Tag Archives: Melvil Poupaud

Marie-Christine Questerbert – La Chambre Obscure AKA The Dark Room (2000)

Marie-Christine Questerbert’s La Chambre Obscure (The Dark Room) stands apart as a costume drama set in Italy in the 14th century.

Aliénor is the daughter of Gérard de Narbonne, a distinguished doctor of medicine of the 14th Century. She puts the skills she has inherited from her father to good use by curing the king of France of a life-threatening fistula. By way of recompense, she asks to marry Bertrand de Roussillon, whom she has loved since childhood. Alas, Betrand has no love for Aliénor, and rather than consummate the marriage he goes off to fight in Tuscany… Read More »

Éric Rohmer – Conte d’été AKA A Summer’s Tale (1996) (HD)

A shy maths graduate takes a holiday in Dinard before starting his first job. He hopes his sort-of girlfriend will join him, but soon strikes up a friendship with another girl working in town. She in turn introduces him to a further young lady who fancies him. Thus the quiet young lad finds he is having to do some tricky juggling in territory new to him. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – La ville des pirates AKA City of Pirates (1983)

Quote:
Raúl Ruiz’s City of Pirates is (de)composed under the sign of Surrealism, with its trust in ecstasy, scandal, the call of the wild, mystification, prophetic dreams, humour, the uncanny. Given the surprising swerves and disorientations evoking Buñuel and Dalí, and the confidence in a poetic discourse recalling Eluard and Péret, one wonders if Ruiz didn’t elaborate his scenario using the Surrealist mode of automatic writing. Troubled, graceful Isidore – Ducasse and Duncan? – is a purely Surrealist heroine, part Ophelia, Salomé, Bérénice, prone to trances, somnambulism, hysterical seizure, contact with the ‘other side’. Her calm violence links her to the real life murderesses – Germaine Berton, the Papin sisters – exalted by Breton’s circle, and by Jacques Lacan. Indeed, Lacan’s notion of a psychoanalysis in which the analyst stays off his patient’s wavelength, inspired by the idea of ‘surrealist dialogue’ in which paired monologues at cross purposes strike sparks of meaning off each other, underpins the scatty trajectory of Ruiz’s own graphomania, snared this time as the tale of a Pirate’s City. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Combat d’amour en songe AKA Love Torn in Dream (2000)

Quote:
Raul Ruiz’s Love Torn in a Dream is introduced with a fake newsreel, taking place in postwar France, in which the cast of the film meet with the producer, who explains the film’s complex weave of nine narratives. A diagram in which each story is represented by a letter of the alphabet explicates the intertwining of the nine tales. As the producer explains each actor’s role, the film begins. The stories, rooted in folklore, bump up against each other as the film leaps back in forth in time. They involve a jewel stolen from a painting, a mirror that “steals” what it reflects, a seminary student who dresses as a priest to hear the nuns’ confessions, brothers who combat each other in their search for a group of rings, a man whose everyday life is predicted by a website 24 hours in advance, a Catholic who finds out he’s really Jewish, and a treasure map that leads to a pirate’s chest. Each of the main cast members plays multiple roles. Ruiz veterans Melvil Poupaud and Elsa Zylberstein play the lead roles, while Lambert Wilson, Christian Vadim, Diogo Dória, José Meireles, and Rogério Samora play supporting roles. Read More »

Pascal Thomas – L’heure zéro aka Towards Zero (2007)

An updated French version of Agatha Christie’s 1944 novel by François Caviglioli, Clémence De Bieville, Roland Duval and Nathalie Lafaurie as directed with style and panache by Pascal Thomas. Instead of England the action is transferred to the breathtaking beauty of Brittany, France. Not only does the magic of Christie’s mystery remain intact, but it is enhanced by the significant rugged coastlines of the area (captured beautifully by cinematographer Renan Pollès) as the setting for the mansion overlooking the sea where the action takes place. Read More »

Justine Triet – Victoria (2016) (HD)

Synopsis:
Victoria is a thirty-something divorced lawyer who’s struggling to raise her two daughters. She is canny and cynical but on the verge of an emotional breakdown. At a friend’s wedding she reconnects with Vincent, an old friend, and Sam, an old client. Her life is about to take a new turn. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Fado majeur et mineur AKA Fado, Major and Minor (1994)

Quote:
Ruiz returned to Portugal, the locale of many of his films, to adapt Dostoevsky’s The Eternal Husband, and the end product, Fado, Major and Minor, is among the most elliptical and intriguing works in his filmography. Jean-Luc Bideau stars as a tour guide who after blacking out returns to his apartment to find a mysterious intruder (Melvil Poupaud) who holds him accountable for the death of his lover. After premiering at Cannes, the film all but vanished due to rights issues, but it endures for Ruiz’s toggles between tragedy and farce, black and white and color, pop music and the traditional fatalistic sea shanties of its title. Read More »