2001-2010

Denis Côté – Curling (2010)

The fascinating fifth feature by Québécois auteur Denis Côté, Curling is a portrait of Jean-François (Emmanuel Bilodeau), a single father who works nights at a deserted bowling alley and days in a rundown motel, and his daughter, Julyvonne (Philomène Bilodeau, Emmanuel’s real-life daughter), who he isolates from the community in fear that contact with the outside world will scar her. Sensitive, expressive images are crafted to perfection by cinematographer Josée Deshaies while Côté masterfully distorts our perception of time, letting it linger in beguiling stillness as winter slowly seeps away. Côté unfolds his minimalist narrative from the inside out, resulting in an impressively austere film that establishes an immediate emotional connection. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – ABC Africa (2001)

Plot:
Abbas Kiarostami and his assistant, Seifollah Samadian, travel to Kampala, Uganda at the request of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development. For ten days, their camera captures and caresses the faces of a thousand children – all orphans – whose parents have died of AIDS. Recording tears and laughter, music and silence, life and death, the film attests to Africa’s sunny resilience in the face of so much suffering and disease. Read More »

Abdellatif Kechiche – Vénus noire AKA Black Venus (2010)

Synopsis:
The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and fortune there. Once in London her master turned manager does nothing but exhibit her as a freak in a phony and humiliating carnival show. After a series of troubles caused by their act, Caesar, Saartje and their new friend, bear-tamer Réaux, head for Paris where once again, and against her will, she has to mimic savagery and expose her body, first in carnivals, then in the aristocratic salons of Paris, later on among the libertines and finally in brothels where she ends up being a prostitute. Read More »

Wes Anderson – The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Synopsis:
A year after the accidental death of their father, three brothers — each suffering from depression – meet for a train trip across India. Francis, the eldest, has organized it. The brothers argue, sulk, resent each other, and fight. The youngest, Jack, estranged from his girlfriend, is attracted to one of the train’s attendants. Peter has left his pregnant wife at home, and he buys a venomous snake. After a few days, Francis discloses their surprising and disconcerting destination. Amid foreign surroundings, can the brothers sort out their differences? A funeral, a meditation, a hilltop ritual, and the Bengal Lancer figure in the reconciliation. Read More »

Pierre Étaix – En pleine forme AKA Feeling Good (2010)

‘Feeling Good,’ was originally one of the vignettes included in the director’s anthology feature ‘As Long as You’ve Got Your Health,’ but was later replaced with another short when Etaix was given the opportunity to re-work and re-release that film. In this comical misadventure, a man (Pierre Etaix) attempts to enjoy a camping trip out in the peaceful wilderness — but, as one might expect, he runs into a few issues, leading to a series of silly accidents. Eventually the man is forced into a satirically larger-than-life camping ground (fenced off like a prison) where he meets more bizarre characters and attempts to escape. Read More »

Wes Anderson – Hotel Chevalier (2007) (HD)

This is the short movie that works as a prelude for The Darjeeling Limited by director Wes Anderson, starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, with beautiful music including a song by Peter Sarstedt. Read More »

Fred Cavayé – Pour Elle AKA Anything for Her (2008)

Synopsis
With no legal means left to him, a high school teacher devises a daring plan to rescue his wrongfully imprisoned wife from jail… Read More »