-holds-barred wrestling matches. Their “battles” grow in frequency and force, testing the lovers’ bodies as much as their souls. Doillon’s camera captures the astonishing physicality of their lengthy struggles less as a voyeur than as a third, invisible combatant. And as the film intensifies, it evolves from a metaphoric exploration of the nature of human sexuality into something far more visceral and affecting. An Adopt Films release.
    Sunday, March 9, 7:30pm – BAM; Monday, March 10, 6:30pm – WRT; Tuesday, March 11, 8:00pm - IFC
    In Person: Jacques Doillon

    US PREMIERE
    LOVE IS THE PERFECT CRIME (L’AMOUR EST UN CRIME PARFAIT)
    Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, France/Switzerland, 2013, 110m
    In French with English subtitles
    It’s good to be Marc. Played by the reliably terrific Mathieu Amalric, he holds a prestigious teaching position at what must be the world’s most beautiful university and is desired by seemingly every comely coed in the Swiss Alps. But this idyllic existence goes awry the morning after, when his latest undergraduate conquest vanishes. Suddenly, it’s not so good to be Marc. A detective begins snooping around and asking questions. Marc’s supervisor, who has a thing for Marc’s sister (whose affections for Marc appear more than familial), informs him that his position may no longer be secure. A sexy student from a prominent family wishes to supplement her education with some extracurricular instruction. And then there’s the matter of the missing coed’s gorgeous stepmother… Everything comes together in this darkly funny thriller with an explosive finale from Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu.
    Friday, March 7, 1:00pm – WRT; Sunday, March 9, 9:30pm – IFC; Monday, March 10, 9:15pm - WRT

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    THE MARCHERS (LA MARCHE)
    Nabil Ben Yadir, France/Belgium, 2013, 120m
    In French and Arabic with English subtitles
    Nabil Ben Yadir’s rousing sophomore feature reconstructs a decisive event in the history of French racial politics: a Mitterand-era demonstration in which nine people marched 930 miles for equality and against racism from Marseilles to Paris, where they were met by more than 100,000 supporters. Compelled to undertake their cross-country trek when Mohamed (Tewfik Jallab) and Hassan (Jamel Debbouze) are victimized by the police, the band of protestors—inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi—have their resolve tested, but are obliged to soldier on when a Maghrebi teenager is brutally murdered and as they encounter ever more prejudice en route. The Marchers is a monument to the courage of a handful of activists as well as an edifying account of how a small group can bring about enormous shifts in the national consciousness.
    Saturday, March 8, 9:45pm – IFC; Sunday, March 9, 1:30pm – WRT; Friday, March 14, 3:30pm - EBM
    In Person: Nabil Ben Yadir

    MISS AND THE DOCTORS (TIREZ LA LANGUE, MADEMOISELLE) Filmleaf review
    Axelle Ropert, France, 2013,100m
    In French with English subtitles
    Sibling doctors Boris (filmmaker Cédric Kahn, in a revelatory performance) and Dimitri (Laurent Stocker) share a pediatric practice in a working-class Paris arrondissement. But their fraternal bonds and professional relationship are tested when they take on a young diabetic patient and both fall for the girl’s lovely mother (Louise Bourgoin), who tends bar at a local watering hole. The possibility of sharing a life with this woman and her daughter represents something quite different for each brother, and director Axelle Ropert (The Wolberg Family) places their burgeoning rivalry at the heart of this witty, passionate, beautifully observed drama. The cinematography by Céline Bozon (the sister of Tip Top director Serge) gives the urban setting, with its high-rise apartment blocks and Chinese restaurants, a sense of everyday magic, as does Benjamin Esdraffo’s lilting score.
    Saturday, March 8, 1:00pm – WRT; Sunday, March 9, 1:00pm – IFC; Monday, March 10, 1:50pm - EBM
    In Person: Axelle Ropert

    MOOD INDIGO (L’ÉCUME DES JOURS)
    Michel Gondry, France/Belgium, 2013, 95m
    In English and French with English subtitles
    Eminently inventive Michel Gondry finds an ideal counterpart in Boris Vian, whose novel Foam of the Daze provides the foundation for this manic, visionary love story. Romain Duris plays wealthy bachelor Colin, whose hobbies include developing his pianocktail (a cocktail-making piano) and devouring otherworldly dishes prepared by his trusty chef Nicolas (Omar Sy). When Colin learns that his best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh), a fellow acolyte of the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre, has a new American girlfriend, our lonely hero attends a friend’s party in hopes of falling in love himself. He soon meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou) and, before they know it, they’re dancing to Duke Ellington and plunging headfirst into a romance that Gondry rapturously depicts as only he can. Nominated for three 2014 César Awards: Étienne Charry (Best Original Music), Florence Fontaine (Best Costume) and Stéphane Rozenbaum (Best Production Design). A Drafthouse Films release.
    Sunday, March 9, 7:00pm - WRT; Monday, March 10, 8:00pm – IFC; Monday, March 10, 9:30pm - BAM
    In Person: Michel Gondry

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    PLAYING DEAD (JE FAIS LE MORT)
    Jean-Paul Salomé, France/Belgium, 2013, 104m
    In French with English subtitles
    In Jean-Paul Salomé’s seventh feature, the hilarious François Damiens plays Jean, a down-and-out and underemployed actor (not to mention a former César winner!) who, after years of playing tiny roles on canceled TV shows and starring in embarrassing commercials, takes a gig as a performer in a homicide reenactment “produced” by the police at a ski resort in the French Alps. Being an expert at unnecessarily complicating or otherwise ruining any situation in which he finds himself, Jean quickly gets in the way of the case’s chief investigator (Géraldine Nakache), sparking an antagonism-turned-romance as well as a suspenseful whodunit rich with twists, turns and amusing instances of Jean taking himself much too seriously. Filming the reenactment as though it were a movie shoot, Salomé slyly juxtaposes the worlds of forensics and filmmaking, and the result is a rare, uproarious murder mystery.
    Saturday, March 8, 6:00pm – BAM; Saturday, March 8, 9:00pm – WRT; Sunday, March 9, 3:15pm – IFC; Friday, March 14, 1:00pm - EBM
    In Person: Jean-Paul Salomé

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    SCHOOL OF BABEL (LA COUR DE BABEL)
    Julie Bertuccelli, France, 2013, 89m
    In French with English subtitles
    At a secondary school in Paris’s 10th arrondissement there is a “reception class,” where students between the ages of 11 and 15 are taught their first lessons in French. Some of these immigrant children, newly arrived, know a few phrases in the language of their adopted country; others can’t speak a word. Their families have come from all across the globe, from Ireland, Senegal, Morocco, Brazil, and China, fleeing persecution or just looking for a fresh start. Shot over a year, this observational documentary by Julie Bertuccelli (Since Otar Left, The Tree) is a kind of non-fiction counterpart to Laurent Cantet’s Palme d’Or-winning The Class, staying within the confines of the school and recording the children’s candid, sometimes heated discussions and interactions between parents and teachers. The result is both illuminating and extremely touching, a multifaceted look at the French melting pot, its frustrations and its hopes for the future.
    Saturday, March 8, 12:45pm – IFC; Sunday, March 16, 1:30pm - WRT

    SUZANNE (2013) Filmleaf review
    Katell Quillévéré, France, 2013, 94m
    In French with English subtitles
    A coming-of-age story takes on epic proportions in Katell Quillévéré’s follow-up to her lauded debut, Love Like Poison. Suzanne (first played by Apollonia Luisetti and then by Sara Forestier) is a wild child who becomes a mother at 15 and takes up with a local bad boy not long after. Through it all, her widowed father (comic actor François Damiens, in a rare dramatic role) and older sister (Fanie Zanini and Adèle Haenel) try their best to keep the family together. Brilliantly acted, especially by Forestier, Damiens and Haenel, Quillévéré’s film, which compresses some 25 years into an hour and a half, proceeds at a furious pace, episodically and elliptically. What sounds melodramatic on paper is never less than urgent and compelling on screen: each decisive moment in this family saga lands with tremendous emotional force. Nominated for five 2014 César Awards: Sara Forestier (Best Actress), Adele Haenel (Best Supporting Actress), François Damiens (Best Supporting Actor), Paul Hamy (Most Promising Actor), and Katell Quillévéré and Mariette Désert (Best Original Screenplay).
    Saturday, March 8, 2:30pm – IFC; Sunday, March 9, 4:30pm – WRT; Wednesday, March 12, 4:00pm - EBM
    In Person: Katell Quillévéré

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
    TIP TOP Filmleaf review
    Serge Bozon, France/Luxembourg/Belgium, 2013, 106m
    In French and Arabic with English subtitles
    Co-written with Axelle Ropert (also featured in this year’s Rendez-Vous with Miss and the Doctors), Bozon’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2007’s La France is a one-of-a-kind screwball procedural adapted from a pulp novel by Welsh writer Bill James. Meticulous and eccentric internal-affairs investigator Esther (Isabelle Huppert) and her mousy new partner Sally (Sandrine Kiberlain), recently demoted due to a mysterious ethics violation, are summoned to look into the Villeneuve police department after the murder of an Algerian informant. As entanglements ensue with belligerent local detective Mendès (a very funny François Damiens), Bozon throws together seemingly mismatched elements with aplomb: exploring the women detectives’ sexual kinks even as he comments on racism and postcolonial tensions. In keeping with its director’s background in criticism, Tip Top is an exploration of policier tropes but also a bold, strange, often delightful film that looks, sounds and moves like nothing else in its genre(s). A Kino Lorber release.
    Thursday, March 13, 9:30pm – IFC; Friday, March 14, 1:00pm, 9:00pm - WRT
    In Person: Serge Bozon

    TONNERRE
    Guillaume Brac, France, 2013, 100m
    In French with English subtitles
    Struggling musician Maxime (Vincent Macaigne) moves back to the titular provincial town (which means thunder in French) to live with his father and work on some new songs. But soon he meets Mélodie (Solène Rigot), a beautiful journalist more than a decade his junior. As their fling progresses to full-on enthrallment in a matter of days, all Maxime’s interests become secondary to spending time with Mélodie. Just as suddenly as their relationship began, she texts him a farewell and cuts off all contact. The quaint pleasures and understated tone of the early scenes slowly morph into something resembling a thriller, and as Maxime's longing transforms into obsession, a palpable dread sets in. Director Guillaume Brac previously collaborated with Macaigne on the acclaimed medium-length film A World Without Women (2011). Tonnerre, Brac’s feature-length debut, is darker and more troubling, a complex and engrossing character study with a brilliantly modulated performance by Macaigne at its center.
    Wednesday, March 12, 4:00pm – WRT; Thursday, March 13, 7:00pm – IFC; Friday, March 14, 6:30pm - WRT
    In Person: Guillaume Brac

    UNDER THE RAINBOW (AU BOUT DU CONTE)
    Agnès Jaoui, 2013, France, 112 minutes
    In French with English subtitles
    Twenty-four-year-old Laura (Agathe Bonitzer) has faith that someday her Prince Charming will suddenly appear. But when such a man does turn up, so does another one — charming in a different way, but equally alluring. In a flash, all of Laura’s assumptions about life and the future become fairy dust. Under the Rainbow is a contemporary fairy tale with more than its share of twists, imbued with the sharp existentialist humor we have come to expect from the duo of Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri (The Taste of Others, Look at Me). Both once again collaborate on the script and co-star as Pierre and Marian, a comically neurotic middle-aged pair [they aren’t a romantic couple in the film] who, despite being a generation older than Laura, face a similar predicament: how to lead their lives in relation to their sometimes wild dreams and expectations.
    Tuesday, March 11, 10:15pm – IFC; Wednesday, March 12, 9:00pm – WRT; Friday, March 14, 3:45pm - FSLC

    YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL (JEUNE ET JOLIE)
    François Ozon, France, 2013, 95m
    In French and German with English subtitles
    “No one’s serious at 17,” wrote Arthur Rimbaud. For Isabelle (Géraldine Pailhas), the 17-year-old at the center of François Ozon’s Young & Beautiful, this sentiment may justify the choices she makes over the course of a pivotal year. Divided into four seasons, Isabelle’s foray into prostitution is motivated not by a need for money or control, but rather by an overwhelming desire for self-discovery. Ozon observes her journey without judgment, reflecting on the emotions and insecurities that saturate a young person’s entrance into adulthood. One year removed from In the House (Rendez-Vous ’13), Ozon again proves a master at coaxing strong performances from young actors; Marine Vacth, in her first leading role, is a revelation. Nominated for two 2014 César Awards: Géraldine Pailhas (Best Supporting Actress) and Marine Vacth (Most Promising Actress). A Sundance Selects release.
    Friday, March 7, 8:00pm – IFC; Saturday, March 8, 6:30pm – WRT; Saturday, March 8, 9:00pm - BAM
    In Person: François Ozon

    PRESS RELEASE:

    NEW YORK –February 3, 2014 – The 19th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance Films’ celebrated annual showcase of the newest and best in contemporary French film, sweeps across screens at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the IFC Center and BAMcinématek, March 6 – March 16. The 2014 slate — which consists of 24 feature films making their New York, United States or North American premieres — attests to the sheer variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking.

    The lineup includes new works from established masters like Bertrand Tavernier, Agnès Jaoui, François Ozon, and Jacques Doillon; critics’ favorites Serge Bozon, Michel Gondry, and the Larrieu brothers; and polymath talents, actor-turned-directors Emmanuelle Bercot, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, and Nicole Garcia, who have fully come into their own as filmmakers.

    Alongside these known names are the key figures that have been anointed by critics as France’s next New Wave: a whole raft of emerging talents, including Ruben Alves, Sébastien Betbeder, Guillaume Brac, Thierry de Peretti, Katell Quillévéré, Axelle Ropert, Justine Triet, and Rebecca Zlotowski, who explore contemporary issues from complex race relations to class warfare. Thierry de Perretti’s Les Apaches made a splash at Cannes last year with its depiction of blunt adolescent sexuality among young delinquents in Corsica, prompting comparisons with Larry Clark. Also acclaimed at Cannes, Rebecca Zlotowski’s Grand Central explores a forbidden romance between young lovers (played by Tahar Rahim and Léa Seydoux), against the ominous backdrop of a nuclear power plant.

    “We’re delighted to be welcoming back such a distinguished roster of established names to Rendez-Vous with French Cinema,” said Dennis Lim, the Film Society’s Director of Programming. “But we’re no less thrilled to be introducing audiences to an exciting young generation of directors and actors. The films of this latest French New Wave are notable for their freewheeling energy and immediacy and for their willingness to tackle head-on the complexities and contradictions of 21st-century France. More than a third of the films in our selection are first or second features. It’s also worth noting — as the original French New Wave was very much a boys’ club — that nearly half were directed by women.”

    As always, Rendez-Vous brings together many of French cinema’s most beloved actors. Catherine Deneuve delivers one of the finest and most moving performances of her legendary career in Bercot’s On My Way (Opening Night). The peerless Isabelle Huppert reinvents herself yet again — and to great comic effect — in Bozon’s Tip Top. Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos, so memorably paired in Arnaud Desplechin’s films, including Kings and Queen, are exquisite together in Sophie Fillière’s If You Don’t, I Will.

    Other marquee notables include Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Louis Garrel, Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg. But in keeping with its youthful spirit, this edition of Rendez-Vous also doubles as a showcase for an exciting new generation of breakout actors. Rising stars appearing in multiple movies include Sara Forestier, Louise Bourgoin, François Damiens, and Vincent Macaigne, the It actor of the new French cinema.

    “I am delighted to launch this new edition of the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema program. Year after year, this event provides some rich and passionate exchanges between the American audience and French film industry. It is also a great opportunity to show the best of French cinema, and to share some of the French audience’s favorite movies,” says Isabelle Giordano, executive director of Unifrance Films. “We are very pleased to have Ms. Catherine Deneuve, one of the greatest French ambassadors, for the opening night. Among new titles, I’d like to draw your attention to three special themes: the vitality, renewal and richness of French creativity through a focus on first and second feature films; the spotlight on one of the French film industry’s specificities: films directed by women, and finally the exploration of the different ways of French and American story telling. As David Lynch once said, ‘I hope that every movie will be a moment when the spectator will be stirred or amazed.’ I wish you all an excellent festival, filled with wonderful surprises and good films.”

    This also marks the third year in a row collaborating with Emerging Pictures on a select number of titles. The films will screen in venues across the country contemporaneously with their showings at Lincoln Center via Emerging’s network of digital theaters. Q&A’s from the Film Society venues will be broadcast live to many of those locations. Titles and schedule to follow.

    Filmmakers and talent who will be in attendance at this year’s festival include Sébastien Betbeder (2 AUTUMNS, 3 WINTERS), Serge Bozon (TIP TOP), Guillaume Brac (TONNERRE), Catherine Deneuve (ON MY WAY), Jacques Doillon (LOVE BATTLES), Michel Gondry (MOOD INDIGO), François Ozon (YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL), Thierry de Peretti (LES APACHES), Katell Quillévéré (SUZANNE), Axelle Ropert (MISS AND THE DOCTORS), Jean-Paul Salomé (PLAYING DEAD), Bertrand Tavernier (THE FRENCH MINISTER), Justine Triet (THE AGE OF PANIC), Nabil Ben Yadir (THE MARCHERS) and Rebecca Zlotowski (GRAND CENTRAL).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-28-2014 at 10:49 PM.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014

    The press screening schedule has been sent out. HERE

    Reviews will appear in the Festival Coverage section in that thread.

    First screening and review will be of Catherine Deneuve in Emmanuelle Bercot's ON MY WAY/ELLE S'EN VA ("One of Catherine Deneuve's greatest roles" -- Le Point)/ Released 18 Sept. 2013, Allociné press rating 4.0 (that's close to universal acclaim).



    I'm a big fan of "late" Deneuve, basically from her mid-forties, for Téchiné, Desplechin, Honoré, and others. She has outlived her early reputation as an "ice queen" and become very real.

    Other Rendez-Vous 2014 titles that look interesting to me so far:

    YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL/UNE ET JOLIE) (Francois Ozon) was one of Mike D'Angelo's faves at Cannes and wound up in his top 25 for 2013. Allociné press rating pretty high, 3.7.

    QUAY D'ORSAY (Bertrand Tavernier) is a French political comedy set at the French ministerial level based on as series of graphic novels. The laid back Thierry Lhermitte has won raves for his star turn as a suave and vain Foreign Minister who's a stand-in for Dominique de Villepin; Raphael Personnaz plays the newcomer to the staff he plays off of. Niels Arestrup is reputedly good as usual as a deadpan, overworked chief ef of staff. I've e been looking forward to this., and Scoutt Foundas in VARIETY called it "a sparkling and savvy comedy of political manners" and mentionns Ernst Lubitsch as a credible comparison. French press reaction mixed: Allociné rating: 3.4.

    GRAND CENTRAL (Rebecca Zlotowski) got good mention at Cannes and features two of the hottest young actors in French film today, Tahar Rahim (A PROPHET) and Léa Seydoux (BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR), not to mention Dardennes regular Olivier Gourmet (also in THE MARCHERS/LA MARCHE), in a love story set in the context of work at a nuclear plant. The director's BELLE EPINE (ND/NF 2011) aroused debate and was one now many films featuring the theoretically anointed but in fact fearless Seydoux. French critical rating high -- Allociné press: 3.9.

    AGE OF PANIC/LA BATAILLE DE SOLVERINO (newcomer Justine Triet) has been very well received and is a hip, young generational film with some of the hip young French actors du jour. . Wanted to see this in Paris last year. One of the highest rated in the series by French critics -- Allociné press score a very favorable 3.8.

    UNDER THE RAINBOW/AU BOUT DU CONTE: Agnès Jaoui is a reliable producer of dry ironic comedy and with her husband Jean-Pierre Bacri has produced some classics. Allociné press rating a solid: 3.5.

    TIP TOP (actor and avantgardist filmmaker Serge Bozon), a comedy police procedural by a semi-avantgardist director Serge Bozon I saw already in Paris and was left cold but it might be worth watching: it, and it comes between Jaoui's UNDER THE RAINBOW and THE FRENCH MINISTER in the press screenings and I might just go out to lunch. Curious what others at the screenings think. French critical response was very mediocre (Allociné 3.1) and French distribution was small. A bit surprising it has a US distributor, Kino Lorber.

    With luck there will be pleasant surprises from newcomers -- or from respected names on the roster of directors, which include Jacques Doillon, Michel Gondry, and Nicole Garcia. In the present era the FSLC-UniFrance series may be more promotional than an elite selection, but the level is usually high and the types of film varied. (Note: I've already reviewed four of this year's Rendez-Vous as part of the San Francisco French Cinema Now series plus TIP TOP, seen in Paris.)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-18-2014 at 06:36 AM.

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    New Directors/New Films screenings will follow the Rendez-Vous series and I'll review them, with perhaps some Film Comment Selects items.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014

    Feb. 18, 2014. Press screenings begin today with the opening night film, Emmanuelle Bercot's ON MY WAY/ELLE S'EN VA, starring Catherine Deneuve.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-18-2014 at 06:43 AM.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    ON MY WAY/ELLE S'EN VA (Emmanuelle Bercot 2013)

    Just a little film showing off the talents and ripe beauty of Catherine Deneuve, but not without beauties of its own. A road movie about a Breton restauranteur who drives off into the boonies for a few days when she learns her boyfriend has dumped her for a 25-year-old. Along the way she bonds with her seldom-seen 11-year-old grandson. This got both the boy, Nemo Shiffman, and Deneuve César nominations.

    Click on the title above for the Festival Coverage review. This is the Rendez-Vous' opening night film and the first of the press screenings which will include the entire series.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    LOVE IS THE PERFECT CRIME (Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu 2014)

    Matthieu Amalric stars as a preening Don Juan English prof in the Alps who gets entangled in the disappearance of one of his students who he's slept with. Beautiful images and mise-en-scène only partly make up for the artificiality of the proceedings.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    IF YOU DON'T, I WILL (Sophie Fillières 2014)

    Fillières adapts her third film to actress Emmanuelle Devos, who plays the partner of Matthieu Amalric for the sixth time in their acting careers, going back to Arnaud Desplechin's MY SEX LIFE...18 years ago. A light, quirky dramady about a disintegrating marriage somewhat in the manner of Agnès Jaoui unfortunately loses its energy during the female lead's long sojourn alone and without words in a park.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    GRAND CENTRAL (Rebecca Zlotkowski 2013)

    In her second film (Léa Seydoux also starred in her debut BELLE ÉPINE) Zlotkowski grafts a story of risky love (Seydoux and Tahar Rahim of A PAST and A PROPHET) with one about low-paid nuclear workers who do the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs, risking radiation damage on a daily basis. Does the grafting work? Not entirely, but the nuciear work sequences are authentic. and a sense of constant double danger is maintained. Olivier Gourmet has a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Césars for his contribution.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    GOING AWAY/UN BEAU DIMANCHE (Nicole Garcia 2013)

    A rootless substitute teacher rescues a boy neglected by his divorced parents, links up with hid mother, and returns home after years of being lost to his rich, aristocratic family. Nicole Garcia's seventh directorial outing features Pierre Rochfort, her son by French icon Jean Rochfort, with Louise Bourgoin, Déborah François, and the legendary Dominique Sanda as the mother.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-20-2014 at 09:04 PM.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL/JEUNE ET JOLIE (François Ozon 2013)

    Ozon continues his return to sharp form (after his recent IN THE HOUSE, with Fabrice Lucchini), with a story about a girl in Paris from an haute bourgeois family who celebrates her 17th birthday and goes into prostitution, while still living at home and attending a chic lyçée. A beautiful, simple shocker, with a striking new young actress Marine Vacth, and a cameo by Charlotte Rampling.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-20-2014 at 09:15 PM.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    3 AUTUMNS, 2 WINTERS (Sébastien Betbeder 2013)

    A light coming-of-age-er with rom-com touches featuring sensitive young French actor of the day Vincent Macaigne, who is also seen in the 2014 R-V film THE AGE OF PANIC/LA BATAILLE DE SOLFÉRINO. This review is reprinted from the SFFS Nov. 2013 French Cinema Now Filmleaf reviews.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-21-2014 at 11:25 AM.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    MISS AND THE DOCTORS (Axelle Ropert 2013)

    Like Ropert's THE WOBERG FAMIL,Y but this time set not in the provinces but a colorful predominantly Asian neighborhood of Paris, this is an intricate Jewish-based family drama. It revolves around two doctors with a joint practice, a beautiful barmaid they're both in love with, and a diabetic girl. There is a lot of implausibility, and a lot of gorgeous night images. Louise Bourgoin, who costars also in another R-V 2014 film, Nicole Garcia's GOING AWAY, figures prominently here as the doctors' love object.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    AGE OF PANIC/LA BATILLE DE SOLFÉRINO (Justine Triet 2013)

    (Screened earlier in the week.)

    A clever, highly improvised and frantic mashup of the turbulent demonstration around Socialist Party headquarters in Paris' Rue de Solférino on election day 2012 when leftist François Hollande defeated right-wing incumbent French president Nicolas Sarkozy, with a couple squabbling both indoors and outdoors over visitation rights to their two little girls. The mother is reporting on events on the street. An overwhelmed young male babysitter is being pressed by father Vincent (Vincent Macaigne) to let him in to see the girls at the apartment where he no longer lives. Peace comes only in the wee hours of the next morning.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    SCHOOL OF BABEL/LA COUR DE BABEL (Julie Bertuccelli 2014)

    A heartwarming and beautiful documentary chronicle of a year in a "reception class" for new immigrant children at a school in Paris's 10th arrondissement that recalls both Laurent Cantet's THE CLASS and Nicolas Philibert's TO BE AND TO HAVE.

    PLAYING DEAD/JE FAIS LE MORT (Jean-Paul Salomé 2013)

    A busy detective story-cum-comedy about a failing actor who goes to a ski resort to assist in reenactments of a multiple murder and winds up solving the crime. Currently busy Belgian actor (he's in three R-V films this time) has the lead role.

    SUZANNE (Katell Quillévéré 2013

    Soulful and involving tale of a young woman who falls madly in love with a sexy criminal and becomes willing to follow him wherever he goes. Sara Forestier stars with promising newcomer Paul Hamy; François Damiens plays Suzanne's big-rig driving dad.

    THE GILDED CAGE/LA CAGE D'OR (Ruben Alves 2013)

    A good-natured and conventional comedy -- it looks like many French films devoured by the middle-aged US arthouse audience -- about a Portuguese family long resident in Paris who inherits valuable property back home and are faced with a tough choice.

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    . . . . March 6 – 16, 2014


    THE MARCHERS/LA MARCHE (Nabil Ben Yadir 2013)

    Dramatization of France's first national march against racism and for equality, in 1983, which started with a motley crew of nine, and ended in Paris with 100,000 supporters filling the streets. Hard to make a narrative feature out of this kind of material, but with a depth of casting and much particularity, this comes close. With Olivier Gourmet, Vincent Rottiers, Jemel Debbouze, Hafsia Harzi, and Philippe Nahon, among others.

    MOOD INDIGO/L'ÉCUME DES JOURS (Michel Gondry 2013)

    Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou star in this overproduced and underwhelming filming of a Boris Vian cult novel. The mechanical weighs down the living. With Omar Sy of the French hit THE INTOUCHABLES.

    LOVE BATTLES/MES SÉANCES DE LUTTE (Jacques Doillon 2013)

    A man (James Thierrée, Chaplin grandson and an acrobat) and a woman (Sara Forestier of THE NAMES OF LOVE) can't decide whether to fight or fuck, so they do a bit of both in this odd arthouse-porn two-hander. VARIETY's Van Hoeij think's Doillon isn't the French James Franco yet but may be getting there.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-26-2014 at 05:58 AM.

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