France

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Tusk (1980)

Tusk review contributed by Steve Puchalski at Shock Cinema

Even though my print of this ultra-obscure Jodorowsky pic was in French with NO subtitles, you really don’t need a translation in order to get the gist of this self-termed “fable panique.” Set in turn of the century India, Jodorowsky drops most of his crazed mystical/religious/hallucinogenic stylings in order to tell a relatively straightforward story of a little girl, Elise, and a little elephant, Tusk, both of whom are born at the same time, and how their lives interconnect over the years (yawn). It begins on a good note, with Jodorowsky intercutting an elephant and a woman, each giving birth. Read More »

Axelle Ropert – Tirez la langue, mademoiselle AKA Miss and the Doctors (2013)

Boris and Dimitri Pizarnik are doctors in Paris’s Chinese quarter. The two brothers work together and devote all their time to their patients. One night, they must treat a young diabetic girl being raised by her single mother, Judith. Both brothers fall in love with Judith and soon everything is turned upside down.. Read More »

Andrzej Zulawski – La note bleue AKA The Blue Note (1991)

Ultimately a story about destiny, “La Note Bleue” seems a personal reflection of Zulawski’s experiences, for both he and Chopin were Polish expatriates in France.

The film is highly theatrical and occasionally hilarious, but despite its ups and downs, the movie’s highlight is Chopin’s music, brilliantly performed by Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak. Read More »

Pierre Pinaud – Les Miettes AKA Crumbs (2007)

A factory worker lives in a small house and does her shopping at the local store. One morning as she’s getting ready for work, she learns that the factory, which is the center of her universe, is about to move and disappear from sight. Read More »

Frank Cassenti – L’affiche rouge AKA The Red Poster (1976)

“Blood-red posters featuring portraits of wanted ‘terrorists’ decorated every street wall in occupied France during World War II, and this account of how 23 foreigners working for the Resistance were caught and executed dramatises one of the heroic myths of the Occupation. But Cassenti adopts a radically different perspective from the humanist ‘honesty’ of L’Armée des Ombres or even Lacombe Lucien, and instead attempts a Marxist analysis of the myth and what it means, historically, to re-enact it. As it moves from one level of representation to another with a Brechtian approach to performance, the film occasionally obscures its aims but never fails to challenge the way we receive history in the cinema.” – Time Out Film Guide
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Jacques Baratier – Goha (1958)

synopsis
As far as can be determined, Goha was Tunisia’s first entry in the Cannes Film Festival. Omar Sharif stars as a naïve young man who is taken for granted by friends and family. Little do they know that he has more intelligence, tenacity and imagination than all of them put together. The story takes an unexpectedly dramatic turn when the man falls in love with the young wife of his village’s elderly “wise man”. Based on an ancient Tunisian folk tale, Goha boasts impressive production values and sure-handed direction (by Jacques Baratier). Read More »

Jean-Claude Biette – Saltimbank (2003)

Quote:
The Saltim Brothers: younger Frédéric runs the family bank, while older brother Bruno turned down the executive position in exchange for financing a theater. Between them and among them, various characters navigate. The brothers each try to control their elegant niece Vanessa’s future. Café owners Eve and Jim complicate matters with their lies and betrayals, and a strange exiled stage director arrives. The lack of money reveals everyone’s true colors on- and offstage. Read More »