Due out later this November is Rachel Lang’s debut film about a dejected young Frenchwoman co-opted to help with some bathroom remodeling for her grandma. The “Baden, Baden”movie trailer looks very funny. Check out the FrenchCulture.org review below [ – Pas De Merde – ]
Like many in her generation, 26 year-old, free-spirited Ana lives a life teetering on the edge of comedy and melodrama. After a failed experience working on a film set, she returns to her hometown and decides to focus her energy on renovating the bathroom of her spunky, aging grandmother. Over the course of a scorching summer, Ana finds herself connecting and reconnecting with lovers and friends, as her (self-)improvement project gradually becomes more than she bargained for.
BADEN BADEN is a deceptively low-key feature debut from French filmmaker Rachel Lang, anchored by a slyly compelling, effortlessly confident lead performance by Salomé Richard, Lang’s alter ego and star of her two previous short films. Equally adept at narrative minimalism, psychological portraiture, and deadpan comedy, BADEN BADEN is a character study of great penetration and charm.
The “Sanctuary!” scene from the classic 1939 version of Victor Hugo’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O’Hara as Esmeralda.
“Hunchback” was the only movie screened at the very first Cannes Film Festival, as the remainder of the festival was cancelled when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939. The bell-ringing scene was Laughton’s response to impending war. The actor later said he rang the bells actually wanting “to arouse the (real) world, to stop that terrible butchery!”
“It is absurd to speak of Laughton’s Quasimodo as a great performance, as if that were some quantifiable assessment. It is acting at its greatest; it is Laughton at his greatest; it is a cornerstone of this century’s dramatic achievement; it is a yardstick for all acting.”
– SIMON CALLOW, NY Times 1988
Chanson Du Jour 10/18/2016:”Belleville Rendez-Vous” by Benoît Charest with Mathieu Chedid
“Belleville Rendez-Vous” from the soundtrack of Sylvain Chomet’s film “Les triplettes de belleville”(2003) Benoît Charest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for this composition.
The French New Wave movement in cinema (Nouvelle Vague en francaise) began in the late 1950’s and the tenets of Nouvelle Vague continue to be seen in French films today.
Notable features of this movement include:
slow, subtle and ambiguous plots
strong character development
few happy endings, or even conclusive endings
an emphasis on Art over profits
While I have a genuine appreciation for Nouvelle Vague, I also appreciate a film like Pixar’s “Ratatouille” (2007), which not only sold beaucoup movie theater tickets, but also beaucoup toys. (I doubt the Jean-Paul Belmondo action figure ever made more than few francs – even with the optional toy cigarette that produces real smoke!)