France

Krzysztof Kieslowski – La double vie de Véronique AKA The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

Synopsis:

Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don’t know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

Review:

It is important to resist the temptation to figure out every last detail of “The Double Life of Veronique,” the mysterious and poetic new film by Krzysztof Kieslowski. That way lies frustration. Read More »

Abdellatif Kechiche – Vénus noire AKA Black Venus (2010)

Synopsis:
The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and fortune there. Once in London her master turned manager does nothing but exhibit her as a freak in a phony and humiliating carnival show. After a series of troubles caused by their act, Caesar, Saartje and their new friend, bear-tamer Réaux, head for Paris where once again, and against her will, she has to mimic savagery and expose her body, first in carnivals, then in the aristocratic salons of Paris, later on among the libertines and finally in brothels where she ends up being a prostitute. Read More »

Pierre Étaix – En pleine forme AKA Feeling Good (2010)

‘Feeling Good,’ was originally one of the vignettes included in the director’s anthology feature ‘As Long as You’ve Got Your Health,’ but was later replaced with another short when Etaix was given the opportunity to re-work and re-release that film. In this comical misadventure, a man (Pierre Etaix) attempts to enjoy a camping trip out in the peaceful wilderness — but, as one might expect, he runs into a few issues, leading to a series of silly accidents. Eventually the man is forced into a satirically larger-than-life camping ground (fenced off like a prison) where he meets more bizarre characters and attempts to escape. Read More »

Fred Cavayé – Pour Elle AKA Anything for Her (2008)

Synopsis
With no legal means left to him, a high school teacher devises a daring plan to rescue his wrongfully imprisoned wife from jail… Read More »

André Hunebelle – OSS 117 se déchaîne AKA OSS 117 Is Unleashed (1963)

The story of [OSS 117 se déchaîne] follows secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath AKA OSS 117, as he investigates the recent death of fellow agent Roos who had an unfortunate accident off the shores of Bonifacio, France while scuba diving. Smelling foul play, Hubert flies into the coastal town of Bonifacio, interrogating all who had interacted with his late friend just before his death. His investigations eventually take him to a remote location, where a new submarine detector has been developed on. This new device could tip the fragile peace between warring factions and cast the earth into another world war, so obviously OSS 117 has to put a monkey wrench in their plans. This classy effort is as fun as it sounds, provided by some beautiful photography and an interesting and engaging cast. Read More »

André Hunebelle – Banco à Bangkok pour OSS 117 AKA Panic in Bangkok (1964)

An evil Indian doctor, Dr.Guna Sinn […] working in Thailand has developed a biological weapon that will reduce the world’s population in accordance with his eugenicist beliefs. OSS 117 has to stop him with the help of a Thai sidekick and seduce the Indian doctor’s sister Lila while he is at it.’ Read More »

Agnès Varda – Lions Love (1969)

Quote:
Agnes Varda directed this drama which combines formal dramatic structures with the openness of improvisational cinema verite. Independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke plays an avant-garde film director attempting to work with a major studio to finance her next project, in which she hopes to collaborate with James Rado and Jerome Ragni, creators of the musical Hair (who play themselves). She also wants to use Andy Warhol superstar Viva (who also appears as herself) as her leading lady. However, after much give and take between herself and the moneymen, the director learns that the plug has been pulled on her project, pushing her to the brink of suicide. Read More »