Philippe Grandrieux – Un lac (2008)

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Plot:
The story takes place in a country about which we know nothing: a country of snow and dense forests somewhere in the North. A family lives in an isolated house near a lake. Alexi, the brother, is a young man with pure heart. A woodcutter. An ecstatic, prey to epileptic fits, he is entirely opened to the nature that surrounds him. Alexi is terribly close to his younger sister, Hege. Their blind mother, their father and their little brother are the silent witnesses to their overwhelming love. A stranger arrives, a young man barely older that Alexi Continue reading

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Pierre Granier-Deferre – Adieu, Poulet AKA The French Detective (1975)

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Synopsis
In the French city of Rouen an election is marred by a fight between the supporters of two of the candidates. In the fracas a man is beaten to death and the killer then shoots a passing police officer! The officer has time to warn his colleagues that the killer is Proctor, a well-known thug whose brother is campaigning on behalf of law and order candidate Lardatte! Commissaire Verjeat’s pursuit of Proctor is hampered by Lardatte for whom he has a personal dislike and misses no opportunity to humiliate. As a result he then finds himself with a very short time to capture Proctor, since he faces a promotion and a posting outside of Rouen, which will take him off the case. Verjeat is sure that this is courtesy of Lardatte and his police contacts! To cap it all, his sidekick, the eccentric Inspector Lefevre, implicates them both in a case of police corruption! Continue reading

Pierre Prévert – Mon frère Jacques [2004 restored version] (1961)

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Restored in 2004 by Catherine Prévert

Cast
Jacques Prévert … Himself
Pierre Prévert … Himself
Arletty … Herself
René Bertele … Himself
Pierre Brasseur … Himself
Jacques B. Brunius … Himself
Raymond Bussières … Himself
Marcel Carné … Himself
Marcel Duhamel … Himself
Jean Gabin … Himself
Paul Grimault … Himself
Alexandre Trauner … Himself
Jeanne Witta … Herself
Continue reading

Claude Lanzmann – Shoah (1985)

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Quote:

Shoah is Claude Lanzmann’s landmark documentary meditation on the Holocaust. Assembled from footage shot by the filmmaker during the 1970s and 1980s, it investigates the genocide at the level of experience: the geographical layout of the camps and the ghettos; the daily routines of imprisonment; the inexorable trauma of humiliation, punishment, extermination; and the fascinating insights of those who experienced these events first hand.

Absent from the film is any imagery shot at the time the Holocaust occurred. There is only Lanzmann and his crew, filming in private spaces and now-dormant zones of eradication to extract testimony from a series of survivors, witnesses, and oppressors alike. Through his relentless questioning (aided on occasion by hidden camera), Lanzmann is able to coax out material of unparalleled emotional truth that constitutes both precious oral history and withering indictment. Continue reading

Andrzej Wajda – Eine Liebe in Deutschland AKA A Love in Germany (1983)

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Plot
In May of 1983, a man turns 49 and, with his 17-year old son, journeys to the village in Baden that he left 40 years before. He wants to discover what happened then, the truth about an affair his mother had with a young Polish prisoner of war, how the authorities came to learn of it, the lovers’ arrest, and the aftermath. While his son takes Polaroid photographs, he retraces the steps of his childhood and interviews those who should remember. The story is disclosed in flashbacks that focus on the lovers (Paulina and Stanislaus), on a jealous and conniving neighbor, and on Mayer, the local SS commander who wants to find a way out of inevitable consequences.

Nominated
Venice Film Festival – Golden Lion – 1983 Continue reading

Antony Cordier – Douches froides aka Cold Showers (2005)

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Quote:
Cold Showers is a coming of age story about Mickael (Johan Libereau), a high school student who is captain of the Judo team and who lives with his low-income family. His mother is a janitor/groundskeeper at a gymnasium and his father is a long-time taxi driver and drunkard. Both are struggling to pay for services and amenities for their apartment. He also has a girlfriend named Vanessa (Salome Stevenin) and the two of them befriend Clement (Pierre Perrier) a rich student who becomes his Judo teammate. A sex triad is formed, and drama ensues. Continue reading

Stéphane Paoli – Paul Virilio: Penser la vitesse aka Paul Virilio:Thinker of Speed (2009)

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A film on & with Paul Virilio
about Virilio

Quote:
Paul Virilio is one of the most significant French cultural theorists writing today.1 Increasingly hailed as the inventor of concepts such as ‘dromology’ (the ‘science’ of speed), Virilio is renowned for his declaration that the logic of acceleration lies at the heart of the organization and transformation of the modern world. Continue reading

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