Category: News

Gold Coast rockers Salt & Steel have just released their new single ‘Taste My Words’ and announced an Australian wide tour to celebrate.
 
‘Taste My Words’, is a powerful song inspired by the cycle of life and death. It shares the message that life is precious and can pass in a moment.
 
This is the third of four interlinked singles to be released following the themes of the elements Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
 
In the past year, Salt & Steel have opened for the likes of Wolfmother, The SuperJesus and You Am I, as well as touring nationally with their own headlining tours. They have garnered a huge dedicated tribe of followers and received coverage and support from national and international press and radio such as Triple JABC Radio NationalAAA Backstage and many more.
 
’Taste My Words’ has been many years in the making, they could never really find the right way to express the song. ‘Taste My Words’ was recorded at Blind Boy Studios, Gold Coast with Brad Hosking (Amy SharkElectrik Lemonade). It was here that they delved into creating a new depth of space and time for the song.
 
This song is dedicated to their friend, Josh Fairweather (1990 – 2019).
‘Taste My Words’ is now available for download on all major online stores.
SALT & STEEL
‘TASTE MY WORDS’ | TOUR DATES 
 
7th Mar – Howl and Moan Records, Bryon Bay, NSW 
Tickets available at door | All Ages
 
8th Mar – Scarborough Originals, Sunshine Coast, QLD 
Free Entry | All Ages 
 
13th Mar – Summertime Sessions, Gold Coast, QLD 
Free Entry | All Ages
 
21st Mar – Crack ‘N’ Jack Festival, Newcastle, NSW
Tickets available at www.cracknjack.com | All Ages
 
22nd Mar – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au | 18+ only 
 
26th Mar – The Basement, Canberra, ACT 
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au | 18+ only 
 
1st Apr – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC 
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au | 18+ only 
 
5th Apr – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA  
Free Entry | 18+ only 
 
For more ticketing info please visit www.saltandsteelmusic.com

 

Multi talented artist Misha Bear has just released her new album ‘Heart Gallery’, which was recorded with producer David Herzog.
The album is a raw and emotional reflection of Bear’s life that is conveyed through a collection of catchy Electronic Pop tracks.
Bear has also announced a launch show at the Northcote Social Club on 22nd February, with support from Duxie Franklin and Them High Spirits.
Misha Bear has had a very prolific career to date, 2019 saw the release of her third studio release, the EP ‘Stories’. The EP was aired on many radio stations throughout Australia and received positive coverage from The AU ReviewThe PartaeAMNplify and many more.
Bear recently released her single and video ‘Lifestyle Lover’, which was the first offering from her forthcoming album. The single has received airplay on many radio stations throughout Australia.
She then followed up with the release of single and video ‘Love Reflected’.
Misha Bear‘s new album ‘Heart Gallery’ is available for download on all major online stores.
MISHA BEAR
‘HEART GALLERY’ | LAUNCH SHOW
22nd Feb – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com.au | 18+

 

Originally slated to land in Australia for the very first time this Valentine’s Day, American comedian and musician Creed Bratton has unfortunately been forced to reshuffle his Australian tour dates to June.

Due to unforeseen circumstances outside of the artist or promoters control, Creed’s variety show tour – which had already sold out its Melbourne date at The Corner – will now take place in early June, and will also include two special shows in New Zealand, in Wellington and Auckland, due to public demand.

“Since I first came up with the idea for this variety tour a few years ago” Said Creed Bratton “I’ve always wanted to head Down Under and perform it for Australian audiences. I couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m finally making my way there”

Having been performing solo shows for over decade, Creed Bratton, who played an over the top version of himself, as the mysterious, quality-assurance director that smells like mung-beans, lives for scuba diving and can’t tell the difference between an apple and a potato, is now heading to both Australia and New Zealand.

The variety show – which includes live music, stand-up comedy and untold stories from both his life and time on ‘The Office’ – will land in capital cities around Australia, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

While many will know Creed Bratton as the mysterious, eccentric and hilarious character
from the hit TV series ‘The Office (US) and for roles in comedic hits like The Mask, the US comedian is also an established musician, with a career in music that spans nearly five decades.

As lead guitarist for legendary American rock group the Grass Roots, Creed played on the band’s first four albums, shaping their folk rock/psychedelic pop sounds, before breaking away in the 1970’s to pursue a solo career and comedic work.

In addition to live music from Bratton’s longstanding career, the live show will also include annecdotes from Creeds time on set of ‘The Office’ as well as the highs and lows of a careers that has to be heard about first-hand to be believed.

 

AN EVENING OF MUSIC & COMEDY WITH:
CREED BRATTON
From The Office

Tuesday 02 June – San Fran – Wellington, New Zealand [New Show]
Wednesday 03 June – Neck of the Woods – Auckland, New Zealand [New Show]
Friday 05 June – Corner – Melbourne, VIC [50 Tickets added]
Saturday 06 June – Factory – Sydney, NSW
Sunday 07 June – The Triffid – Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 09 June – The Basement – Canberra, ACT
Thursday 11 June – Freo Social – Perth, WA

Last night saw the 2020 Australian Film Critics Assocation (AFCA) Awards held in Melbourne at the beautiful Classic Cinemas. The Awards were presented by AFCA Chairman Adam Ross.

Here are the list of nominees and winners.

 

AUSTRALIAN CATEGORIES

 

BEST FILM

 

 

WINNER: The Nightingale

NOMINEES: Buoyancy, Hotel Mumbai, Judy & Punch, The King

 

BEST DIRECTOR

WINNER: Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch), David Michod (The King), Rodd Rathjen (Buoyancy), Thomas H Wright (Acute Misfortune)

 

BEST ACTOR

WINNER: Baykali Ganambarr (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Dev Patel (Hotel Mumbai), Sarim Heng (Buoyancy), Damon Herriman (Judy & Punch), Daniel Henshall (Acute Misfortune)

 

BEST ACTRESS

WINNER: Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Lupita N’yongo (Little Monsters), Teresa Palmer (Ride Like A Girl), Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding), Mia Wasikowska (Judy & Punch)

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

WINNER: Sam Claflin (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Joel Edgerton (The King), Damon Herriman (The Nightingale), Ben Mendelsohn (The King), Sam Neil (Ride Like A Girl)

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

WINNER: Magnolia Maymuru (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai), Greta Scacchi (Palm Beach), Yvonee Strahovski (Angel Of Mine), Ursula Yovich (Top End Wedding)

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: John Collee & Anthony Maraus (Hotel Mumbai), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch), David Michod & Joel Edgerton (The King), Rodd Rathjen (Buoyancy)

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER: Radek Ladczuk (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Adam Arkapaw (The King), Stefan Duscio (Judy & Punch), Michael Lathan (Buoyancy), Ben Nott (Danger Close)

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

 

WINNER: The Australian Dream

NOMINEES: 2040, Island Of A Hungry Ghost, Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Suzi Q, The Eulogy

 

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES

 

BEST FILM (ENGLISH SPEAKING)

WINNER: The Irishman

NOMINEES: Joker, Knives Out, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Marriage Story

 

BEST FILM (FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

WINNER: Parasite

NOMINEES: Burning, Pain & Glory, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, The Guilty

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

WINNER: Apollo 11

NOMINEES: For Sama, Free Solo, Hail Satan, Pavarotti

 

Tonight saw the 2020 Academy Award winners announced. Here are all the major winners:

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

WINNER: Brad Pitt (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

NOMINEES: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Anthony Hopkins (Two Popes)

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

 

WINNER: Toy Story 4

NOMINEES: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link

 

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

WINNER: Hair Love

NOMINEES:  Dcera (Daughter), Kitbull, Memorable, Sister

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Bong Joon Ho & Han Jin Wor (Parasite)

NOMINEES: Rian Johnson (Knives Out), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Taika Waititti (Jo Jo Rabbit)

NOMINEES: Steve Zaillan (The Irishman), Todd Phillips & Scott Silver (Joker), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Anthony McCarten (Two Popes)

 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

WINNER: The Neighbour’s Widow

NOMINEES: Brotherhood, Nefta Football Club, Saria, A Sister

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN

WINNER: Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

NOMINEES: Bob Shaw and Regina Greaves (The Irishman), Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova (Jo Jo Rabbit), Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales (1917), Lee Ha Jun and Cho Won Woo (Parasite)

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

WINNER: Jacqueline Durran (Little Women)

NOMINEES: Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson (The Irishman), Mayes C. Rubeo (Jojo Rabbit), Mark Bridges (Joker), Arianne Phillips (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

WINNER: American Factory

NOMINEES: The Cave, The Edge Of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

WINNER: Learning To Skateboard In A War Zone (If You’re A Girl)

NOMINEES: In The Absence, Life Overtakes Me, St. Louis Superan, Walk Run Cha-Cha

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

WINNER: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

NOMINEES: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

 

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING

WINNER: Donald Sylvester (Ford vs Ferrari)

NOMINEES: Alan Robert Murray (Joker), Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate (1917), Wyllie Stateman (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Matthew Wood and David Acord (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker)

 

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING

WINNER: Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson (1917)

NOMINEES: Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano (Ad Astra), Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow (Ford vs Ferrari), Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Tod Maitland (Joker), Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, Mark Ulano (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER: Roger Deakins (1917)

NOMINEES: Rodriego Prieto (The Irishman), Lawrence Sher (Joker), Jarin Blaschke (The Lighthouse), Robert Richardson (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING

WINNER: MichaeL McCusker and Andrew Buckland (Ford vs Ferrari)

NOMINEES: Thelma Schoonmaker (The Irishman), Tom Eagles (Jojo Rabbit), Jeff Groth (Joker), Yang Jinmo (Parasite)

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS

WINNER: Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy (1917)

NOMINEES: Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick (Avengers: Endgame), Pablo Helmann, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephanie Grabli (The Irishman), Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliott Newman (The Lion King), Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, Dominic Tuohy (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker)

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKE-UP AND HAIR STYLE

 

WINNER: Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivican Baker (Bombshell)

NOMINEES: Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou (Joker), Jeremy Woodhead (Judy), Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White (Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil), Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole (1917)

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

WINNER: Parasite

NOMINEES: Corpus Christi, Honeyland, Les Miserables, Pain And Glory

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

WINNER: Hildur Guonadottir (Joker)

NOMINEES: Alexandre Desplat (Little Women), Randy Newman (Marriage Story), Thomas Newman (1917), John Williams (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker)

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

WINNER: ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’ – Elton John and Bernie Taupin (Rocketman)

NOMINEES: ‘I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away’ – Randy Newman (Toy Story 4), ‘I’m Standing With You’ – Diane Warren (Breakthrough), ‘Into The Unknown’ – Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen II), ‘Standing Up’ – Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)

 

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

WINNER: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)

NOMINEES: Martin Scorcese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

WINNER: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

NOMINEES: Antonio Banderas (Pain & Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Jonathan Pryce (Two Popes)

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

WINNER: Renee Zellweger (Judy)

NOMINEES: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saorise Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell)

 

BEST PICTURE

WINNER: Parasite

NOMINEES: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

 

This June, from the biggest animated franchise in history and global cultural phenomenon, comes the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, in Minions: The Rise of Gru.

 In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar nominee Steve Carell) is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.

When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

 Teeming with Illumination’s signature subversive humour, pop-culture sophistication, full-hearted emotion, bold music sensibility, and over-the-top action, Minions: The Rise of Gru features a thrilling new cast of stars, including, as members of the Vicious 6, Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance and Danny Trejo as Stronghold. The film also features Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad Kung Fu skills, and Oscar winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom.

 Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3, Minions), co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ʼ70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.

 

A sadistic mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in SPIRAL, the terrifying new chapter from the book of SAW. Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past.  Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.

SPIRAL stars Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, and Samuel L. Jackson, and is produced by the original SAW team of Mark Burg and Oren Koules. The film is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by Josh Stolberg & Pete Goldfinger.

 

Cloudy River, a modern romantic drama about a couple, one of them pansexual, whose open relationship is put to the test when they move in together, will premiere at the Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival on February 19 before launching on SBS On Demand on February 20.

This visually sumptuous, bold film is of the moment, but differs from other films and series about open relationships because it focuses on young adults on the cusp of deciding who they are. Co-written and co-directed by acclaimed author Sophie Hardcastle (Breathing Under Water, Running Like China) and her former romantic partner and enduring creative collaborator, ARIA Award nominated filmmaker Charlie Ford, it is inspired by their own real-life experience of an open relationship, giving the show searing authenticity.

The film stars an upcoming cast including Rebecca Robertson and Rowan Davie (That’s Not Me) and was produced by Belinda Dean.  Belinda produced the multi-award winning Create NSW & SBS funded short film Joy Boy, which had its international premiere at Palm Springs Shortfest and was shortlisted for the prestigious Iris Prize. She conceived and produced the documentary The Funny Ones for ABC ME celebrating aspiring young female comedians.

Charlie Ford has enjoyed success across his short films, commercial work and narrative-based music videos for acclaimed artists Courtney Barnett, Vance Joy and Dan Sultan among others. His videos have been viewed over 25 million times on YouTube. Charlie’s short films have been played on SBS, screened at various film festivals including The Melbourne International Film Festival and various music video festivals.

Sophie Hardcastle is an author, artist, screenwriter and scholar. In 2018, she was one of the first two Australians to be awarded a Provost’s Scholarship in English literature by Worcester College at the University of Oxford. Sophie’s forthcoming novel, Below Deck will be published in March in Australia and NZ, with the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands to follow.

“Cloudy River celebrates love in all forms and we made it because we wanted to show that love can be more diverse than what we were told growing up. This show defies traditional conceptions of what it means to love and be loved.  Our protagonists are simply abandoning old ideals in search of a love that is multifaceted, dynamic and unapologetically honest,” Charlie and Sophie said.

Cloudy River’s soundtrack features independent artists from the UK, France, Mexico and Australia, and also features original music by co-creator Charlie Ford’s band PLANTS and indie songstress Indigo Sparke.

The film received principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Queer Screen and will be distributed internationally by Escapade Media.

 

The musical journey continues for newly formed duo Nick Batterham and Josh Meadows, with the release of the video for The Bell Streets’ debut single ‘Fragile.’ The melodic pop lullaby is the first taste of what’s to come from their forthcoming LP Monument, to be released via Popboomerang Records, Friday 3 April.

A song in praise of fragility and vulnerability ‘Fragile’ honours the delicateness of human connection. Commencing with a very simple ascending piano line and the opening phrase: “You know your own mind. You say what you believe. You dive underwater. Know when not to breathe”, the song grows with a peppering of string plucking and wistful harmonies, creating a dreamlike atmosphere now perfectly enveloped in the sun-drenched new film clip.

Shot near Port Arthur, the clip shows three friends setting out on a road-trip in a big old stubborn Toyota land-cruiser named ‘Gloria’. The stunning southern Tasmanian landscape sets the scene for a video that evokes the bygone summers of yesteryear. Complete with lavender-field naps, milkshake slurps and remote river dives, the ‘Fragile’ clip accentuates the nuanced subtleties of the songs Nick and Josh have written and recorded, which present a classic feel, but are fresh and new.

Filmmaker and Director Ursula Woods wanted to create a soft and groovy summer vibe, “I see so much beauty in this close friendship and the moments shared throughout the road trip. I wanted to focus on the individuality of each person and also their connection with each other. Their youth, road trip experiences and floaty moments, all represent fragility to me. I feel both song and video are dreamy and full of wonder and reflection.” – Ursula Woods

The duo have known each other since the early ’90s when they were both in bands on Melbourne indie label SummershineNick as a central figure in bands Blindside, The Earthmen and Cordrazine, and Josh as the singer from The Sugargliders and The Steinbecks. Together as The Bell Streets, they have recorded a collection of songs that takes the creative synergy of their partnership to immense heights, in the aptly titled 10-track album Monument coming this April. Get excited.

‘Fragile’ single is out now via
Bandcamp / iTunes / Apple Music / Spotify

Monument album is out Friday 3 April via Popboomerang Records

 

Poised to thrill audiences around the nation, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has today unveiled the full line-up for its eagerly anticipated 31st season at www.affrenchfilmfestival.org

Spreading its cinematic stardust across 8 cities and 4 satellite locations, the Festival, which is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and screening partner, Palace Cinemas, will commence its national tour from 10 March until 19 April and is set to thrill audiences with a stupendous selection of 49 contemporary and classic French films, many enjoying their Australian premiere.

 We’re also delighted to announce that dynamic filmmaker, Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, Macbeth, True History of the Kelly Gang), who has long taken inspiration from French cinema, will be the 2020 Festival Patron.

 Additionally, acclaimed director/actor, Zabou Breitman, whose lyrical, animated drama, The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul), has won plaudits from critics and audiences alike on the international film festival circuit, will be visiting Melbourne to introduce a screening of this, her latest feature, which she directed with Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. This special Festival event is slated for the evening of Tuesday 17 March at Palace Cinema Como, and will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A.

 On a more sombre note, this year has already experienced horrific bushfires ravaging our land and robbing so many of their lives and homes.  The Alliance Française, and venue partners thereby invite you to join us in helping those impacted by this tragedy by supporting special previews of How to Be a Good Wife and In the Name of the Land (both screening courtesy of Palace Films) to be held in all capital cities on 9th and 10th of March.  100% of tickets sales for these sessions will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Rural and Remote Mental Health.

And in celebration of mankind’s great capacity for kindness and compassion – which often comes to the fore in times of crisis – the Festival will launch the 2020 season with The Extraordinary (Hors normes)one of the most gloriously uplifting films to emerge from France in recent years, which will screen courtesy of Madman Entertainment.

 The latest feature from renowned filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (who delighted with The Intouchables and C’est la vie!), The Extraordinary is inspired by a true story and was honoured as the Closing Night Feature at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. For twenty years, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) have run two separate non-profit organizations where they train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for autistic youth abandoned by the state system. But the authorities, concerned that they’ve never sought certification and that many of their carers aren’t ‘officially’ qualified, decide to mount an investigation.

 The result of two years’ immersion in the lives of the two associations, The Extraordinary is a crowd-pleasing charmer, which will have viewers experiencing a gamut of emotions as they fall in love with a host of extraordinary characters in exceptional circumstances.  It’s a testimony to the great things that can be achieved when people support one another in the face of adversity.

 And concluding the 2020 season, on a deliciously whimsical note, will be The Bare Necessity (Perdrix)the directorial debut of Erwan Le Duc, starring Swann Arlaud, Maud Wyler, Fanny Ardant and Nicolas Maury.  Set within a tiny town nestled in the woody mountains of Vosges, this sweetheart of a movie, which delighted hardened cynics when it premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2019, looks at the romantic mayhem that ensues when an enigmatic young woman forces a stagnant family to re-define their boundaries and begin to truly live.

 With so many highlights bursting from this year’s programme, it’s impossible to list every film, but read on for some of the delights to be savoured:

 

A FRIENDLY TALE (Le Bonheur des uns)

Director:  Daniel Cohen                                                        

Cast:  François Damiens, Vincent Cassel, Bérénice Bejo

In this delicious tale of tested loyalties, the close friendship of two long-time couples is put at risk when one of the two wives unexpectedly becomes a best-selling author, upsetting the intricate balance of this formerly close-knit quartet.

 

AZNAVOUR BY CHARLES (Le regard de Charles)

A Film by Charles Aznavour, Directed by Marc di Domenico                                                                 

Narrator: Romain Duris

Crooner, Charles Aznavour, beguiled his legions of fans with a dream of romance.  But his life beyond music was even more extraordinary.  An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, this enthralling documentary, with rare footage, reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century.

 

DEERSKIN (Le daim)

Director:  Quentin Dupieux                                                                 

Cast:  Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy

With his life in disarray, Georges might not be able to control his circumstances but he can control his wardrobe.  Believing that the deerskin jacket of his dreams is the answer to all of his problems, Georges’ delusions gradually increase each time he wears it, edging his obsession closer to a violent delirium.

 

EDMOND

Director: Alexis Michalik                   

Cast: Thomas Solivérès, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Dominique Pinon

Paris, 1897. Although not yet thirty and clearly gifted as a writer, Edmond Rostand already has two children, many anxieties, but scant literary success.  When given three weeks to write a play for a mercurial star of the stage, all he has is the title, Cyrano de Bergerac.  Can he accomplish the impossible?

 

FAREWELL TO THE NIGHT (L’adieu à la nuit)

Director: André Téchiné                                                                            

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Kacey Mottet Klein

Muriel, a respected member of her idyllic local community, is horrified to discover that her visiting grandson, who claims to be heading to Canada for work, has in reality been radicalised by Islamist extremists.  His plans to fight for ISIS in Syria expose this ordinary woman to a moral dilemma of heart-breaking proportions.

 

HOUSE OF CARDIN

Directors: P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes

Synonymous with glamour, refinement and sophistication, this documentary provides a rare glimpse into the world of a 20th century icon. Allowing unprecedented access to his personal archives, we follow Cardin from his birth in the Italian countryside circa 1922, to his move to France where he made his name in fashion.

 

HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (La bonne épouse)

Director: Martin Provost                             

Cast: Juliette Binoche, Yolande Moreau, Noémie Lvovsky, Edouard Baer

In 1968 amidst the lush regions of Alsace, the head of a housekeeping school that transforms teenage girls into ideal housewives, has her pristine life implode when she encounters her long-lost first love whilst simultaneously learning that her business is on the brink of financial ruin.

 

IN THE NAME OF THE LAND (Au nom de la terre)

Director:  Edouard Bergeon                                                     

Cast: Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon

Returning to France in the late 70s, Pierre marries his sweetheart and takes over his father’s farm.  But twenty years onwards, Pierre is exhausted.  With mounting debt, what was once satisfying begins to take an insidious toll on his family who risk being torn apart by the property that binds them, in this powerful tale of resilience.

 

LA BELLE ÉPOQUE

Director: Nicolas Bedos                                                                    

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tiller

Disillusioned, his long-term marriage on the rocks, a man is given a second chance when he encounters a company offering a unique theatrical service that enables customers to revisit memories through carefully orchestrated re-enactments, thus allowing him to return to 1974 and the peak of his happiness.

 

THE LOST PRINCE (Le prince oublié)

Director: Michel Hazanavicius                                                           

Cast: Omar Sy, Bérénice Bejo, François Damiens

Djibi, a devoted single father, transforms into a heroic Prince in the nightly fairy-tales he tells his beloved 7 year-old daughter, Sofia. But as the years pass, Sofia is ready for her own stories with different heroes.  But is the Prince ready to become just a memory of his daughter’s childhood?

 

LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT (Mon inconnue)

Director: Hugo Gélin                                                                         

Cast: François Civil, Joséphine Japy, Benjamin Lavernhe

After waking in a parallel universe, Raphaël finds his wife, Olivia, is nowhere to be seen and his professional achievements have vanished.  Without Olivia, his life is empty, but winning her back proves harder than he could have imagined – especially when he realises she doesn’t even know who he is!

 

MY DOG STUPID (Mon chien Stupide)

Director: Yvan Attal                                                                             

Cast: Yvan Attal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eric Ruf

Henri, a writer in the depths of a mid-life crisis who hasn’t released a successful book in 25 years, strikes-up an unconventional friendship with a stray, bad-mannered dog who inspires him and his dysfunctional family to re-examine their lives and attitudes towards each other.

 

THE MYSTERY OF HENRI PICK (Le mystère Henri Pick)

Director: Rémi Bezançon                                                                                 

Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Camille Cottin, Alice Isaaz

The late Henry Pick, in life an unassuming Breton pizza marker, is celebrated as a brilliant author when a lost manuscript, attributed to him, becomes a literary success.  But one outspoken intellectual thinks the whole thing is a sham, and, after losing his wife, his job and his prominence due to his opinion, decides to uncover the truth.

 

ONLY THE ANIMALS (Seules les bêtes)

Director: Dominik Moll                                                             

Cast: Denis Ménochet, Laure Calamy, Damien Bonnard

Set in an isolated town in the lush, wintery mountains of southern France, the film opens with the departure of Evelyne, a local woman whose disappearance during a snowstorm soon reveals itself as murder. This act of violence gradually unveils the hidden agendas of several locals, setting the unexpected into motion.

 

PROXIMA

Director: Alice Winocour                                                              

Cast: Eva Green, Zélie Boulant- Lemesle, Matt Dillon

As the only woman in the European Space Agency astronaut-training program, single mother Sarah struggles with guilt over the limited time spent with her young daughter, which escalates when she’s invited upon a year-long space mission – Proxima – forcing her to choose between her work and her child.

 

ROOM 212 (Chambre 212)

Director: Christophe Honoré                                           

Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste

After Maria reveals a long history of affairs to her husband, she opts to spend the night at a hotel opposite their home. But this is a “magical night”, and it’s not long before time collapses upon itself opening a window into the past where young passions are revisited and the very concept of love, questioned.

 

SIBYL

Director: Justine Triet                                                           

Cast: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel

Dissatisfied with her life, Sibyl, a psychiatrist, decides to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.  Casting professional ethics aside, she secretly uses the private sessions of her actress patient, Margot, as inspiration for her novel, a decision that irreversibly impacts upon both their lives.

 

SPREAD YOUR WNGS (Donne-moi des ailes)

Director: Nicolas Vanier                                                          

Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Mélanie Doutey, Louis Vazquez

Christian, a visionary scientist, studies wild birds. For his son, a teenager obsessed with video games, the idea of spending a vacation with his father in the middle of nature is a nightmare. However, father and son soon bond over a daring project to save an endangered species, which takes them on an incredible journey.

 

THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)

Directors: Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec                        

Voice: Simon Abkarian, Zita Hanrot, Swann Arlaud

Based on the cherished novel of the same name, this critically acclaimed, animated drama follows two couples living in the Afghan capital during the 90s and the impact Taliban rule has on each relationship. Through their individual love stories, unforgettable characters emerge amid the devastating impact of armed combat.

 

THE TRANSLATORS (Les traducteurs)

Director: Régis Roinsard                                                 

Cast: Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio

Nine language experts, hired to translate the final book of a bestselling trilogy, are in lockdown within a luxurious bunker. But when the top-secret manuscript’s first ten pages appear online, their dream job implodes.  The culprit has to amongst them and the publisher is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask who it is.

 

TWO OF US (Deux)

Director: Filippo Meneghetti                                                    

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker

In this emotionally compelling tale, pensioners Nina and Madeleine have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is tested when circumstances trigger a series of events, preventing them from moving freely between each other’s apartments.

 

VERNON SUBUTEX

Director: Cathy Verney                                

Cast: Romain Duris, Céline Sallette, Florence Thomassin, Julie Fournier

When Vernon Subutex, an unemployed former owner of a once legendary record shop, is evicted from his flat, he’s helped by old friend rock star Alex Bleach. But Bleach’s sudden death makes Vernon a deadly target when it’s discovered that he’s in possession of 3 mysterious videotapes owned by Bleach.

 

WE’LL END UP TOGETHER (Nous finirons ensemble)

Director: Guillaume Canet                         

 Cast: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte

About to turn 60, nearly broke and estranged from his former friends, restaurateur Max embraces solitude at his soon-to-be-sold beach house.  So when his ex-buddies arrive for a surprise celebration, he turns them away. But this cannot be – something has to be done! The sequel to 2010’s star-studded comedy, LITTLE WHITE LIES.

 

ZOMBI CHILD

Director: Bertrand Bonello                            

Cast: Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Adilé David, Ninon François

Haiti, 1962…A man is resurrected from the dead and trapped in a nightmare of slavery. Modern-day Paris…Haitian teen Mélissa, the new girl at an elite school, is invited to join a secret ‘literary sorority’.  But the incendiary family secret she harbours becomes a source of fascination to others, who exploit her heritage with shocking results.

 

National dates and venues for the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

     

SYDNEY:

 

10 March – 8 April

 

Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne      

MELBOURNE:

 

11 March – 8 April

 

Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema             Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre

PERTH:

 

11 March – 8 April

 

Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX,

Windsor Cinema & Camelot Outdoor Cinema

CANBERRA:

12 March – 8 April

Palace Electric Cinema

ADELAIDE:

17 March -14 April

Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinema

BRISBANE:

18 March -14 April

Palace Barracks & Palace James Street

HOBART:

19 – 28 March

State Cinema

AVOCA BEACH:

19 March – 1 April

Avoca Beach Picture Theatre

PARRAMATTA:

26 – 29 March

Riverside Theatres Parramatta

BYRON BAY:

31 March – 12 April

Palace Byron Bay

BENDIGO:

17 – 19 April

Star Cinema

BALLARAT:

17 -19 April

Regent Cinemas