French satire Deerskin was scheduled to screen in movie theaters this week. Instead, it is now opening online and will help theaters with the money earned on streaming views.
Three memories of my youth by Arnaud Desplechin (2015)
As Paul Dédalus leaves Tajikistan to return to Paris, memories of his childhood in Roubaix, of his trip to the USSR when he was a teenager and, above all, of his love for Esther, come back. Paul, whom we follow as a little boy, teenager and adult, never ceases in Three memories of my youth to remember his past, his three bodies – and the story – then becoming one.
His adventures, which oscillate from humor to tragedy, thrill the viewer, constantly brought back, by a game of mirror, to his own previous life. Rewarded at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes in 2015 as well as at the César the following year, Desplechin takes us through his art of dialogues and his staging, transfiguring our own memories to make it a labyrinth, between fascination and destruction.
Un amour de jeunesse by Mia Hansen-Løve (2011) and Eden (2014)
Still on the theme of torments of youth, Netflix offers two films by director Mia Hansen-Løve: Eden and Un amour de jeunesse . The second succeeds, through its delicacy and restraint, in telling a love affair, from adolescence to the edge of adulthood, all without ever falling into pompous emotional scenes. Eden , him, signs the virtuoso portrait of a DJ brought to the summit of success in the middle of the French Touch period, a musical movement which, for him, will only be fleeting.
The unknown from Alain Guiraudie’s lake (2013)
Considered a “masterpiece” by the Inrocks , L’inconnu du lac by Alain Guiraudie is an open-air camera, surrounded by love, sex and death. It is therefore impossible to miss this jewel of French auteur cinema, which, beyond its brilliant staging, explores all possible themes, registers and metaphors.
The recipe is clear and modest: “A lake, a beach, groves, parking, an R25, a few nudist men and three characters” (including Pierre Deladonchamps, wonderful). And if that still does not seem convincing to you, here is the trailer below.
The life of Adèle by Abdellatif Kechiche (2013)
Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival in 2013, La vie d’Adèle , adapted from the comic strip Blue is a warm color by Julie Maroh. At 15, Adèle is a serious student who questions her sexuality when she first meets the eyes of Emma, a mysterious young woman with blue hair. A great work of the seventh art, bringing to life the idea that literature can lead to self-acceptance, La Vie d’Adèle , a sensual film which borrows all the codes of the learning novel, is part of it ( despite the controversies surrounding its shooting ) of the most beautiful films of French author cinema of the decade.
Continue reading “10 (very beautiful) French author films from the 2010s on Netflix”
Sitting among the New York critics at a screening of Young Ahmed, a film about Islam
The press screenings for the New York Film Festival have begun, and on Monday I screened a new film by the Dardenne brothers. The film, called Young Ahmed, is about a teenage boy trying to embrace radical Islam. Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne are considered the “Coen brothers of Europe,” and we published a feature last year on their spiritually infused films.
Many of the films the Dardennes write and produce focus on the relationship between fathers and sons. Often they focus on middle-school-age boys struggling with their identity. In Young Ahmed, our middle-school protagonist’s father is absent, and his mom sighs at one point that Ahmed wouldn’t be running after extremist ideologies if his father were around. It’s a fascinating and complex film, and fits in just right with the Dardennes’ other films about boys with absent fathers, such as The Kid With a Bike.
But at the end of the New York screening, the (white) critic in front of me dismissed the film as a portrayal of Islam from “problematic white men.” Another reviewer afterward called it a “hateful, duplicitous little movie” full of “toxic Islamophobia.” That misses completely, I think, the religious nuance of what the Dardennes are doing here—their films tell the spiritual stories of Belgium, not just Catholic Belgium. And Young Ahmed depicts many different strains of Islam if the grouchy critics would pay closer attention.
But I shouldn’t be surprised if the New York reception of the film is overly political or self-righteous. What the Dardennes gave us is another philosophical pinprick about our own identities: our perceived righteousness and need for forgiveness.
Source: Boy without a father
Netflix’s new fish-out-of-water comedy about a European megastar who relocates to Los Angeles is a strange kind of failure.
There are moments during Huge in France when you can perceive what the show might have been—a semi-satirical, semi-screwball comedy about the acute insanity of modern-day fame. The new eight-part Netflix series exists in a meta universe similar to HBO’s Entourage, in that it’s loosely based on the real experiences of an actor and comedian, Gad Elmaleh. The plight of the show’s Gad (he refers to himself in the third person, alors, c’est vraiment Gad) is that he’s a huge star. In France. In real life, this is also true for Elmaleh, who by most metrics is a bona fide celebrity: He has 1.8 million Instagram followers, he once sold out Paris’s Olympia theater for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks, and his former partner is the granddaughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly. In France, Elmaleh is Jerry Seinfeld. In America, though? If a celebrity lands in a city where no one has ever heard of him, does he make a sound? Continue reading “Netflix’s ‘Huge in France’ Is Almost Great”
These reunions with the happy band of “Little handkerchiefs”, we waited with some impatience. While fearing that the charm operates less nine years later. And that’s what happens. Blame it on a lazy scenario.
Max (François Cluzet) is spinning bad cotton. Depressed, ruined, he is preparing to sell his holiday home quietly, without talking to his ex (Valerie Bonneton). But for the discretion, it’s missed: it’s right the moment that the band of friends lost sight of for years has chosen to come and celebrate his birthday and seal the reunion. Discomfort.
They are all there, a little older, a little thick for some … Vincent (Benoît Magimel), Marie (Marion Cotillard), Eric (Gilles Lellouche), Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), Isabelle (Pascale Arbillot) … Only Ludo, gone in the first part, misses the call. But Jean Dujardin will still give us a little wink at the end of the film.
All these actors are visibly happy to meet, in the beautiful setting of Cap Ferret, under the direction of their comrade Guillaume Canet. No surprise, Continue reading ““We’ll end up together”: nine years later, the band of “little handkerchiefs” is back”