In the midst of rehearsals for a new play, amateur dramatics proponents Colin and Kathryn receive the shattering news that their friend George is fatally ill and only has a few months to live. Life begins to come apart at the seams – not just for Kathryn, who was once George’s partner, but also for her friends Tamara and Monica. The full force of the emotional turmoil they experienced in their youth and their long-buried dreams are rekindled. Much to the chagrin of their respectable, middle-class husbands, the women begin to argue about which of them should be allowed to accompany George on a final journey …
After Smoking/No Smoking (1993) and Coeurs (2006), this current work marks the third time French cinema doyen Alain Resnais has chosen to adapt a stage play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. By confining the action to an artificial, almost entirely studio-bound world, he succeeds in creating a tragicomic theatre of vanities. Employing the ironic distance of a sage observer of human nature, Resnais ponders the power of love and desire and in doing so enables his characters, driven by their longings, hopes and obsessions, to leave the beaten track for once.
–Berlin Film Festival Continue reading
As Frédérique lies dead on her kitchen table at the hands of Christophe, police try to piece together the events that led to the gruesome killing. Frédérique’s teenage daughter narrates the tragic tale of love gone wrong.
Review by Kevin Vu: Though it possesses the voice of a notorious auteur, “Perfect Love” is one of Catherine Breillat’s lesser works. Despite being her sixth feature, the film seems like an early and minor effort, containing recurring elements explored in more accomplished films (e.g. “Fat Girl” and “Romance”), not to mention the sex and flesh that marries her reputation with vulgarity and controversy. Although Breillat has since found alternative outlets for her provocation and feminine rage, such as costume drama and fairytale, she has always challenged the conventional notions of sex using facets of the human body and soul that she strips bare – figuratively and literally. The plot here is not a matter of boy meets girl, and it never is for Breillat as she continues to reveal human depravity through sexuality. Continue reading
Dominique Dubosc’s documentary film is a unique and unforgettable meditation which disrupts any separation between art and documentary filmmaking from the first frame and continues to surprise throughout.Using images (stills, video, landscapes, interviews, architectures) shot between 2001 and 2007, the director assembles a series of distinct chapters which move between impressionistic studies of unusual spaces and structures observed in the occupied Palestinian territories, to informal interviews in which the narratives of Palestinians in the West Bank are presented unadorned.
English audio (Alexandra Stewart)
REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME, the latest “cine-essay” of Chris Marker, is dense and demanding, a splendid reminder that his nimble, capacious mind has lost none of its agility, poetry, and power. Ostensibly a portrait of photographer Denise Bellon, focusing on the two decades between 1935 and 1955, the film leaps and backtracks, Marker-style, from subject to subject, from a family portrait of Bellon and her two daughters, Loleh and Yannick (the latter co-authored the film), to a wide-ranging history of surrealism, of the city of Paris, of French cinema and the birth of the cinémathèque, of Europe, the National Front, the Second World War and Spanish Civil War, and postwar politics and culture.
Art House Erotica, 23 September 1998
Author: Stefan Kahrs from Canterbury, England
La Marge is the kind of film conventional film critics hate to review, because it does not quite fit into these little genre boxes they have in their heads.
In its cinematography and story-telling La Marge is very much like an Art House picture: we have emotions, tragedy, laughter, silence, pictures telling a story, plot twists, slow pace, all the ingredients you might expect in the most toffee-nosed productions only people with a university degree are supposed to enjoy. And yet, it is also a piece of erotica, shamelessly exploitative and very effective in its abundant use of (mostly) female nudity and its sex scenes. Continue reading
A documentary on the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien that explores the complexities of political and social life in Asia and how it affects his films. Hou returns to the setting of his youth to talk to childhood friends and discuss his films. He visits old neighborhoods, film locations, and favorite haunts. Clips from the director’s work are interspersed with colleagues’ comments on Taiwan’s new wave film history and the famed director’s place in it. Continue reading
‘A family of aristocrats have fallen on hard times. To pay for repairs to their crumbling country chateau they are forced to use their home as a hotel. The local garage mechanic, Charlie, provides a constant stream of guests for them by sabotaging any car that arrives in his garage. The latest arrival is an important-looking man, Cesar Maricorne, accompanied by his two aides. When she learns that he is a gangster who has just robbed a bank, the aging Marquise realises that her family’s financial worries may be at an end…’
- Films de France Continue reading