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France

Agnès Varda – Les demoiselles ont eu 25 ans AKA The Young Girls Turn 25 (1993)

A recital becomes part of the French culture; 25 years later the performers return to the village where it was first launched.

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Gudie Lawaetz – Mai 68 (1974)

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40 years on: Mai 68
This movie was made by Uk journalist Gudie Lawaetz only 4 years after the events took place. It was not much publicized at the time and was released in VHS a decade later.
In addition to the interviews the movie uses the largest archival footage never gathered on May 68, including the famous scene “la reprise du travail aux usines Wonder” .

interviews of: Pierre Viansson-Ponte, Pierre Mendes France, Jacques Sauvageot, Alfred Kastler, Daniel Cohn Bendit, Maurice Grimaud, Alain Peyrefitte, Jacques Sauvageot, Alain Geismar, Gerard Monate, Pierre Mendes France, Georges Seguy, Alain Krivine, Maurice Clavel, Christian Fouchet, Edmond Maire, Anne Wiazemsky Read More »

Jean Grémillon – La Petite Lise (1930)

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Jean Grémillon’s first talkie, the 1930 LA PETITE LISE, is anything but talky. While opening
and closing with soulful afro-Latin strains, something just above silence reigns throughout
the film. Grémillon is already orchestrating the auditory menace of nuanced sound sculpting
that would later pervade REMORQUES (1941), setting forth evolving rhythmic figures at an
atmospheric whisper. Grémillon grafts this aural frieze onto smoldering b&w photography.
Truly, the frame is often smoking for purposes of motif.
In truth, this film has the most impressive use of sound I know of, including Bresson’s
MOUCHETTE. Read More »

Dariush Mehrjui – Voyage au pays De Rimbaud (1983) DVD

Dariush Mehrjui did this for France 3, during his french exile. A biopic of Rimbaud, with visions of contemporary france.

Starring :
Pierre Bayle … Arthur Rimbaud
Mathieu Joly … Arthur Rimbaud at 8
Nicolas Joly … Arthur Rimbaud at 16
The Troupe del Theatre Ern Read More »

Marcel Carné – Juliette ou La clef des songes AKA Juliette, or Key of Dreams (1951)

Synopsis:
Having been caught stealing money from his employer to pay for a holiday with his girlfriend Juliette, Michel finds himself in a prison cell. He falls into a deep sleep and awakes to find the door of his cell open. Stepping through the doorway, he finds himself in the most beautiful sun-drenched countryside. A peaceful country road leads him to a remote village whose inhabitants have lost their memory. Husbands and wives no longer recognise one another but everyone seems to know Juliette when Michel enquires about her… Read More »

Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan Ivens – Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple AKA 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968)

On the border of North and South Vietnam, civilians live underground and cultivate their land in the dead of night, farmers take up arms, and bombs fall like clockwork. Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided country is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.

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Philippe Garrel – Liberté, la nuit (1984)

‘Liberte, la nuit’ is not really a political film, or, at least, a film about politics. Its central figures are an aging revolutionary helping Algerians in the anti-colonial war against France, his separated wife, a dressmaker who gives them guns, and his mistress, a French Algerian emigree. Such a set-up might offer opportunities for allegory – white Algeria returning to the aging bosom of the fatherland, and all that. The film’s most dynamic sequence is pure political thriller, an assassination by the OAS, confusingly shot and edited on grainy stock that evokes both documentary immediacy and the whirring of a surveillance camera, complete with exciting car chase. The human relationships – especially the drawn-out separation of Jean and Mouche, are said to be caused by his political activity, while his contact with others has some basis in his ‘work’. Even, as I say, his final escape with an apolitical menial has political overtones; and their idyll is ultimately no escape from history. Read More »