Tag Archives: French

Virgil Vernier – Mercuriales (2014) (HD)

Synopsis:
In a Parisian suburb of Bagnolet two receptionists who work in the lobby of the titular high-rise drift from one enigmatic situation to the next going to the pool, visiting a maze-like sex club and hunting for new employment. Read More »

Maurice Pialat – À nos amours aka To Our Loves (1983)

Quote:
In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, À nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema. Read More »

José Giovanni – Deux hommes dans la ville AKA Two Men in Town (1973)

Synopsis:
Thanks to the support and influence of a kindly parole officer, Gino Strabliggi is released from prison and has a chance to start a new life. However, things soon begin to go wrong for him. First his wife is killed in a car accident and then a ruthless police commissioner, Goitreau, begins to taunt him. In spite of his parole officer’s continued presence in his life, Gino soon finds himself on the wrong side of the law – and this time he is unlikely to be given another chance… Read More »

Maurice Pialat – Passe ton bac d’abord… aka Graduate first (1979)

The world sometimes seems divided into two camps: those who recall their teenage years as having been an exhilarating dream, and those who remember them as having been an infernal, nightmarish hell. So it might do to describe Passe ton bac d’abord… [Graduate First… / Pass Your Bac First…] as Maurice Pialat’s “The Best Years of Our Lives”, while bearing in mind all that such a description might suggest: an unsparing portrait of the era when the words ‘sixteen candles’ still might have first conjured the image of flames. Read More »

Gregory Monro – Kubrick par Kubrick AKA Kubrick by Kubrick (2020)

Synopsis
Stanley Kubrick was very quiet. This bewitching documentary gives us the rare opportunity to hear the rare words of a filmmaker as brilliant as he is secretive, through the interviews he gave to film critic Michel Ciment. Inspired by Kubrick’s famous travelling shots, slow camera movements take us on a walk through a labyrinthine museum, with a décor inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Read More »

Sarah Maldoror – Miro (1979)

Quote:
Brief piece for the television series Aujourd’hui en France (Today in France). The review of an exhibition by Miró at the Maeght Foundation offers the opportunity to approach the surrealist artist from the central themes of the filmmaker. The theater, the interrelation between the arts and the transformation of the children’s experience through art. The set turns out to be a work of Joan Miró translated into real life. First screening after her television showing in 1980 Read More »

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Les yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer, ou Peut-être qu’un jour Rome se permettra de choisir à son tour AKA Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times or Perhaps One Day Rome Will Permit Herself to Choose in Her Turn AKA Othon (1970)

Quote:
Straub-Huillet’s first color film, Othon (Les yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer, ou Peut-être qu’un jour Rome se permettra de choisir à son tour) adapts a lesser-known Corneille tragedy from 1664, which in turn was based on an episode of imperial court intrigue chronicled in Tacitus’s Histories. The costuming is classical, and the toga-clad, nonprofessional cast performs the drama’s original French text amid the ruins of Rome’s Palatine Hill while the noise of contemporary urban life hums in the background. Their lines are executed with a terrific flatness and frequently through heavy accents; the language in Othon becomes not merely an expression but a thing itself, an element whose plainness here alerts us to qualities of the work that might otherwise be subordinated. “If at every moment one can keep one’s eyes and ears open to all of this,” Straub wrote, “it’s possible to even find the film thrilling and note that everything here is information—even the purely sensual reality of the space which the actors leave empty at the end of each act. Read More »