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A trawl through the history of the Palme d’Or yields streaming gems from Brief Encounter to Blow-Up, The Leopard to The Square
Bring out your tiniest violins: in a normal year I’d be writing this column from the balmy French Riviera, with a glass of rosé at my side, amid the annual Cannes film festival. That, of course, has all been called off. For the first time since the second world war – not counting the time things shut down halfway through amid the May ’68 movement – the festival has admitted no Cannes do.
A year without Cannes leaves the arthouse release schedule a bit disoriented: traditionally, UK distributors pick over the festival’s highlights for the next year and beyond. (At Curzon Home Cinema, for example, you can currently stream Portrait of a Lady on Fire and The Whistlers, both plucked from last year’s Cannes competition.) Through the miracle of streaming, however, you can curate your own festival of past Palmes d’Or to treasure. Continue reading “Curate your own Cannes film festival”
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”
At the Berlin Film Festival where she presented her documentary “Varda by Agnès”, New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda said she was “slowing down” and “getting ready to say goodbye”. She announced that she would no longer lecture or interview one-on-one.
A movie to say goodbye
“I’ve done a lot of lectures everywhere, at universities, film schools, all kinds of places, festivals, even small film clubs, and I thought I should do a movie now that’s like a conference, “she explained. This film is “a way to say goodbye, because I do not want to talk about my films anymore”, added the director, stating that “now, she would not accept to lecture anymore” or “to give interviews in head-to-head”.
“Women have conquered the field of cinema”
French director and writer Yann Moix has caused controversy after saying he “could not love a 50-year-old woman” and “only goes out with Asian women”.
Mr Moix, aged 50 himself, made the statements in an interview with magazine Marie-Claire, published on January 4.
He said: “I am telling you the truth. Aged 50 [myself], I am incapable of loving women aged 50. I think that’s too old. When I am 60 years old, I will be able to; 50 will then appear young to me.”
He continued: “It doesn’t disgust me, it just wouldn’t occur to me. [Women aged 50] are invisible to me. I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all.”
He also said that he only goes out with Asians, specifying “Koreans, Chinese, Japanese”, adding: “Many people would not admit that, as it is racial bias. Maybe that is sad for the women I go out with, but the Asian race is rich, large and infinite enough, that I do not feel embarrassed.”
His comments have caused controversy on social media.
Journalist and author Mona Chollet said: “Yann Moix is a sad man, confirmation in Marie-Claire.”
Some movies are so thoroughly mediocre that you just want to yell at them to be better. That is the case with the French romantic comedy To Each, Her Own. The story is bursting with ideas, so many ideas, in fact, that it could’ve been something great. Instead, To Each, Her Own, much like its protagonist, wants it all. By trying to speak to so many ideas, the movie ends up saying very little. The ambition of director Myriam Aziza (who also co-wrote the script with Denyse Rodriguez-Tome) is admirable. However, her Netflix film badly needs someone who can rein in the unwieldy script [ . . . ]
Read full review at THE DAILY DOT: Netflix’s ‘To Each, Her Own’ Is An Ambitious, Overcomplicated French Film