Tagged: Charlotte Gainsbourg

 

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

Independence Day Resurgence

Summary: Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd June 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Roland Emmerich

Screenwriter: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, James Vanderbilt, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods

Cast: Gbenga Akinnagbe (Agent Travis), Angelbaby (Rain Lao), Arturo del Puerto (Bordeaux), William Fichtner (General Adams), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine Hiller), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Catherine Marceaux), Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Mckenna Grace (Daisy), Evan Bryn Graves (Pilot P. Goodman), Tavis Hammer (Jeffrey Fineman), Chin Han (Commander Jiang), Liam Hemsworth (Jake Morrison), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), Joey King (Sam), Kenny Leu (Ping Li), Lance Lim (Camper Kevin), Robert Loggia (General Grey), Joshua Mikel (Armand), Maika Monroe (Patricia Whitmore), Robert Neary (Captain McQuaide), Hans Obma (Sokolov), Deobia Oparei (Dikembe Umbutu), Bill Pullman (President Whitmore), Jenna Purdy (Voice of Sphere (voice)), Ryan Baloy Rivera (Sgt. P. Howard), Zeb Sanders (Camper Henry), Christian Simpson (Sgt. Fletcher Smith), Donovan Tyee Smith (Camper Marcus), Brent Spiner (Dr. Brakish Okun), Patrick St. Espirit (Secretary of Defense Tanner), John Storey (Dr. Isaacs), Travis Tope (Charlie Miller), Jessie T. Usher (Dylan Hiller), Joel Virgel (Jacques), Sela Ward (President Lanford), Garrett Wareing (Bobby), Nate Warren (Marley Sullivan), Hays Wellford (Felix), Otis Winston (Brian Cole), James A. Woods (Lt. Ritter), Nicolas Wright (Floyd Rosenberg)

Runtime: 120 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Has there ever been a film that you loved when you were younger that you have revisited as an adult and been bitterly disappointed? It happened to me recently with ‘Independence Day.’ As a kid this movie blew me away, the special effects, the idea that aliens could blow up the White House… and yes even Will Smith (I was addicted to the ‘Fresh Prince Of Air’). Going back to watch it last week though I realised that the film was not as great as I remembered, aside from the special effects it was actually a bit of a cheesy film and probably shouldn’t be considered a classic.

Still I didn’t let me truth defining moment about the original dampen my hopes for ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, after all I kept telling myself it’s twenty years later, Roland Emmerich has grown as a director and I guiltily kind of enjoyed ‘White House Down.’ Well as it turns out I was horribly wrong, yes it may be twenty years on but Emmerich hasn’t learnt anything new and he is still making the same mistakes that made ‘Godzilla’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ films that might have impressed the masses but had serious film lovers shaking their heads over what they have just seen.

Emmerich’s new storyline has been put together by a team of screenwriters that sees the world as a very different place to what it was 20 years earlier. Humans have embraced the alien technology that was used against them in the previous war giving a very new look to things even as basic as a helicopter. Our old heroes are also very different people as well. Former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman – ‘While You Were Sleeping’) is a depressed mess, his daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe – ‘It Follows’) works at the White House, Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner – Star Trek: Generations) has been a coma for 20 years, while David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum – ‘Jurassic Park’) travels the world and is considered an ‘alien expert.’ He now answers to the likes of President Lanford (Sela Ward – ‘Gone Girl’) and General Adams (William Fichtner – ‘The Dark Knight’) who have developed a pretty impressive defence system for Earth.

Then there are the newcomers – the likes of bored fighter pilot Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth – ‘The Hunger Games’) forced to live in the shadows of the likes of the famous Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher – ‘Teeange’),Charlie Miler (Tarvis Tope – ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’) and Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg – ‘Antchrist’) a former rival of Levinson’s who now wants to help him. Somehow this mixture of people all have to bring it together and help fight when the aliens return, once again hellbent on destroying Earth.

Perhaps the scariest thing about ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ (is certainly not the aliens) is the fact that it becomes painfully obvious early on that despite it being twenty years later Emmerich seems to have learnt nothing as a filmmaker. Still there are the bad attempts of humor throughout the film, the awful over-writing of characters that makes them so clichéd and these repetitive tropes that keep turning up in Emmerich films (like a computer telling the characters of the impending danger).

Even worse this time around though are the facts though that Emmerich seems to have borrowed so much from other films, especially the ‘Star Wars’ franchise for this film, and just how unbelievable this film is to its audience. Yes, of course, a story about aliens attacking Earth is supposed to be a believable drama but can anyone buy the fact that two characters that are emotional and physical wrecks after the events of the first film are suddenly able to swing around and be battle ready this time around… one was even in a coma for 20 years but is suddenly able to do his work like nothing has happened.

The other area in which Emmerich manages to lose his audience with this film is the over saturation of characters and the even worse habit of introducing characters well into the film, far too late for you to ever care what happens to them. The result is a film where it is virtually impossible to connect with any of the characters, which in turn means the suspense that should be there in a movie like this is just non-existant. Add that to the fact that you find yourselves laughing at a lot of the dialogue littered throughout the film, or groan at ‘you have the heart of the warrior’ and this soon becomes a film that should be referred to as a let-down of a blockbuster.

The poor screenplay also lets down its cast badly. The likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lima Hemsworth are sadly given nothing to work with and it’s likely people will quickly forget that they even made this film pretty quickly. Likewise if Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman thought this was the film that would resurrect their careers then they are very sadly mistaken. And as for the newcomers… well they barely even create a blip on the screen.

With a dreadful screenplay and nothing new when it comes to special effects ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ ends up being one of the biggest disappointments of 2016. Even worse is the fact that we know another one is on the way… it’s like looking forward to a dentist’s appointment. One to avoid.

 

Stars(2)

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath:

There’s a lot of reliance on nostalgia in making sequels or follow ups ten or twenty after the previous film in a franchise. Recent memory brings up hits like Star Wars episode 7 and Creed but also not so successful films like Zoolander 2. As always with sequels it can be difficult catching lightning in a bottle twice but with a decade or two in between films that can only make it more of a challenge.

Independence Day: Resurgence is a sequel to the 1996 science fiction alien invasion film Independence Day. It’s been 20 years since earthlings with the aid of 90s computer viruses and nuclear weapons fought back and defeated the hostile creatures intent on total genocide of the human race and harvesting of all our planet’s resources. In the aftermath the world’s superpowers have entered a time of general world peace (Adrian Veidt would be so proud) and great advances have been made in space flight with secrets learned from alien technology. Unknown to everyone however is that the aliens sent a distress signal all those years ago and reinforcements are about to arrive.
I look at the original Independence Day as being the Avatar of the mid 90s. It showed us things we had never before seen on such a grand scale in movies, showcased amazing miniature special effects, cemented Roland Emmerich as the king of disaster movies and along with the successes of Bad Boys the previous year and Men in Black the following spring boarded Will Smith to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
So even if the 96 original wasn’t the biggest of critical successes it definitely had a massive impact. Independence Day Resurgence simply doesn’t live up to its predecessor. The film attempts to weave so many threads together in only 2 hours that not enough time is spent on any of them and you wonder why they bothered with half of them.
Even as a 10 year old something that bothered me in the original was how quickly Will Smith’s character got over the death of his wingman during a battle with alien spacecraft. However the gravity of a massive alien invasion, the destruction and devastation of several major cities worldwide was still expressed to the audience. When the use of a nuclear weapon on US soil to destroy an attacking space craft turns out to be fruitless David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) has a breakdown of sorts because it WAS a big deal. In this film the same character is watching London being destroyed and millions upon millions of people being massacred in front of his eyes yet he and the characters around him are making quips and generally playing for comedic relief. When David afterwards is consoling his new former girlfriend Catherine (Charlotte Gainsborough) as her parents are almost definitely dead it just feels forced.
This is a problem that comes up several times. It seems in an attempt to make the film fun they drove a steamroller through any possible drama the film has. Someone’s loved one is killed, they rage then in no time they’re back to making quips. If a film’s characters aren’t going to care about the end of the world then why should the audience?
After 20 years of disaster movies (seemingly half of which directed by Emmerich himself) audiences may not automatically find anything amazing about seeing the world destroyed anymore. This is made worse by the way in which the bland characters in the film itself don’t seem to care either. Ultimately what it means is a film about a fight for survival of the human race ends up being unreasonably boring.

 

Stars(1.5)

 

 

 

Adam Ross:

You can hear Adam Ross’s Independence Day: Resurgence review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #182.

Stars(2)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating:  Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Independence Day: Resurgence reviews: You can also listen to our full Independence Day: Resurgence review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #182.

 

Trailer:

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

Nymphomaniac Volume II

Summary: Joe is a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac. Found battered and bruised in a dark laneway by the restrained Seligman, Joe is taken back to his humble apartment where she recounts a lifetime of erotic experiences over the course of an evening.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th March, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, UK

Director: Lars von Trier

Screenwriter: Lars von Trier

Cast: Maja Arsovic (Joe, 7 Years), Jamie Bell (K), Ananya Berg (Joe – 10 Years), Tania Carlin (Renee), Sophie Kennedy Clark (B), Willem Dafoe (L), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Joe), Mia Goth (P), Morgan Hartley (B – 12 Years), Udo Kier (The Waiter), Kookie (N), Shia LaBeouf (Jerome), Daniela Lebang (Brunhelda), Jacob Levin-Christensen (Marcel – 3 Years), Stacy Martin (Young Joe), Michael Pas (Old Jerome), Janine Romanowski (The Whore Of Babylon), Stellan Skarsgard (Seligman), Tabea Tarbiat (Verina Messalima), Uma Thurman (Mrs. H), Christine Urspruch (Little M)

Runtime: 123 mins

Classification:R18+

OUR NYMPHOMANIAC VOL II REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Adam Ross:

To read Adam’s Nymphomania Vol II review please go to The Crat.

Stars(4)

Greg King:

To hear Greg’s Nymphomania Vol II review please listen to The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 73.

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Nymphomaniac Vol II reviews: For our full Nymphomaniac Vol II review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #73.

Trailer:

Nymphomaniac Volume 1

Summary: Joe is a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac. Found battered and bruised in a dark laneway by the restrained Seligman, Joe is taken back to his humble apartment where she recounts a lifetime of erotic experiences over the course of an evening.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th March, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, UK

Director: Lars von Trier

Screenwriter: Lars von Trier

Cast: Jens Albinus (S), Maja Arsovic (Joe – 7 Years), Jamie Bell (K), Ananya Berg (Joe – 10 Years), Christian Gade Bjerrum (G), Nicolas Bro (F), Tania Carlin (Renee), Sophie Kennedy Clark (B), Willem Dafoe (L), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Joe), Mia Goth (P), Anders Hove (Odin), Sofie Kasten (B – 10 Years), Udo Kier (The Waiter), Daniela Lebang (Bruneda), Shia LeBeouf (Jerome), Jacob Levin-Christensen (Marcel, 3 Year), Stacy Martin (Young Joe), Cyron Melville (A), Connie Nielsen (Joe’s Mother), Michael Pas (Old Jerome), Ronja Rissmann (Joe – 2 Years), Janine Romanowski (The Whore Of Babylon), Stellan Skarsgard (Seligman), Christian Slater (Joe’s Father), Hugo Speer (Mr. H), Tabea Tarbiat (Valeria Messalina), Uma Thurman (Mrs. H), Christine Urspruch (Little My)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification:R18+

OUR NYMPHOMANIA VOL 1 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Adam Ross:

To read Adam’s Nymphomania review please go to The Crat.

Stars(4)

Greg King:

To hear Greg’s Nymphomania review please listen to The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 73.

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Nymphomaniac Vol 1 reviews: For our full Nymphomaniac Vol 1 review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #73.

Trailer:

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Nick, Adam, Dave and Greg take a look at new release films ‘Mr Peabody & Sherman’, ‘Nymphomaniac’, ‘The Raid 2’, ‘Aim High In Creation’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Noah’ and ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’. This episode also features interviews with Ty Burrell, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Russell Crowe and Emma Watson. We also launch a new competitions for ‘The Raid 2’.

To listen to the show you can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here

The Good The Bad The UglyIn Episode 38 of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Dave, Nick and Greg took at look at what they feel are the best acting performances in films made after the year 2000.

NICK GARDENER’S LIST

Joaquin Phoenix

Viggo Mortensen – ‘A Dangerous Method

Christoph Waltz – ‘Inglorious Basterds

Kirsten Dunst – ‘Melancholia

Charlotte Gainsbourg – ‘Melancholia’

Russell Crowe – ‘A Beautiful Mind’

Tom Hardy – ‘Bronson’

Javier Bardem – ‘No Country For Old Men’

Will Ferrell – ‘Zoolander’

George Clooney – ‘The American’

Robert Downey Jnr – ‘Iron Man’

Daniel Day Lewis – ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Lincoln’

Paul Giamatti – ‘Sideways’

Anna Paquin – ‘Margaret’

Michael Fassbender – ‘Shame’, ‘X-Men: First Class’

Heath Ledger – ‘The Dark Knight’

Naomi Watts – ‘Mullholland Drive’

Joaquin Phoenix – ‘The Master’

 

GREG KING’S LIST

Heath Ledger

Matthew McConaughey – ‘Mud’

Heath Ledger – ‘The Dark Knight’

Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables’

Sean Penn – ‘Mystic River’

Daniel Day Lewis – ‘Lincoln’

Christoph Waltz – ‘Inglorious Basterds’, ‘Django Unchained’

Carey Mulligan – ‘Shame’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – ‘Mysterious Skin’, ’50/50′

Ryan Gosling – ‘Blue Valentine’, ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’, ‘Drive’

Matt Damon – ‘The Bourne Franchise’, ‘Promised Land’

 

DAVID GRIFFITHS’ LIST

Leonardo DiCaprio

Joaquin Phoenix – ‘The Master’

Michael Shannon – ‘Take Shelter’

Heath Ledger – ‘The Dark Knight’

Anne Hathaway – ‘Rachel Getting Married’

Mickey Rourke – ‘The Wrestler’

Forrest Whitaker – ‘The Last King Of Scotland’

Alan Rickman – ‘Harry Potter Franchise’

Emma Stone – ‘Easy A’

Noomi Rapace – ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – ‘Mysterious Skin’, ‘Brick’

Hugo Weaving – ‘Last Ride’

Ellen Page – ‘Juno’

Christoph Waltz – ‘Django Unchained’

Leonardo DiCaprio – ‘Shutter Island’, ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Departed’

Michelle Williams – ‘Wendy & Lucy’, ‘Blue Valentine’

Kate Winslet – ‘Little Children’, ‘The Reader’

Penelope Cruz – ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’

Sam Rockwell – ‘Moon’

Jessie Eisenberg – ‘The Social Network’

Justin Timberlake – ‘The Social Network’

Nicolas Cage – ‘Lord Of War’

George Clooney – ‘The Descendants’

Michael Fassbender – ‘Shame’

Jennifer Lawrence – ‘Winter’s Bone’

Matthew McConaughey – ‘Mud’

Ryan Gosling – ‘Drive’

Robert Pattinson – ‘Remember Me’

Tom Holland – ‘The Impossible’

Naomi Watts – ‘The Impossible’