Coline Serreau – La Belle verte (1996)

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Quote:
Mila (Serreau) lives in a leafy utopia in another neck of the galaxy but, with her part Earth ancestry, has a hankering to look the old place over. She’s dismayed to find inedible food, unbreathable air, noise and a bad idea called money. With her superior mental powers, though, she easily copes with bad tempered motorists, heartless social workers and the like, brainwashing them until they can appreciate the beauty in a lettuce leaf. The film offers acrobats, kittens, an orphan Serbian baby and an unwittingly offputting account of the Green Party line. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Perreard – Itineraire bis (2011)

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Synopsis:
‘Jean is 35 and still lives with his mother in the small Corsican town where he was born. His future is clearly mapped out for him – to take over the running of the family restaurant. But one day something happens that sets him on new and unexpected course. He meets Nora, a young woman who has just been thrown into the sea from her racing yacht. Nora awakens something in Jean, a sense of adventure, a yearning for new experiences. Jean’s life has only just begun…’
– Films de France Continue reading

Agnès Varda – Agnès de ci de là Varda (2011)

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Quote:

La cinéaste a longé des fleuves inconnus, filmé des élagueurs d’amendoeiras à Copacabana, exploré des lieux oubliés comme les Watts Towers à Los Angeles ou une friche artistique sur une terrasse à Saint-Pétersbourg…
Son projet ? Filmer la vie et l’art contemporain là où il se trouve (musées, expositions, biennales), en donnant la parole à des artistes comme Soulages, Boltanski, Messager, Barcelo, Pierrick Sorin ou bien à d’autres comme Monsieur Bouton de Lyon, ou Kikie Crêvecoeur de Bruxelles.
Croisés en route, Manuel de Oliveira improvise une danse au Portugal et Carlos Reygadas évoque ses parties de foot au Mexique…
Des carnets de voyages dans lesquels Agnès Varda se livre entre deux entretiens, avant d’assembler, de façon originale, sa récolte d’images et d’impressions. Un cinéma plein de fantaisie, d’humour et de talent, de-ci de-là. (arte.tv) Continue reading

Abel Gance – Lucrezia Borgia (1935)

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Episodes from the life of Lucrecia Borgia’s. Spoiled and willful, she has many love affairs and tries to resist her ruthless and scheming brother César Borgia’s plans to marry her off for political advantage.

Episodic and hard to follow to those not familiar with Italian geography and with the political situation of the time. Nice sets and costumes but the 16 millimeter print I saw did not show them well.

The kind of movie the French New Wave rebelled against Continue reading

Claude Autant-Lara – Marguerite de la nuit AKA Marguerite of the Night (1955)

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tiberio wrote:
Truffaut and Godard gave a bad name to the “quality” French cinema that preceded them. This film was one of their pet examples of what they saw as staid, boring, unadventurous cinéma de papa. Without an axe to grind, it is actually a breathtakingly bold modernization of the Faust legend, ravishing to look at with its highly stylized sets (Trauner on LSD) and containing multi-layered undercurrents, including a message on the unthinking destructiveness of youth which seems almost like a prescient reply to its New Wave critics. Continue reading

Alain Cavalier – Un étrange voyage AKA On the Track (1981)

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Synopsis
A father-daughter relationship is melded, strained, and deepened by a shared angst: the grandmother in the family left her home by train and never arrived at her destination. The father Pierre (Jean Rochefort) is distraught that the police could basically dismiss the issue as inexplicable, and he decides to retrace on foot the voyage his mother should have made. His daughter Amelie (Camille de Casablanca) goes with him, and the story evolves as the two walk along the train tracks, searching in the nearby terrain and bushes for any evidence that might point to what happened. Along the way, their once antagonistic and distanced relationship (Amelie is a student, her father is a picture-restorer) begins to work itself out… Continue reading

Jean-Marie Straub – Schakale und Araber (2011)

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Description: Based on Kafka’s short story:

A European traveler from the North, accompanied by Arab guides, is camped in the desert. When night falls, and the Arabs are at a distance, the traveler is accosted by talking jackals. The jackals speak of an age-old hatred for Arabs, whom they associate with uncleanliness. They relate a belief passed down from their ancestors, that a man such as the protagonist would be the one to “end the quarrel which divides the world in two”. The jackals attempt to enlist the traveler’s assistance in destroying them, offering him old rusted scissors with which to slit the throats of the Arabs. (en.wikipedia.org) Continue reading