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Thread: Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2017

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    Rendez-Vous with French Cinema and French Film Comment Selects Program 2017 March 1-12
    Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance


    Festival coverage thread

    I already saw and reviewed four of the titles in Paris last fall: Odyssey, Franz, From the Land of the Moon, and Heal the Living. I will give the French release dates and if released, the AlloCiné press rating.



    Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Main Slate (16 French films):
    Opening Night
    Django
    Étienne Comar, France, 2017, 115m

    French with English subtitles
    The world of legendary Romani jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt is brought to vivid life in this riveting saga of survival, resistance, and artistic courage. Reinhardt (Reda Kateb) is the toast of 1943 Paris, thrilling audiences with his distinctive brand of "hot jazz" and charming his admirers (including an intrepid friend and muse played by Cécile de France). But even as the rise of Nazism and anti-Romani sentiment force Reinhardt—whose music is considered degenerate under the Third Reich—to make a daring escape from the city, he refuses to be silenced, his music becoming his form of protest. The feature debut from acclaimed screenwriter Étienne Comar (Of Gods and Men) immerses viewers in a tumultuous chapter in the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest musical geniuses. North American Premiere
    French release coming 26 April 2017.
    Wednesday, March 1, at 6:00pm and 8:30pm (Étienne Comar, Reda Kateb, and Cécile de France in person)[/B]

    Closing Night
    The Odyssey / L’odyssée
    Jérôme Salle, France, 2016, 122m
    French with English Subtitles

    Lambert Wilson is magnetic in this grandly lyrical dramatization of legendary explorer-turned-filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. Spanning half a century and criss-crossing oceans, the film charts Cousteau’s professional triumphs and personal failures as he achieves renown for the underwater documentaries he produced on his oceanographic expeditions, amid the constant struggle to secure financial backing for increasingly ambitious scientific (and cinematic) objectives. Set against the backdrop of cross-generational family drama—centered on his long-suffering wife Simone (Audrey Tautou) and his talented, deeply conflicted son Philippe (Pierre Niney)—The Odyssey is an epic ode to scientific exploration and documentary filmmaking, and a celebration of the human drive to seek out new realms of discovery. U.S. Premiere. ) HERE. French release 31 Oct. 2016 AlloCiné press rating 3.4. [Previously reviewed on Filmleaf]
    Saturday, March 11, 6:00pm (Q&A with Jérôme Salle)
    Sunday, March 12, 8:00pm


    150 Milligrams / La fille de Brest
    Emmanuelle Bercot, France, 2016, 128m

    French with English subtitles
    A fearless everywoman stands up to a drug company in this gripping David vs. Goliath story, based on a real-life medical scandal. Irène Frachon (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is a pulmonologist at a hospital in Brest who begins digging into the connection between a widely prescribed diabetes drug and a spate of fatal valve disorders, with help from a research scientist (Benoît Magimel). Soon enough, Irène sets off a media firestorm, making powerful enemies in the pharmaceutical industry who will stop at nothing to suppress her story. Knudsen and writer-director Emmanuelle Bercot have created a memorably eccentric heroine, at once a tireless crusader and compelling human. U.S. Premiere. French release 23 Nov. 2016. AlloCiné press rating 3.7.
    Saturday, March 4, 3:15pm (Q&A with Emmanuelle Bercot)
    Monday, March 6, 4:15pm

    The Dancer / La danseuse
    Stéphanie Di Giusto, France/Belgium/Czech Republic, 2016, 108m

    English and French with English subtitles
    This visually sumptuous drama set amidst the opulence of La Belle Époque Paris charts the real-life saga of modern dance icon Loïe Fuller (Soko). Raised on the plains of the American Midwest, Fuller became the unlikely toast of turn-of-the-century France with her legendary performances, in which swirling swaths of silk fabric and dazzlingly colored lights created a kaleidoscopic spectacle of color and movement. Boasting lavish period detail, breathtaking dance sequences, and fiercely committed performances by Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, and Lily-Rose Depp as Fuller’s rival Isadora Duncan, The Dancer is an arresting chronicle of an artist’s struggle to realize her vision. French release 28 Sept. 2016. AlloCine press rating 3.4.
    Thursday, March 2, 1:45pm
    Monday, March 6, 9:30pm (Q&A with Stéphanie Di Giusto)

    Daydreams / L'indomptée
    Caroline Deruas, France, 2016, 98m

    French and Italian with English subtitles
    Past and present, fantasy and reality collide in the boldly original feature debut from Caroline Deruas. A group of young French artists converge at Rome’s sun-dappled Villa Medicis for a one-year residency. Among them are Camille (Clotilde Hesme), a writer whose marriage to a famous novelist (Tchéky Karyo) is disintegrating, and Axèle (Jenna Thiam), an erratic photographer haunted by spectral visions of the villa’s past. Deruas conjures a subtly surreal atmosphere through striking stylistic flourishes—iris shots, color effects, dream sequences—in this beguiling tale of creative struggle, romantic rivalry, and ghosts. U.S. Premiere. French release 15 Feb. 2017.
    Wednesday, March 8, 4:30pm
    Friday, March 10, 6:45pm (Q&A with Caroline Deruas)

    Faultless / Irréprochable
    Sébastien Marnier, France, 2016, 103m

    French with English subtitles
    Out of money and options, 40-year-old Constance (Marina Foïs) abandons her life in Paris and returns to her suburban hometown in hopes of picking up where she left off. After she finds no real romance from her occasional lover (Benjamin Biolay), something finally snaps when she discovers that her old job as a real-estate agent has been given to a younger woman (Joséphine Japy). It soon becomes clear: Constance is dangerous, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Both a wild-ride thriller and a chilling character study, Faultless is driven by a riveting central performance: almost always onscreen, Foïs brings unexpected depth and poignant humanity to her portrayal of a coldly calculating sociopath. French release 6 Jul. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.7.
    Sunday, March 5, 6:15pm (Q&A with Sébastien Marnier and Marina Foïs)
    Monday, March 6, 2:00pm

    Frantz
    François Ozon, France/Germany, 2016, 113m

    French and German with English subtitles
    The new film from acclaimed director François Ozon is a sublime, heartrending saga of guilt, forgiveness, and forbidden love in post–World War I Europe. Based on Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 antiwar drama Broken Lullaby, it charts the complex bond that forms between two strangers: Anna (Paula Beer), a young German woman grieving the loss of her fiancé, Frantz, in the war, and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a former French soldier. What plays out between them is a haunting investigation of postwar trauma and healing rendered in gorgeous black-and-white that occasionally gives way—gloriously—to psychologically charged bursts of color. French release 7 Sept. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.7. A Music Box Films release (US). [Previously reviewed on Filmleaf]
    Thursday, March 2, 9:15pm (Q&A with François Ozon)
    Saturday, March 11, 1:00pm

    From the Land of the Moon / Mal de pierres
    Nicole Garcia, France/Belgium/Canada, 2016, 116m

    French and Spanish with English subtitles
    Marion Cotillard delivers a performance of searing emotional intensity in this psychologically charged, 1950s-set saga of amour fou. She stars as Gabrielle, a troubled young woman—sick in both body and mind—who is stuck in a loveless marriage. When she travels to Switzerland for a rest cure, she meets the handsome, terminally ill lieutenant André (Louis Garrel), beginning a decades-long romantic obsession that will shape the course of her life. Beautifully photographed in the sunny south of France and the snow-capped Swiss mountains, From the Land of the Moon is an exquisite showcase for one of the finest actresses working today. French release 19 Oct. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.5. A Sundance Selects release (US). [Previously reviewed on Filmleaf]
    Friday, March 3, 6:30pm (Q&A with Nicole Garcia)
    Sunday, March 12, 1:00pm

    Heal the Living / Réparer les vivants
    Katell Quillévéré, France/Belgium, 2016, 103m

    French with English subtitles
    A medical drama of unusual depth and sensitivity, Heal the Living charts the disparate lives touched by a tragedy. Following a car accident, 17-year-old Simon (Gabin Verdet) is left brain-dead, setting into motion a chain of events that affects everyone from his family to the hospital staff to a mother of two (Anne Dorval) in need of a heart transplant. Director Katell Quillévéré weaves together the multistrand narrative with consummate grace, abetted by a remarkable ensemble cast (including Emmanuelle Seigner and Tahar Rahim), elegant camerawork, and a striking score by Alexandre Desplat. The result is an enormously affecting study of human interconnectedness that finds a silver lining of hope in a wrenching situation. French release 2 Nov. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.8. A Cohen Media Group release (US). [Previously reviewed on Filmleaf]
    Thursday, March 2, 6:30pm (Q&A with Katell Quillévéré)
    Friday, March 3, 1:45pm

    In Bed With Victoria / Victoria
    Justine Triet, France, 2016, 97m

    English and French with English subtitles
    Victoria (Virginie Efira) is a hotshot lawyer with a disastrous personal life. Between juggling a demanding job, raising two kids, and fending off an ex-husband who’s slandering her on the Internet, she can barely be bothered with the hit-or-miss (mostly miss) online hookups she sets up. Around the time Victoria agrees to help her old friend Vincent (Melvil Poupaud) with a decidedly bizarre legal matter, she runs into a charming former client Sam (Vincent Lacoste). Now that a shot at real romance comes along, will the perpetually harried Victoria even recognize it? This refreshingly offbeat (how else to describe a film that features a trial in which the star witness is a Dalmatian?) farce is propelled by Efira’s irresistible performance as a heroine who’s raw, real, and complicated in ways that transcend the rom-com formula. French release 14 Sept. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 4.0 (This is the biggest critical success in France on the list so far.)
    Saturday, March 4, 9:30pm (Q&A with Justine Triet)
    Sunday, March 12, 3:30pm

    In the Forest of Siberia / Dans les forêts de Sibérie
    Safy Nebbou, France, 2016, 105m

    English, French, and Russian with English subtitles
    Based on the award-winning memoir by adventurer Sylvain Tesson, this tale of survival follows Teddy (Raphaël Personnaz), a young Frenchman who leaves everything behind to live in isolation in the icy Siberian taiga. But initial exhilaration soon gives way to the harsh reality of staying alive in a frozen wilderness miles from civilization with roaming bears, life-threatening blizzards, and no electricity. The film captures majestic footage of the unspoiled Siberian landscape, its bleak beauty underscored by jazz trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf’s plaintive soundtrack. French release 15 Jun. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.4.
    Sunday, March 5, 1:00pm
    Thursday, March 9, 4:00pm

    Journey to Greenland / Le Voyage au Groënland
    Sébastien Betbeder, France, 2016, 98m

    English, Inuktitut, and French with English subtitles
    Scruffy, thirtysomething best friends both named Thomas (Thomas Blanchard and Thomas Scimeca) leave behind their struggling acting careers in Paris for an extended sojourn in a remote, snowbound stretch of Greenland. One is there to reconnect with his off-the-grid father, the other for adventure. What ensues is a perceptive, warm-spirited study of cross-cultural misunderstanding and connection, as the two men learn to survive in a place without alcohol, indoor plumbing, or a reliable Internet connection. Director Sébastien Betbeder balances wry, unforced comedy with casual insight into human relationships: between friends, family members, and the strangers who touch your life. Sébastien Betbeder previously made the 20-something loser rom-com with Vincent Macaigne, 2 Autumns, 3 Winters (Rendez-Vous 2014)[/I]. French release 30 Nov. 2016. AlloCiné press rating 3.5. A Netflix release (US).
    Tuesday, March 7, 4:30pm
    Wednesday, March 8, 6:45pm

    Mum’s Wrong / Maman a tort
    Marc Fitoussi, France/Belgium, 2016, 110m

    French with English subtitles
    When idealistic 14-year-old Anouk (Jeanne Jestin) embarks on a weeklong internship at her mom’s insurance company, she gets a crash course in the less-than-rosy reality of the corporate world, discovering some unsavory truths about her own mother along the way. An emotionally complex look at parents, children, and the moral compromises we make, Mum’s Wrong adroitly blends workplace satire with a compassionate social-issue message, while its leads Jestin and Émilie Dequenne (Rosetta, Our Children) create a nuanced, wholly believable portrait of a mother-daughter relationship undergoing a crisis. French release 9 Nov. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.3.
    Sunday, March 5, 3:30pm (Q&A with Marc Fitoussi)
    Friday, March 10, 2:00pm

    Nocturama
    Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 130m
    French with English subtitles

    The audacious new film from Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent) unfolds in two mesmerizing segments. The first is a precision-crafted thriller, following a multi-ethnic group of millennial radicals as they carry out a mass-scale terrorist attack on Paris. The second—in which the perpetrators hide out in the consumerist mecca of a luxury department store—is the director’s coup, raising provocative questions about everything that came before. Bonello stages his apocalyptic vision with stylishly roving camerawork, blasts of hip-hop, and a lip-synced performance to Shirley Bassey’s "My Way." This is edgy, risk-taking filmmaking that is sure to ignite debate. A Netflix release (US). French release 31 Aug. 2016. AlloCiné press rating 3.4.
    Saturday, March 4, 6:15pm (Q&A with Bertrand Bonello)
    Sunday, March 5, 9:00pm (Introduction by Bertrand Bonello)

    The Paris Opera / L'Opèra de Paris
    Jean-Stéphane Bron, France, 2017, 110m

    French with English subtitles
    This all-access documentary goes behind the scenes of the Paris Opera, following the array of personnel—management, performers, costumers, cleaning crew—who work to bring breathtaking spectacle to audiences night after night. Over the course of a season, director Jean-Stéphane Bron nimbly juggles a dizzying number of storylines, from labor disputes to procuring a live bull for Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron to a PR crisis involving the head of the company’s ballet. Sweeping in scope yet full of intimate human moments, The Paris Opera offers a candid look at everything that goes into operating one of the world’s foremost performing arts institutions. U.S. Premiere. French release 5 Apr. 2017. AlloCiné lists the title as L'Opéra.
    Thursday, March 2, 4:00pm
    Saturday, March 11, 3:30pm

    Planetarium
    Rebecca Zlotowski, France/Belgium, 2016, 105m
    English and French with English subtitles

    Natalie Portman lends her star power to this dreamy, visually ravishing tale of magic and movies set in a glamorous vision of 1930s Paris. She and her sister (Lily-Rose Depp) form a psychic duo, touring the stages of Europe performing séances. When they catch the eye of a movie producer (Emmanuel Salinger), he resolves to make them stars and to capture an act of spiritualism on film. Forgoing traditional narrative structure in favor of swooning atmosphere, director Rebecca Zlotowksi revels in the Art Deco architecture, sumptuous period couture, and doomed decadence of prewar Paris. Zlotowski made the 2010 Belle Épine (ND/NF 2011 and 2013 Grand Central (R-V 2014), both with Léa Seydoux. French release 16 Nov. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.1 A Swen Group release (US).
    Friday, March 3, 9:30pm (Q&A with Rebecca Zlotowski)
    Tuesday, March 7, 2:00pm

    Film Comment Presents


    Raw/Grave

    Raw / Grave
    Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium, 2016, 99m

    French with English subtitles
    When incoming freshman — and lifelong vegetarian — Justine (Garance Marillier) joins her older sister (Ella Rumpf) at a strangely decrepit veterinary college, she seems poised to be the school’s new star pupil. But a hazing ritual in which she’s forced to eat raw meat awakens something primal in Justine: a newfound — and highly disturbing — taste for flesh. The feature debut from Julia Ducournau marks the arrival of a bold new directorial voice, blending blood-spattered body horror, pitch-black comedy, and one of the most dysfunctional sisterly relationships ever depicted on screen into a potent, emotionally resonant coming-of-age nightmare. Many reviews, including Walter Chaw 4-our-of-4 stars at Fantastic Fest. French release 17 Mar. 2017. Seems to have had an online release in Jan. US release 10 Mar. A Focus Features release (US).
    Tuesday, March 7, 6:45pm (Q&A with Julia Ducournau)
    Wednesday, March 8, 9:15pm (Introduction by Julia Ducournau)

    Right Here Right Now/ Tout de suite maintenant
    Pascal Bonitzer, France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2016, 98m

    French with English subtitles
    Workplace drama doesn’t get any messier than in this intriguingly knotty tale of corporate backbiting and buried secrets. Nora (Agathe Bonitzer) is a bright young professional whose new job at a financial firm turns out to be a trial by fire when she learns that her bosses (Lambert Wilson and Pascal Greggory) share a tumultuous history with her prickly mathematician father (Jean-Pierre Bacri). Meanwhile, an interoffice romance with a competitive colleague (Vincent Lacoste) leads to even more complications, leaving Nora to navigate a minefield of delicate relationships as she climbs the corporate ladder. Isabelle Huppert costars and delivers a typically multilayered performance as one of many sharply etched characters populating this complex moral tale. Bonitzer was Raoul Peck's writer forMurder in Pacot and 2014 FCS included his Cherchez Hortense French release 22 Jun. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.5.
    Friday, March 10, 9:30pm
    Sunday, March 12, 5:45pm

    Slack Bay / Ma Loute
    Bruno Dumont, France/Germany, 2016, 122m

    English and French with English subtitles
    In a postcard-perfect seaside village in 1910, an eccentric (to put it mildly) leisure-class family whiles away the summer. But something troubling is afoot: what’s behind the string of tourists gone mysteriously missing? Former enfant terrible Bruno Dumont continues his surprising foray into farce—which began with 2014’s acclaimed Li’l Quinquin—with this surreal, oddball mix of slapstick and detective story. The director and his cast (which includes Fabrice Luchini, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, and a very game Juliette Binoche) stretch each joke to its breaking point, resulting in a winking, weirdly captivating comedy that’s in on its own absurdity. French release 13 May 2016, AlloCiné press raging 4.1 (highest in this list so far). A Kino Lorber release (US).
    Thursday, March 9, 6:30pm
    Saturday, March 11, 9:00pm


    Slack Bay

    Sophie’s Misfortunes / Les malheurs de Sophie
    Christophe Honoré, France, 2016, 106m

    French with English subtitles
    Based on the French children’s classic by the Countess of Ségur, the latest from Christophe Honoré is an enchanting fable for adults and kids alike, set in a light-filled 19th-century chateau. The film captures the imaginative freedom of childhood through the eyes of the irrepressible Sophie (Caroline Grant), a mischievous young girl whose life changes drastically after she’s left in the care of a severe stepmother (Muriel Robin)—a far cry from the life she had with her loving mother (Golshifteh Farahani of Jarmusch's Paterson and Louis Garrel's Two Friends/Les deux amis). With the help of her two friends and their mother (Anaïs Demoustier), Sophie works to escape her stepmother’s wicked grasp. Throughout, Honoré combines gorgeous period detail with playful modern touches: a bouncy electronic score by Alex Beaupain (who wrote the songs for Honoré;s Lse chansons d'amour/Love Songs, expressive handheld camerawork, and a menagerie of animated animals. French release 20 Apr. 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.4 (Users rating 2.2). U.S. Premiere.
    Saturday, March 4, 12:30pm (Q&A with Christophe Honoré)
    Wednesday, March 8, 2:00pm (Intro with Christophe Honoré)

    The Stopover / Voir du pays
    Delphine & Muriel Coulin, France/Greece, 2016, 102m

    French and Greek with English subtitles
    On their way home from Afghanistan, a band of French soldiers stop in Cyprus for decompression: three-days at a sun-splashed resort, where they will undergo intense psychological debriefing. There, amidst the crystal-blue waters and hordes of vacationing tourists, Marine (Soko) and Aurore (Ariane Labed)—two of only three women in their male-dominated unit—confront rage, trauma, and army sexism as they struggle to readjust to "normal" life. This riveting drama—winner of the Best Screenplay award in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes—is an all-too-rare exploration of war’s psychological wounds on female soldiers. This debuted in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. The sisters previously made 17 Girls (R-V 2012)and Samba. A First Run Features release (US).
    Thursday, March 9, 9:00pm
    Friday, March 10, 4:15pm

    Struggle for Life / La Loi de la jungle
    Antonin Peretjatko, France, 2016, 99m

    French with English subtitles
    In this wild, joke-a-minute slapstick satire, a middle-aged intern (Vincent Macaigne) is sent from France to French Guiana to oversee the creation of a South American ski resort led by Galgaric (Mathieu Amalric). There, he meets a beautiful intern at the National Forestry Office named Tarzan (Vimala Pons) and what ensues is a surreal journey through the Amazon jungle, with absurdist bureaucratic disasters, an aphrodisiac mishap, and a cannibal encounter. Playing something like a Jerry Lewis gag-fest meets Survivor, Struggle for Life combines anarchic black comedy with a scathing critique of colonialism. French release 13 Jun 2016, AlloCiné press rating 3.6 (USers 3.0).
    Monday, March 6, 7:00pm (Q&A with Antonin Peretjatko)
    Tuesday, March 7, 9:15pm (Introduction by Antonin Peretjatko)

    The Together Project / L'effet aquatique
    Sólveig Anspach, France/Iceland, 2016, 83m

    English, French, and Icelandic with English subtitles
    The final film from the late French-Icelandic director Sólveig Anspach is an irresistibly offbeat aquatic comedy. When gawky construction worker Samir (Samir Guesmi) encounters prickly swim instructor Agathe (Florence Loiret Caille), he’s immediately smitten. But his unconventional plan to win her over—pretending he can’t swim in order to take lessons from her — proves more than a little problematic. Sweet without being cloying, quirky without being grating, this romantic charmer succeeds thanks to the interplay between the two leads and Anspach’s breezy sincerity. French release 29 Jun. 2016, AlloCiné press rating a very favorable 3.9.
    Friday, March 3, 4:00pm (Q&A with composer Martin Wheeler)
    Thursday, March 9, 2:00pm

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-10-2017 at 12:50 PM.

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    --------------------

    Highlights. Notable directors, films; panels.

    (As a press release says) this new Rendez-Vous season features films by François Ozon, Bertrand Bonello, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bruno Dumont, Christophe Honoré, Justine Triet, Rebecca Zlotowski, and others, with many stars and meteurs en scène expected to be on hand.

    It's exciting that Bonello's Nocturama is included, one at Cannes I have had my eye on. Ozon's Franz is good, with an above-average AlloCiné press rating (3.7), but a bit conventional. Nocturama's AlloCiné press rating was only average (3.4), but some good sources (Les Inrocks, Le Monde, Télérama, gave it top marks. It's a bit of a provocation, though, in the view of Cahiers du Cinéma, a formally conventional one; Cahiers hated it, but when don't they?

    Special events include a conversation with Agnès Varda, panels focusing on international co-production and film as political intervention, a free screening of an episode of the popular TV series "Call My Agent" ("Dix pour cent", and an exhibition from Arles.

    Click on the image for the trailer:

    --------------------
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-03-2017 at 09:19 PM.

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    Previews.

    I'll be screening or re-screening the following films in the series in the weeks to come.

    The Dancer / La danseuse
    Stéphanie Di Giusto, France/Belgium/Czech Republic, 2016, 108m

    English and French with English subtitles
    This visually sumptuous drama set amidst the opulence of La Belle Époque Paris charts the true-life saga of American-born modern dance icon Loïe Fuller and boasts a fiercely committed lead performance by Soko

    Django (Opening Night Selection)
    Étienne Comar, France, 2017, 115m

    French with English subtitles
    The world and music of legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (Reda Kateb) are brought vividly to life in this riveting saga of survival, resistance, and artistic courage set against the tumultuous backdrop of World War II-era Paris.

    Frantz
    François Ozon, France/Germany, 2016, 113m

    French and German with English subtitles
    Based on Ernst Lubitsch's 1932 antiwar drama Broken Lullaby, the new film from acclaimed director François Ozon is a sublime, heartrending saga of guilt, forgiveness, and forbidden love in post-World War I Europe. A Music Box Films release.

    From the Land of the Moon / Mal de pierres
    Nicole Garcia, France/Belgium/Canada, 2016, 116m

    French and Spanish with English subtitles
    Marion Cotillard delivers a performance of searing emotional intensity as a troubled woman in love with a terminally ill lieutenant (Louis Garrel) in this psychologically charged, 1950s-set saga of amour fou. A Sundance Selects release.

    Heal the Living / Réparer les vivants
    Katell Quillévéré, France/Belgium, 2016, 103m

    French with English subtitles
    A fatal car accident sets into motion a chain of events that touches the lives of seemingly disparate people in this enormously affecting medical drama of unusual depth and sensitivity. A Cohen Media Group release.

    Nocturama
    Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 130m

    French with English subtitles
    The audacious new film from Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent) is both a precision-crafted thriller about a mass-scale terrorist attack on Paris and a provocative exploration of consumerism and millennial disaffection. A Netflix release.

    The Odyssey / L'odyssée (Closing Night Selection)
    Jérôme Salle, France, 2016, 122m

    French with English subtitles
    Lambert Wilson is magnetic in this grandly lyrical dramatization of legendary explorer-turned-filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. Set against the backdrop of cross-generational family drama, The Odyssey is an epic ode to exploration and documentary filmmaking, and a celebration of the human drive to seek out new realms of discovery.

    The Paris Opera / L'Opéra
    Jean-Stéphane Bron, France, 2017, 110m

    French with English subtitles
    Go behind the scenes of the Paris Opera, where backstage dramas, crises, and triumphs play out each night before the curtain rises.

    In Bed With Victoria / Victoria
    Justine Triet, France, 2016, 97m

    English and French with English subtitles
    A hotshot lawyer with a disastrous love life gets a shot at real romance-if only she could recognize it. This refreshingly offbeat farce is raw, real, and complicated in ways that transcend the rom-com formula.

    Slack Bay / Ma Loute
    Bruno Dumont, France/Germany, 2016, 122m

    English and French with English subtitles
    Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi costar in this surreal, weirdly captivating mix of slapstick comedy and oddball detective story, the latest foray into farce from former enfant terrible Bruno Dumont. A Kino Lorber release.

    Raw / Grave
    Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium, 2016, 99m

    French with English subtitles
    When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-10-2017 at 12:56 PM.

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    Some awards won by the films

    At the Césars.
    Best Film nominees: Frantz (11 noms)
    Slack Bay (nine noms)
    Frem the Land of the Moon (eight noms)
    In Bed with Victoria (five)
    150 Milligrams (two)
    The Dancer (two)
    Mentions:
    Faultless
    Heal the Living
    Odyssey


    Some of the filmmakers and talent of Rendez-Vous 2017 who'll be present:

    Emannuelle Bercot
    Bertrand Bonello
    Etienne Comar
    Caroline Deruas
    Stéphanie Di Giusto
    Julia Ducournau
    Marc Fitoussi
    Marina Foïs
    Cécile de France
    Nicole Garcia
    Christophe Honoré
    Reda Kateb
    Sébastien Marnier
    François Ozon
    Antonin Peretjatko
    Katell Quillévéré
    Jérôme Salle
    Justin Taurand
    Justine Triet
    Martin Wheeler
    Rebecca Zlotowski.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-21-2017 at 05:51 AM.

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    DJANGO (Étienne Comar 2017)

    The music really shines but the plot line is humdrum in this recreation of a wartime moment in the life of Roma jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt, one of the genre's greatest guitarists, whose Quintette du Hot Club de France played with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, and Duke Ellington.

    The little known Reda Kateb (A Prophet) has a rare lead role, with Cécille de France as a double agent more-than-fan femme fatale.

    The Rendez-Vous with French Cinema's Opening Night film. A preview.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-20-2017 at 11:38 AM.

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    NOCTURAMA (Bertrand Bonello 2016)

    As Mike D'Angelo tweeted at Toronto, this is stunning.

    A group of young, multiracial radicals execute a series of terrorist attacks across Paris and then take shelter for the night in a shopping center while a massive manhunt is conducted outside.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-20-2017 at 11:38 AM.

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    FRANTZ (François Ozon 2016)

    This film I reviewed in Paris last October but watched at the press screenings at Lincolnn Center again is a beautiful and mysterious adaptation of an Ernst Lubitsch film full of seriousness, calm, symmetry, and beauty - and one of the best film roles yet for the up and coming Comédie Française actor Pierre Niney. It looked even better the second time.

  9. #9
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    RÉPARER LES VIVANTS/HEAL THE LIVING (Katell Quillévéré 2016)

    This is a movie about a heart transplant. But that sounds like a TV afternoon picture, and not such a humanistic and sophisticated work of art as Katell Quillévéré has made of it. It's a double story, first of a 17-year-old blond surfer who's rendered brain dead in a car crash, and second the middle-aged woman with severe heart disease who gets his heart. The key figure is the "coordinator" played by a boyish-looking but wonderfully gentle and sympathetic Taher Raim (of Audiard's A Prophet. US release coming. This, like Ozon's Frantz, was even better, and clearer in its fine construction, the second time at the Lincoln Center press screening.

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    MAL DE PIERRES/FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON (Nicole Garcia 2016)

    Another one I saw in Paris but rewatched at the Rendez-Vous press screenings. Not much emerged from rewatching except another chance to see the irrelevance of the long opening section and the unconvincing curve-pitching of the final section. This would be interesting to talk about in the context of Nicole Garcia's filmography; her choice of this novel to adapt fits with her apparent love of movies that are wild romantic adventures. And Marion Cotillard and Louis Garrel make a romantic fantasy couple, she the uncooperative slightly nutty patient and he the dying French officer and general's son who caught something nasty in Indochina.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-20-2017 at 11:38 AM.

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    THE DANCER/LA DANCEUSE (Stéphanie Di Giusto 2016)

    Di Giusto's first feature is a biopic starring Soko (Wincour's Augustine as the American dancer and theatrical design/staging pioneer Loïe Fuller, who took her act to Paris and stayed in Europe. Soko's 200% dedication to the demanding role, including re-staging of Loïs' performances, doesn't keep this from biopic clichés. Interesting depiction of the déco styles of the time.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-20-2017 at 11:38 AM.

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    VICTORIA/IN BED WITH VICTORIA (Justine Triet 2016)

    A rom-com that takes off from Hollywood/Woody Allen comedy with engaging riffs by Virginie Efira as a hotshot lawyer whose personal life is pretty much a total mess, with fine support by Vincent Lacoste, Melvil Poupaud, and others, including an on-point dalmatian and somewhat unruly chimp who takes selfies ad a wedding party. Got raves in France even from Les Inrocks and Cahiers. If you get with the spirit of amiable chaos, you will see why the French found this hilarious.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-21-2017 at 05:50 AM.

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    LA FILLE DE BREST/150 MILIGRAMS (Emmanuelle Bercot 2016)

    The tireless Emmanuelle Bercot had an amazing year last year, winning Best Actress at Cannes for her performance in My King/Mon roi with Vincent Cassel and directing a prizewinning film about an at risk teenager, with Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel, and young unknown Rod Paradot, who won a César. Now Bercot is back with another issue picture, about Dr. Irène Franchon and her long, hard, ultimately successful campaign against French Big Pharma to bar a killer drug. Again Magimel is back, and there is a unique central performance by Danish-born Sidse Babett Knudsen as the feisty Dr. Franchon. This is a movie in a class with Silkwood and Erin Brockovich. Its long string of sometimes numbing details win respect and a sense of joy when the gathering team of crusaders against money interests win the battle to save lives.


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    SLACK BAY/MA LOUTE (Bruno Dumont 2016)

    A sort of offshoot of his RV miniseries L'il Quinquin, this is just far-out crazy. Set in 1910 by the sea where a romance between a rough sailer boy from a cannibal family and a sort-of trans person from the local snooty aristos, does not bring together the classes. If this is Dumont's ongoing effort to break into comedy, it needs more work. But he has created a completely unique world. This time Juliette Binoche is joined by other well-known actors playing with Dumont's usual unknowns: Fabrice Lucchini and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, in their strangest and most unflattering roles ever.


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    PARIS OPERA/L'OPÉRA (Jean-Stéphane Bron 2016)

    A rich taste of the manifold wonders of the Opéra de Paris - which comprises two venues, but that is just one of many things that aren't really explained. Bron, who is Swiss, flits about too much. This lacks the determined focus of Fred Wiseman, who applied his treatment to the Paris Opera Ballet a few years ago, so we can compare methods. Everything here is interesting - except, to me, the use of a huge live bull in a Schoenberg opera production. But there needed to be more time on some and less or none on other topics, more follow-through, and more context provided.


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