Tagged: Reda Kateb

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

 

 

Zero Dark Thirty

Summary: ZERO DARK THIRTY is a military term meaning half past midnight – the timing of the actual mission to locate and eliminate the world’s most dangerous man, Osama bin Laden. The term also refers to the secrecy that surrounded the decade long mission to track him down.

Deemed the greatest manhunt in history, ZERO DARK THIRTY chronicles the declassified true story of the relentless pursuit by an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe.

Director Kathryn Bigelow reteams with her writer/producer from The Hurt Locker to reveal the intricate details behind the gripping chase, culminating with the now infamous raid on May 2, 2011 that ended bin Laden’s reign of terror.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Screenwriter: Mark Boal

Cast: Scott Adkins (John), Lee Asquith-Coe (Sean Cohen), John Barrowman (Jeremy), Kyle Chandler (Joseph Bradley), Jessica Chastain (Maya), Jason Clarke (Dan), Jessica Collins (Debbie), Mike Colter (Mike), Mark Duplass (Steve), Joel Edgerton (Patrick), Nash Edgerton (Nate), Jennifer Ehle (Jessica), Homayoun Ershadi (Hassan Ghul), Fares Fares (Hakim), Siaosi Fonua (Henry), James Gandolfini (C.I.A. Director), Tarick Hadouch (Khalid), Noureddine Haijjoujou (Abrar), J.J. Kandel (J.J.), Reda Kateb (Ammar), Taylor Kinney (Jared), Daniel Lapaine (Tim), Fredric Lehne (The Wolf), Yoav Levi (Abu Faraj al-Libbi), Tushaar Mehra (Abu Ahmed), Callan Mulvey (Saber), Harold Perrineau (Jack), Chris Pratt (Justin), Edgar Ramirez (Larry), Lauren Shaw (Lauren), Phil Somerville (Phil), Christopher Stanley (Admiral Bill McCraven), Jeremy Strong (Thomas), Mark Strong (George), Eyad Zoubi (Zied)

Runtime: 157 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Review: 

Dave Griffiths’s review for Zero Dark Thirty can currently been found on Helium Entertainment Channel.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Zero Dark Thirty′: Check Episode #18 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. Dave’s other review of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 4/5

IMDB Rating: Zero Dark Thirty (2012) on IMDb