France

Jean-Gabriel Albicocco – Le Coeur Fou AKA The Mad Heart (1970)

Synopsis
Georges Menessier, a 45-year-old celebrity press writer, smuggles into a mental hospital to take pictures of…his ex-wife Clara Noël, once a great film star now confined to this clinic for alcoholism and nervous trouble. Once inside the place he meets Clo, a beautiful twenty-year-old woman, another inmate. They fall in love but madness is synonymous with tragedy not happiness… Read More »

Pascal-Alex Vincent – Donne-moi la main AKA Give Me Your Hand (2008)

Twin 18-year-olds hitchhike to their mother’s funeral in Spain. The journey changes their lives forever. Read More »

Sarah Klingemann – Bas Choeur AKA Low Choir (2020)

Here is a beautifully crafted film, seemingly simple as ABC. It involves no tall tales, only modest work – we listen to Robert Schumann’s lieder at home or in the car, we eat, we wash, we celebrate, we weep, etc. Yet, the film is obviously based on some intricate knotwork, maybe like a nod in its own way to the famous double-helix staircase in Chambord, the magnificent castle where Jacques Demy filmed his Peau d’Ane, and where many scenes in this film were shot as well. What should we believe then? First, that there is no “we”, that women and men share, asymmetrically, the singing and the listening, the hunting and the defeat. Read More »

Baba Hillman – Kitâb al-Isfâr: Book of the Journey (2020)

An immersive cinematic poem of a 7 year journey of return, “Kitâb al-Isfâr: Book of the Journey” weaves together stories of near-death and mystical experience in Andalucia. According to the director: “When I was 19 I set out, hoping I could learn the meaning of life by ‘experiencing everything’. I bought a car for 20 marks in a cafe in Ulm. I spray painted it yellow and green and drove it from Holland to Romania to Spain, sleeping in the back seat in a red blanket. Driving down to Málaga, at the crest of the mountains, the brakes went out. As the car sped down the mountain then crashed, I lost consciousness, followed by three days and nights of visions. What did I see, what did I understand? The Shaykh al-Akbar, Sufi mystic and philosopher Ibn ‘Arabî , writes that the journey only has true meaning if it brings a new beginning. In traveling, the heart becomes the goal of the journey”. Read More »

Françoise Prenant – Paradis perdu (1975)

A 1975 French language short film written and directed by Franssou Prenant, starring Hélène Hazéra, Marie-France and René Schérer.

Young transgender women turn the streets of Paris into their cabaret. Their dreams are quickly overtaken by reality. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – L’avarice [Les sept péchés capitaux] (1961)

Quote:
“L’Avarice” was Chabrol’s contribution to the 1962 French/Italian omnibus film LES SEPT PÉCHÉS CAPITAUX (which also featured contributions from de Broca, Jacques Demy, Sylvain Dhomme, Max Douy, Jean-Luc Godard, Eugène Ionesco, Edouard Molinaro, and Roger Vadim) in which a group of twenty-five engineering students put hold a lottery to pick who gets to spend a 50,000 franc evening with a beautiful prostitute. The film was photographed in Franscope by Jean Rabier (Henri Decae’s camera operator on LE BEAU SERGE and LES COUSINS.)
—DVD Beaver Read More »

Bertrand Blier – Merci la vie AKA Thanks for Life (1991)

Synopsis:
Camille, a naive schoolgirl meets an intiguing influence in Joelle, a slightly older and much more experienced spirit. Camille follows her new friend through the discovery of sex and the darker side of life. As the film progresses Camille discovers Aids and the fear that she may have picked up the disease in her early encounters. Read More »