Bertrand Tavernier – Voyage à travers le cinéma français AKA My Journey Through French Cinema (2016)

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Synopsis wrote:
Bertrand Tavernier’s personal journey through French cinema, from films he enjoyed as a boy to his own early career, told through portraits of key creative figures.

Embark on an cinematic experience with writer-director Bertrand Tavernier’s personal voyage through French cinema. Tavernier explores the auteurs from the 1930s up to his own first breakout feature in 1974, The Clockmaker of St. Paul.

Included in the analysis are the contributions of directors such as Jacques Becker and François Truffaut and actors such as Jean Renoir and Jean Gabin balanced with those of lesser known French filmmakers who have also illuminated emotions and revealed surprising truths. Hundreds of clips comprise this magnificent tribute to French filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors, and musicians with rare and behind the-scenes insights that are eye-opening, scandalous and funny.

Tavernier’s dissection draws a reference line to the influences of American cinema at the time. Continue reading

Su Friedrich – I Cannot Tell You How I Feel (2016)

Su Friedrich continues her ongoing quest to film the battleground of family life. Her mother plays the lead, kicking and protesting against being taken to an “independent living” facility. Friedrich and her two siblings fill out the supporting roles—cajoling, comforting, and freaking out.

One of the great and most personal experimental filmmakers, we are proud that Su Friedrich is premiering her latest work here. It is a portrait of the artist’s relationship with her aging mother—making it a follow-up to The Ties That Bind—a wry, turbulent documentary of the complexities of family. Continue reading

Ildikó Enyedi – Teströl és lélekröl AKA On Body and Soul (2017)

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SYNOPSIS
Two introverted people, both workers at an abattoir, find out by chance that they share the same dream every night. At first, they are puzzled and incredulous, but as they begin to accept this strange coincidence, they try to recreate in broad daylight what happens in their shared subconscious. Continue reading

Lav Diaz – Ang babaeng humayo aka The Woman Who Left (2016)

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Synopsis
After spending the last 30 years in prison, Horacia is immediately released when someone else confessed to the crime. Still overwhelmed by her new freedom, she comes to the painful realization that her aristocratic former lover had set her up. As kidnappings targeting the wealthy begin to proliferate, Horacia sees the opportunity to plot her revenge. Continue reading

Eugène Green – Le fils de Joseph AKA Son of Joseph (2016)

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A nativity story reboot that gently skewers French cultural pretensions, it features newcomer Victor Ezenfis as a discontented Parisian teenager in search of a father, Mathieu Amalric and Fabrizio Rongione as his, respectively, callous and gentle alternative paternal options, and Natacha Régnier as his single mother.
The American-born expatriate filmmaker Eugène Green exists in his own special artistic orbit. All Green’s films share a formal rigor and an increasingly refined modulation between the playfully comic, the urgently human, and the transcendent, and they are each as exquisitely balanced as the baroque music and architecture that he cherishes.
Eugène Green drops biblical motifs – Abraham and Isaac, Mary and Joseph – into this genuinely contemporary setting as if it were the most natural thing in the world, augmenting them with nods to crime films, Italian Baroque music, a Doisneau photograph, three 17th century paintings and an artificial way of speaking that is anything but current.
The characters are positioned within the visual compositions and look directly into the camera, their diction flawless. Whatever needs saying – and that’s a lot – they recite impassively, in declamatory fashion. Along the way, there are jabs at the literature milieu and trendy yuppies.
A film where divine seriousness rubs against bizarre comedy, where theology meets caricature, an intriguing film, anachronistic and innovative in equal measure. Continue reading

Bing Wang – Mrs. Fang (2017)

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Synopsis
Fang Xiu Ying is sixty-seven years old and suffers from Alzheimer’s, and yet she slowly understands that her life is coming to an end. Taking place in a quiet village in southern China, Fang Xiu Ying deals with the feelings of a person nearing death, as well as the lives of her relatives and neighbors who gather around her to say their final goodbyes. Continue reading