Tagged: Catherine Deneuve

Margaret And David

That most dazzling of cultural events, the Alliance Française French Film Festival, has good reason to be excited about its 26thannual season, with the news that revered film critics Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton will be the Festival’s 2015 Patrons.

Beloved by movie aficionados throughout the country, Margaret and David will lend their distinctive ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the Festival, which continues to fascinate, enchant and captivate Australian audiences more with each passing year.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton have enjoyed one of the longest and most enduring partnerships on Australian television.  Their deep love of cinema and lively repartee made At the Movies (ABC TV) and The Movie Show (SBS TV) essential weekly viewing for nearly three decades.

We are, therefore, deeply honoured to have this iconic duo as Patrons of the 2015 Festival.  And in celebration of this association, Margaret and David have had ‘carte blanche’ to select their favourite Festival titles. Here, in their own words, are their personal ‘picks’ of the Festival:

 

 

MARGARET’S SELECTION

3 HEARTS (3 Coeurs)

Director:           Benoît Jacquot  

Cast:                 Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni & Benoît Poelvoorde

Benoît Jacquot has created a sublime, if painful, romance with fate intervening in the lives of a taxman, played beautifully by Benoît Poelvoorde, and two sisters – sublime performances by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Chiara Mastroianni.  To add to that duo of fine European women, Jacquot has cast iconic Catherine Deneuve as their mother.  Mainly set in a provincial town south of Lyon, the coincidence of two sisters falling for the same man in a ‘coup de foudre’ is both bizarre and yet totally understandable.  The ramifications of that situation lead to a powerfully emotional film that references great romances of the past.  This a moving, unmissable movie experience.

 

FAR FROM MEN (Loin des Hommes)

 

Director:           David Oelhoffen

 

Cast:     Viggo Mortensen, Reda Kateb & Antoine Laurent

 

Viggo Mortensen must be one of the most adept film actors with language.  Here he speaks a slightly accented French, as befitting his heritage as Daru, the son of Spanish settlers in Algeria.  The year is 1954, the year the National Liberation Front began its uprising.  Daru is a teacher in a remote location and is aware of the tentative safety of his position.  Does he stay or go?  That decision is made for him when a prisoner Mohamed (a wonderful performance by Reda Kateb), is delivered to Daru with instructions to deliver him to the court in Tilsit, where he will almost certainly be found guilty of murder and executed.  Loosely based on a short story by Albert Camus, The Guest, Far From Men unravels in spectacular landscapes as an exploration of moral dilemmas in the guise of a Western.  Music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis adds enormously to the atmosphere of this film by David Oelhoffen.

 

 

THE LAST HAMMER BLOW (Le Dernier Coup de Marteau)

Director:           Alix Delaporte

Cast:                 Romain Paul, Clotilde Hesme & Grégory Gadebois

If you remember Alix Delaporte’s debut film Angèle et Tony you will be impelled to see her second feature, in which the stars of Angèle et Tony, Clotilde Hesme and Grégory Gadebois once again occupy centre screen, but this time not so much together.  The connecting link in their relationship is their son Victor, an electric performance from young newcomer Romain Paul (who won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival). Victor lives with his mother, who is suffering from an unknown disease, in a trailer park on the edge of the sea.  He’s a talented young soccer player whose coach sees his potential.  His estranged father is a famous conductor who is visiting the nearby town of Montpellier to present a Mahler symphony.  Victor’s attempts to deal with his mother and connect with his father are the heart of this terrific film.  Delaporte has subtext down to a fine art.  Her scenes are subtle and incredibly moving.

DAVID’S SELECTION

 

DIPLOMACY (Diplomatie)

Director:           Volker Schlöndorff

Cast:                 Niels Arestrup, André Dussollier, Burghart Klaussner, Robert tadlober & Charlie Nelson

Volker Schlondorff’s intense adaptation of Cyril Gely’s 2011 play unfolds during the night of August 24-25, 1944 in the Hotel Meurice, the Paris hotel that serves as the headquarters of General Dietrich Choltitz, the German Governor of the occupied city. The Allies are at the city gates and, following Hitler’s orders, Choltitz is prepared to destroy the city and its monuments – until an intervention from Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling, who, during an intense and emotionally charged argument, puts forward the case for saving the city.  Niels Arestrup as Choltitz and André Dussollier as Nordling, give commanding performances in this totally gripping drama.

 

THE BLUE ROOM (La Chambre Bleue)

Director:           Mathieu Amalric

Cast:                 Mathieu Amalric, Léa Drucker, Stéphanie Cléau, Laurent Poitrenaux & Serge Bozon

For his second feature film as director, Mathieu Amalric has turned to a book by crime writer Georges Simenon about a passionate small-town love affair that ends in death and retribution. Amalric himself plays Julien, a married man who embarks on a clandestine affair with Esther (Stéphanie Cléau).  Lovers of well-made thriller and tasteful eroticism will be amply rewarded by Amalric’s stylish and intelligent treatment.

TOKYO FIANCÉE (Tokyo Fiancée)

Director: Stefan Liberski

Cast: Pauline Étienne, Taichi Inoue, Julie Le Breton, Alice de Lencquesaing & Akimi Ota

This film recounts the experiences of Amélie a Belgian girl who attempts to make a life for herself in Japan. Stefan Liberski’s version of Amélie Nothomb’s eponymous novel gains enormous benefit from the charming central performance by Pauline Étienne, whose love of all things Japanese quickly develops into a passion for Rinri (Taichi Inoue), a rich youth who pays for her to give him lessons in French.

GRAND ILLUSION (La Grande Illusion)

Director: Jean Renoir

Cast: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Julien Carette, Eric Von Stroheim

Jean Renoir’s timeless anti-war classic, made in 1937, stars Jean Gabin as a French POW during World War I. The screenplay, by Renoir and Charles Spaak, is based on a true story, and the film is memorable because of Renoir’s approach to friendship and the loyalties forged by class, so that the aristocratic French prisoner (played by Pierre Fresnay) has more in common with the German camp commandant (a great performance from legendary director Erich von Stroheim), than with his fellow countrymen.

Proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and the gracious support of Presenting Sponsor Peugeot, the Festival’s 26thth season will screen across eight cities at a selection of divinely appointed Palace Cinema venues from early March until mid-April, as follows:

 

SYDNEY: 3-22 March                    Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

MELBOURNE: 4-22 March                    Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth & Kino Cinemas

ADELAIDE: 5-24 March                    Palace Nova Eastend

CANBERRA: 6–25 March Palace Electric Cinema

BRISBANE: 13 March-1 April Palace Barracks & Palace Centro

PERTH: 19 March-7 April Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema

BYRON BAY: 9-14 April Palace Byron Bay

HOBART: 16-21 April  State Cinema

 

Keep checking the Festival website at: http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org

 

 

French Film Festival

The nation’s most sparkling film event, the Alliance Française French Film Festival, will return for its 26th annual season around Australia from early March until mid-April 2015.

 Proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and the generous support of Principal Sponsor Peugeot, a vanguard of Europe’s automobile industry, the Festival will screen throughout eight cities at a host of glamorous Palace cinema locations.

For its 26th season, Artistic Director Emmanuelle Denavit-Feller has selected a tantalising line-up of 49 features and documentaries showcasing the latest work of directors such as Anne Fontaine, Benoît Jacquot, François Ozon, Bertrand Bonello, Volker Schlöndorff, Mathieu Amalric, André Téchiné, Dany Boon, Christophe Gans and Mia Hansen-Løve.

Playing across nine distinctly named sections will be numerous highlights, including Beauty and the Beast, The Blue Room, Breathe, Chance Encounter, The Connection, Eden, The New Girlfriend, Girlhood, Saint Laurent, Samba and 3 Hearts.  Also screening will be Jean Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece, Grand Illusion starring Pierre Fresnay, Jean Gabin and Erich von Stroheim that will feature in a section entitled Lest We Forget, commemorating World War I.

And igniting the screen with the talent that has placed them at the forefront of their profession, will be stars ranging from Bérénice Béjo, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Daniel Auteuil, Jean Dujardin, Emmanuelle Béart, Emmanuelle Devos, Fabrice Luchini and Isabelle Carré to Jean Reno, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Lambert Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Mathilde Seigner, Patrick Bruel, Romain Duris, Sandrine Kiberlain and Sophie Marceau.

With so much entertainment in store, next March just can’t arrive quickly enough!!!

 

National dates and venues for the 2015 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

 

SYDNEY:           3-22 March Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

MELBOURNE:    4-22 March Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth & Kino Cinemas

ADELAIDE:        5-24 March Palace Nova Eastend

CANBERRA:      6–25 March Palace Electric Cinema

BRISBANE:        13 March-1 April Palace Barracks & Palace Centro

PERTH:              19 March-7 April Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema

BYRON BAY:     9-14 April Palace Byron Bay

HOBART:          16-21 April State Cinema

 

Keep checking the Festival website for updates:  www.affrenchfilmfestival.org

Bayside Film Festival

The 10th annual Bayside Film Festival returns to Palace Brighton Bay Cinemas from 28th to 31stAugust, 2013.

Under the dynamic guidance of new Artistic Director, Richard Moore, who helmed the Melbourne International Film Festival from 2007 to 2010, the 2013 season boasts a greatly expanded programme incorporating Q&A with filmmaker David Brooks, live performance,  and premiere screenings that have been designed to give audiences of all ages both a local and international film experience. And with single session ticket prices set at just $10 and $12, it also provides some of the best entertainment value in town!

The Festival will launch with the world premiere of AN ICE BERGER WITH THE LOT–FROM BURY TO BRIGHTON, an inherently Bayside story featuring maverick personality and Brighton Iceberger, David Brooks, as he explores the joys and politics of cold water swimming—armed with nothing more than a bathing cap and a pair of speedos-­ from the Iceberger’s base at Middle Brighton Baths.

Closing night will see the Australian premiere of the French drama, ON MY WAY (screening courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment), starring screen legend, Catherine Deneuve,  as a former beauty queen who embarks on a roadtrip in the aftermath of an unhappy love affair.

Between these two diverse cinematic ‘bookends’ resides the most exciting selection of films to ever screen at the Festival including three Australian and four Victorian premieres—all of which you get to see first in Bayside! Highlights are:

ROMEO & JULIET: LOVE SONG (Australian Premiere)
A modern interpretation of the classic teenage love tragedy combining Shakespeare’s text with original lyrics and a range of musical styles from gospel to hiphop amidst a contemporary New Zealand setting.
Screening courtesy of Rialto Distribution

THE BEST OF THE BRITS:DAMIEN HIRST AND TRACEY EMIN (Australian Premiere)

Renowned arts commentator Tim Marlow spends time with celebrated artist Damien Hirst at a major 2012 retrospective of his work staged at London’s Tate Modern, followed by an intimate chat with the colourful Tracey Emin at her 2012 exhibition at London’s Hayward Gallery.

REGILAUL–SONGS OF THE ANCIENT SEA (Australian Premiere)

A joyous celebration of the animist roots of Estonian culture revealed primarily through folk—song and dance. Features interviews and musical performances of ancient song cycles by Estonian youth.

BALKAN MELODIE (Victorian Premiere)

Over 50 years ago Marcel and Catherine Cellier travelled for the first time behind the Iron Curtain, where they collected the best music in Eastern Europe. This film traces the Celliers’ footsteps in Eastern Europe as they reunite with some of the world’s musical treasures.

HARRY DEAN STANTON – PARTLY FICTION (Victorian Premiere)

With appearances by David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Sam Shepherd and Debbie Harry, this is a gentle, yet insightful portrait of Harry Dean Stanton, the iconic actor, singer and songwriter.

HEAVEN’S GATE – DIRECTOR’S CUT (Victorian Premiere)
Specially restored and digitally remastered Director’s Cut of the controversial epic that was universally maligned by critics and brought about the demise of United Artists studios. But three decades since, many regard Michael Cimino’s film as a groundbreaking masterpiece. Judge for yourself.

MISSION TO LARS (Victorian Premiere)

Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, an all too common form of inherited learning disability. He is also a massive fan of Lars Ulrich from Metallica. Aided by his brother and sister, Tom sets on a Mission to Lars, determined to meet his hero. (Screening courtesy of Curious Film).

Also returning in 2013 is the Festival’s much-­loved Youth Documentary & Digital Stories Program, which screens short documentaries and digital stories created for the Festival by local secondary students, and Jump Cut, which presents short films from young local and international filmmakers.
Acknowledged as the ‘heart’ of the Festival, these two inspiring programmes will be celebrated via the Festival’s Award Ceremony, to be hosted by comedian Justin Hamilton. And in the spirit of our opening night film, A ICEBERGER WITH THE LOT–FROM BURY TO BRIGHTON, the Festival will also host a Pitching Competition designed to find another great local story about the Bayside community and its characters, with a prize of $1,000 to help get aspiring filmmakers on their way!

For ticket and programme details, visit the Festival website at www.2013.baysidefilmfestival.com.au