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Thread: Paris movie journal oct.-nov. 2017

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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area

    Paris movie journal oct.-nov. 2017


    BPM/120-BATTEMENTS PAR MINUTE (Robin Campillo 2017). Campillo's vivid evocation of the Nineties French ACT-UP organization fighting the slowness and indifference of government and Big Pharma to the AIDS crisis. Members of the group debate, fight, carry out dramatic actions, and fall in love. This film won the Grand Prix and four other awards at Cannes. The best about this is that it feels authentic, done by Campillo for himself, not trying tp prove anything or lecture anybody, evoking his own experience. In doing this successfully, he may communicate better across age, sex, and generation lines than many more conventional gay films. Included in the Main Slate of the NYFF. AlloCiné press raging 4.5, Metacritic 84%. Watched at MK2 Odéon St. Michel (Hautefeuille) 22 Oct.

    NUMÉRO UNE/NUMBER ONE (Tonie Marshall 2017). A big role for Emmanuelle Devos as Emmanuelle Blachey, an executive moving to the top of international corporations. She convincingly speaks Chinese too. But it's wasted because this story is bloodless and unsexy and full of uninvolving plot details, more a sociological tract than a film. Marshall, who's half American and half French, made one prize-winning film, Venus Beauty Institute (1999). This new movie is bursting with empty competence. AlloCiné press rating 3.3. Watched at UGC Danton 23 Oct.

    L'ATELIER/THE WORKSHOP (Laurent Cantet 2017). A successful Parisian novelist (Maria Foïs) comes to coach a cross section of seven young locals of various ethnicities in a summer writing workshop to create a collective mystery thriller in La Ciotat, a town on the Mediterranean coast near Marseille whose shipping manufacturing industry has faded. She clashes with one more talented and provocative student of white racist leanings, Antoine (Mathieu Lucci), whose air of danger may make more sense when we realize the screenplay was coscripted by frequent collaborator Robin Campillo, of Eastern Boys (as well as the current BPM). Cantet, as in his Palme d'Or-winning The Class 9 years ago, returns to form with a cross section of popular society and its discontents. Though this turns into more of a two-hander and thriller, it is more about class conflicts than violence, and Antoine's ability to write provocatively is his best trait. AlloCiné press rating 3.9. Watched at MK2 Odeon 24 Oct.

    AU REVOIR LÀ-HAUT/SEE YOU UP THERE (Albert Dupontel 2017). An ambitious WWI-aftermath fantasy ($22 million budget) starting with a disastrous trench battle just at the end of hostilities when Edouard, a young artist (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart of BPM), who loses his jaw, and the older Albert, who was an accountant (director Dupontel) are thrown together, and remain together in secret in peacetime carrying out a crooked scheme involving war memorials, while Edouard avoids his powerful domineering dad (a rather one-note Niels Arestrup). This is an enthusiastic (and over-laborious) adaptation of the Goncourt-Prize-winning novel of mystery thriller writer Pierre Lemaitre. While Albert is a Chaplin-esque sad sack, his voiceless, miming young pal, whose death he fakes, wears a succession of elaborate masks and has a girl urchin who speaks for him - all well-designed for fans of quaint and colorful period costume spectaculars. AlloCiné Press rating 4.0. Watched at UGC Danton opening day 25 Oct.

    POUR LE RÉCONFORT/COMFORT AND CONSOLATION (Vincent Macaigne 2017). Feature directorial debut of the prolific French indie actor who drops his usual ditsy persona and casts Parisian theatrical mates for a passionate, angry, autobiographical rant about privilege. Focus is on siblings who come back to their family estate near Orléans after five years living it up in NYC and Mexico to face financial problems of the family finances, hanging out, dancing, and drinking at length with less wealthy contemporaries they grew up with, who couldn't afford to wander. One of the lattter wants to buy the property for a trivial amount, for retirement home use. This hard-to-watch film, an editorial about social inequities and non-adaptation, is rife with noisy rock parties and violent arguments. In Academy ratio and minimal, with angry, strident yelling where a plotline or cinematic flair might be. AlloCiné press rating 3.2. Watched at MK2 Odéon St. Michel (Hautefeuille) on opening day 25 Oct.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-29-2017 at 03:39 AM.


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