In a routine look at what it means to finally leave adolescence behind — even in one’s mature years — this series of mood swings and sequences focuses on two grown men. Francois (Jean Francois Stevenin, the director) and Leo (Yves Alonso) are old friends, and at one point they decide to go out and search for one of their childhood buddies, the brunt of several of their practical jokes. In true form, the men opt for playing yet another practical joke on their friend, but their plans backfire when his wife Helene (Carole Bouquet) comes into the picture instead. Her presence forces them to reconsider their shenanigans in a new light. Continue reading
This film marks the directorial debut of actor Jean-François Stevenin. Serge (Stevenin) is a dweller in the French provinces who happens upon Georges (Jacques Villeret), a Parisian motorist in distress. Serge arranges for the car to be taken to a nearby garage. Georges’ friends, who were with him in the car, have continued their journeys. Because of that, Serge takes Georges under his wings while he waits for his car to be repaired, and they tour the countryside and party with the local revelers. Nothing much is said between them, but it is clear that they have become friends Continue reading
In an airport hotel on the outskirts of Paris, a Silicon Valley engineer abruptly chucks his job, breaks things off with his wife, and holes up in his room. Soon, fate draws him and a young French maid together Continue reading
…even after a number of viewings, I’m still not sure if what I have seen is a kind of high Euro-modernist masterpiece about race, culture, urban rage and alienated identity – or a perversely opaque and frustrating essay in enigma, a labyrinth of blind alleys, in which putative solutions are forbiddingly walled off. It is a film which gestures at the literal incomprehensibility of experience, how it resists encirclement and extends beyond the perimeters of perception and interpretation. The mood of Code Unknown is moreover often fractious, crackling with unease and ill-humour, and yet this is a movie whose images and personae linger in the mind, and which can deliver dazzlingly generous, compassionate insights…
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian Continue reading
Les Rendez-vous de Paris [Rendez-vous in Paris] is a 1995 portmanteau French film directed by Éric Rohmer.
Three loosely connected variations on the theme of the lover’s rendezvous in Paris. The three episodes are titled “Le Rendez-vous de 7 heures” (The Rendezvous of 7 hours), in which a student discovers her boyfriend is two-timing her, “Les Bancs de Paris” (The Benches of Paris), in which an unnamed woman has a series of meetings in parks with a handsome literature teacher from the suburbs, and “Mere et enfant 1907″ (Mother and Child 1907), which takes its title from a Picasso painting, and centres on an artist who is attracted by a stranger. The three stories of the film are linked by a girl singing in the streets to an accordion accompaniment – a homage to René Clair’s Sous les toits de Paris.
As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then ‘only as a field of rubble’. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who already has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nothing should be left as a reminder of the city’s former glory. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as Nordling tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan. Continue reading
Reviewed by Tom Dawson
21 July 2005
Made nearly a decade ago when Rohmer was already in his mid-seventies, A Summer’s Tale is a beautiful and bittersweet romantic comedy from the evergreen French writer/director. Part of the filmmaker’s Tales Of The Four Seasons series, it unfolds over several weeks at the Brittany resort of Dinard, where the vacationing student Gaspard (Melvil Poupard) finds himself torn between three appealing young women: ethnologist Margot (Amanda Langlet), her forthright pal Solene (Gwenaelle Simon), and his supposed girlfriend Lena (Aurelia Nolin). Continue reading