Tag Archives: Film

Children of Paradise (Les enfants du paradis)

Children of Paradise (Les enfants du paradis) 1945
by Marcel Carné

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 20th April 2016 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

Les Enfants du Paradis
Les Enfants du Paradis, released as “Children of Paradise” in North America, is a 1945 French film directed by Marcel Carné. It was made during the German occupation of France during World War II (Nazi occupation of France). Set among the Parisian theatre scene of the 1820s and 30s in ascreen play by famous French author Jacques Prevert,this three-hour film in two parts was described in the original American trailer as the French answer to “Gone with the Wind” (1939). The film was voted “Best Film Ever” in a poll of 600 French critics and professionals in 1995 and nominated to Oscar Awards.

Synopsis

In this expansive drama, the lovely and enigmatic Parisian actress Garance (Arletty) draws the attention of various men in her orbit, including the thoughtful mime Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault) and the ambitious actor Frédérick (Pierre Brasseur). Though Garance and Baptiste have an undeniable connection, their fortunes shift considerably, pushing them apart as well as bringing them back together, even as they pursue other relationships and lead separate lives.Screenplay concerns four men in love with the mysterious Garance (Arletty). Each loves Garance in his own fashion, but only the intentions of sensitive mime-actor Deburau (Jean-Louis Barrault) are entirely honorable; as a result, it is he who suffers most, hurdling one obstacle after another in pursuit of an evidently unattainable goal.

Dans ce drame, la belle et énigmatique actrice parisienne Garance (Arletty) attire l’attention de divers hommes y comprisle pensif mime Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault) et l’ambitieuxacteur Frédérick (Pierre Brasseur). Bien que Garance et Baptiste aient un lien indéniable, leur destindiffèrent considérablement tout d’abord en les éloignant l’un de l’autre. Le scénario du film se développe ainsi autour de quatre hommes tombés amoureux de la mystérieuse Garance. Chacund’eux l’aime à sa manière mais seulle mime-acteur Baptistedemeure tout à faitpur dans ses intentions et, en conséquence, il sera celui qui souffrira le plus, d’un obstacle à l’autre dans la poursuite d’un objectif au bout du compte évidemment inaccessible.

Film Review

Poetic realism reached sublime heights with “Children of Paradise”, widely considered as one of the greatest French films of all time. This nimble depiction of nineteenth-century Paris’ theatrical demimonde, filmed during World War II, follows a mysterious woman (Arletty) loved by four different men (all based on historical figures): an actor, a criminal, a count, and, most poignantly, a mime (Jean-Louis Barrault in a longing-suffused performance for the ages). With sensitivity and dramatic élan, director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert resurrect a world teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers. And thanks to a major new restoration, this iconic classic looks and sounds richer and more detailed than ever. “Children of Paradise” is critic’s personal favorite.Marcel Carne’s 1945 French romantic drama is a transformative cinematic experience.

To see Marcel Carné’s “Children of Paradise” under any circumstances is to be transported and transformed by cinema. Written by Carné’s frequent collaborator Jacques Prévert, this 1945 film is more than the acme of a style known as poetic realism, it is often considered to be the greatest French film ever made. Called by critic James Agee “close to perfection … guaranteed to make you very happily drunk,” it is also the title I most often cite when asked to pick an all-time personal favorite.

Set in the teeming environs of 1830s Paris, the “Paradise” title refers to those who inhabit the highest balconies (and the cheapest seats) in the myriad theaters of that city’s Boulevard du Crime (the nickname of “Boulevard du Temple”). These spectators are the equivalent of Shakespeare’s groundlings, those whose love of theatrical spectacle is in inverse proportion to their ability to pay for it.

June 01, 2012 by Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic.


Avec les Enfants du paradis, on se trouve devant un cas à la fois grandiose et embarrassant. Ce n’est pas simplement l’un de ces nombreux films monuments dont, de Gance en Vigo, de Guitry en Renoir, le vaste et vieux pays du cinéma français est rempli. Les Enfants du paradis, c’est un peu la tour Eiffel de tous les films français : une proéminence qui tient à la fois à ses moyens, à sa durée, à son ampleur et à l’universalité de son thème amoureux et théâtral. Mais une plus étrange pérennité s’ajoute à ces ingrédients : une forme d’académisme un peu rigide qui le protège du temps.

«Collaboration». Le découvrir aujourd’hui dans sa version somptueusement restaurée renforce encore cette impression que l’industrie du cinéma français, ses arts et techniques, son artisanat, atteignaient avec les Enfants du paradis un sommet historique. Quel que soit l’étage que l’on considère parmi les «métiers» qui constituent le processus de fabrication du cinéma, quelle que soit la fenêtre à laquelle on se penche pour tenter d’en observer les machineries cachées, on se retrouve toujours face à ce même sentiment de quasi-perfection formelle.

En savoir plus sur site

~ Olivier Séguret, liberation.fr

Read more on:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/01/entertainment/la-et-children-of-paradise-20120601

http://www.avoir-alire.com/les-enfants-du-paradis-la-critique

Monthly Film – March

The Conquerors (Les Conquérants) 2013
by Xabi Molia

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 16th March 2016 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

The Conquerors (Les Conquérants)
The Conquerors (French: Les conquérants) is a 2013 French adventure comedy film directed by Xabi Molia, with stars Mathieu Demy, Denis Podalydès and Christian Crahay, with the director playing a seventh-billed supporting role.
The film was exhibited in southwest France on 21 June 2013 at the Contis Film Festival (premiere) and, two months later (24 August) at another film festival, in Gindou. The full release in France was on 25 September, but it continued to be seen at festivals (Belgium’s Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur on 1 October and Canada’s Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival on 15 September 2014.

Synopsis

Half-brothers Noah and Gilead attend their archeologist father’s funeral and, after recounting and comparing each other’s misfortunes, become convinced that their misery is caused by a curse upon their father and his descendants resulting from the father’s theft of the Holy Grail. Their solution is to embark on a quest for the Grail and return it to the location from which it was disturbed and removed by their father.

Galaad et Noé rejoignent en stop le cimetière où une foule nombreuse enterre leur père, avant un dernier hommage en musique à cette sorte d’ogre, qui fut aventurier et découvreur de trésor. Galaad et Noé, issus de deux lits différents, se connaissent peu mais partagent la même déveine. Comédien de second plan, quitté par la femme qu’il aime et victime d’une récidive de son lymphome, Galaad ne va pas fort. Il cherche à convaincre Noé, entraîneur sententieux d’une équipe de football poursuivie par la défaite, qu’ils doivent leur malchance au vol du Graal par leur père, jadis, dans une grotte pyrénéenne. Qu’ils volent à nouveau Graal à l’infâme Del Sarto et le replace sur son autel souterrain, et la vie leur sourira à nouveau…

Reviews of the film

Armed with this philosophy for times of crisis, writer Xabi Molia made his first feature film, 8 times standing (2009), a joyous hymn to the strength of two precarious gifted for fantasy. He drives the nail with this comedy that mixes lightness to the gravity of life, in a subtly poetic atmosphere.

These conquerors, Gilead and Noah, are two half-brothers to failed dreams: one, stage actor, anesthesia the public and the other, football coach, leaden the morale of his team. Convinced to have the evil eye, they decide to break this curse. Just why to steal in a Castle a sacred Cup that their father, an adventurer, had himself stolen in a cave. And return it to its place, this sacred Cup. Sacrilege cleared, everything will be okay.

Is it serious? The question arises. Burlesque is indeed hilarious in the sequence of the expedition at the Castle. And when the wind of trouble turns, they are squarely the effects of magic potion. But Xabi Mellish managed mainly to talk about us. This desire to believe in our dreams, our Holy Grail. Of this attraction to the impossible, makes us bet, in full despair, hope. Audacity is salvation, says this movie, which is not missing. By opening a gap between realism and fairy tale, he failed: he invites to get lost to find themselves. As the very endearing Noah-Mathieu Demy and Gilead-Denis Podalydès, which will at the end of their wandering in a disenchanted world, and we delight.
Read more..

~ Frédéric Strauss, Télérama.fr (Translated from the french review)

Quand on se rend à un enterrement en autostop, il y a évidemment un risque d’arriver en retard, ce qui est problématique lorsque le défunt est son propre père. « Les Conquérants » repose sur le couple d’acteurs Denis Podalydès et Mathieu Demy, tous deux formidables en faux frères, bien obligés de se découvrir, au beau milieu de la glue de la vie. Rien ne marche. Le film s’enlise dès que les situations sont trop lourdement explicatives. Mais il réjouit chaque fois qu’il ose l’extravagance, ce qui est fréquent, si bien que le spectateur circule dans des montagnes russes, ou plutôt, les Pyrénées, où les deux frères doivent remettre un Graal dérobé par le père dans une mystérieuse grotte basque. Joie devant Mathieu Demy qui dompte un énorme ours. Plaisir de voir Podalydès devant une « vraie » chimère. Bonheur que le cambriolage du Graal réussisse en dépit des obstacles les plus dingues. Il y a un côté Tintin dans « L’Etoile mystérieuse » qui réveille d’excellents souvenirs. On rit beaucoup et souvent.

En savoir plus sur site

~ Anne Diatkine – ELLE

Monthly Film – December

Donkey Skin (Peau d’âne) 1970
by Jacques Demy

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 16th December 2015 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

Donkey Skin (Peau d'âne)
Peau d’Âne (English: Donkey Skin) is a 1970 French musical film directed by Jacques Demy. It is also known by the English titles Once Upon a Time and The Magic Donkey. It stars Catherine Deneuve and Jean Marais, with music by Michel Legrand. Donkey Skin also proved to be Demy’s biggest success in France with a total of 2,198,576 admissions. The film was adapted by Demy from Donkeyskin, a French literary fairytale written in verse by Charles Perrault. It was first published in 1695 in a small volume and republished in 1697 in Perrault’s Histoires ou contes du temps passé. Andrew Lang included it, somewhat euphemized, in The Grey Fairy Book. It is similar in style to folktales of Aarne-Thompson type 510B, unnatural love.

Synopsis

A king had a beautiful wife and a rich castle, including a marvelous donkey whose droppings were gold. One day his wife died, after making him promise not to marry except to a woman whose beauty and attributes equaled hers. The king grieved, but was, in time, persuaded to seek another wife. It became clear that the only woman who would fit the promise was his own daughter.

She went to her fairy godmother who advised her to make impossible demands as a condition of her consent: a dress the color of the sky, a dress the color of the moon, a dress as bright as the sun, and finally, the hide of his marvelous donkey. Such was the king’s desire to marry her that he granted all of them. The fairy godmother gave her a marvelous chest to contain all she owned and told her that the donkeyskin would make an excellent disguise.
Illustration by Gustave Doré

The princess fled and eventually found a royal farm where they let her work in the kitchen, despite her ugliness in the donkeyskin. On feast days, she would dress herself in the fine gowns her father had given her, and one such day, the prince came by her room and peeped through the keyhole. He fell in love at once, fell ill with his longing, and declared that nothing would cure him but a cake baked by Donkeyskin, and nothing they could say of what a dirty creature she was dissuaded him.

When Donkeyskin baked the cake, a ring of hers fell in it. The prince found it and declared that he would marry only the woman whose finger it fit. Every other woman having failed, he insisted that Donkeyskin try, and it fit. When she had dressed herself in her fine gowns, his parents were reconciled with the match. Donkeyskin later found that her father had remarried to a beautiful widow and everyone lived happily ever after.

Veuf et inconsolable, le roi, qui a promis à sa femme mourante de ne se remarier qu’avec une femme plus belle qu’elle, découvre soudain la beauté radieuse de sa fille et décide de l’épouser. Horrifiée, la jeune fille requiert l’aide de sa marraine, la fée des Lilas. Celle-ci lui conseille de demander à son père d’impossibles présents. Mais chacune de ses exigences est aussitôt satisfaite. Pour finir, drapée dans les robes couleur de Temps, couleur de Lune et couleur de Soleil qu’elle a obtenues de son père, la princesse formule un dernier voeu. Elle exige la peau de l’âne qui, chaque matin, laisse des diamants et des écus dans sa litière. Une fois encore, le roi s’exécute. En désespoir de cause, la princesse s’enfuit, vêtue de sa peau d’âne…

Reviews of the film

Overall, this film, like the other films, has something for everyone – the touchstone of the well-constructed story. Demy’s easy camera and wistful use of Michel Legrand’s compositions belie the wonderful depth of his engagement with his materials. In this series that the film societies have been showing images that clearly owe so much to the French New Wave slip seamlessly past, tied to the music and song that Demy uses to at once engage and alienate us from the action, offering us so many other opportunities for interpretation. This, for me, has been a discovery, at once delicious and at the same time challenging – I love it.
Read more..

~ GREGOR CAMERON, The Lumière Reader

Jacques Demy est un maître doux qui se permet tout. Devenu cinéaste, le petit garçon qui croyait que la vraie vie était dans les contes transforme les contes en réalité. Sa fée des Lilas (« Un mélange de Jean ­Harlow et de Botticelli, un peu poule, un peu fleur », dira Demy) a des peines de coeur faiblement humaines et célèbre l’hymen de sa ­protégée en hélicoptère… Son roi se permet de beaux anachronismes, par exemple en citant des vers de Cocteau. Et Peau d’âne a parfois des allures de créature hippie, chantant à pleins poumons les vertus de la fumette !

Jacques Demy a dû attendre neuf ans pour tourner à Chambord cette féerie psychédélique inspirée du pop art, découvert pendant son exil à Los Angeles, et des marionnettes de chiffon du guignol de son enfance nantaise. Sa patience est récompensée : son film est un véritable enchantement, porté par l’inoubliable musique de Michel Legrand.

En savoir plus sur site

~ Marine Landrot – télérama.fr

Monthly Film – November

Contempt (Le Mépris) 1963
by Jean-Luc Godard

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 18th November 2015 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

Contempt (Le Mépris)
Contempt is a 1963 French satirical drama film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the Italian novel A Ghost at Noon by Alberto Moravia. It stars Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, and Giorgia Moll. Today, Contempt is generally regarded as a masterpiece of world cinema.

Synopsis

American film producer Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance) hires respected Austrian director Fritz Lang (playing himself) to direct a film adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. Dissatisfied with Lang’s treatment of the material as an art film, Prokosch hires Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli), a novelist and playwright, to rework the script. The conflict between artistic expression and commercial opportunity parallels Paul’s sudden estrangement from his wife Camille Javal (Brigitte Bardot), who becomes aloof with Paul after he leaves her alone with Prokosch, a millionaire playboy.

Scénariste à succès, Paul Javal travaille à une adaptation de «L’Odyssée», qui doit être tournée par Fritz Lang. Il remarque bientôt que Lang est en désaccord avec Prokosch, le producteur américain. Ce dernier voudrait financer un film épique alors que le réalisateur souhaite faire un film psychologique. Camille, la femme de Paul, le rejoint à Cinecittà. Tous deux sont invités chez Prokosch, qui manifeste un vif intérêt pour la jeune femme. Paul la laisse partir avec l’Américain, espérant se faire remarquer par lui. Camille, qui aime son mari, est déçue. Elle refuse de jouer le jeu et change brusquement d’attitude vis-à-vis de Paul…

Reviews of the film

“Contempt” was Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 attempt at a big-budget, big- star production, and more or less satisfied his curiosity. It was not the direction he wanted to move in, and the rest of his career can be seen, in a way, as a reaction to the experience. Not that the film itself is a compromise; you can see the tension between Godard and his backers right there on the screen, and hear it between the lines of the dialogue, in this newly restored print.

As for Godard, he stays, as always, a little aloof. All of his films are, in a way, about filmmaking; he breaks the illusion of the fourth wall in order to communicate directly with the audience, usually in such an enigmatic way that he seems to be satirizing the whole idea of communication. He likes mannered shots that call attention to themselves, and here, faced with the great width of the CinemaScope screen, he has moments when he pans slowly back and forth from one side of the room to the other, using an unbroken take but refusing to place both characters on the screen at the same time.

When wide-screen movies are shown on TV these days, they are often subjected to the annoying “pan and scan” practice, in which the sides are chopped off and then the camera moves back and forth to show two people who were originally meant to be seen at once. I can only imagine how the pan and scan process would look if applied to this movie, in which Godard has built his own panning into the wide-screen compositions. The worst scenario: The movie pans in two directions at once.

“Contempt” is not one of the great Godard films, for reasons it makes clear. In a way, it’s about its own shortcomings. A drama exists at ground level involving the characters, while the film fights between the tendency to elevate them into art (Lang) or vulgarize them into commerce (Palance). It is interesting to see, and has moments of brilliance (the marital argument, the use of the villa steps), but its real importance is as a failed experiment. “Contempt” taught Godard he could not make films like this, and so he included himself out, and went on to make the films he could make.
Read more..

~ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Godard aurait pu baptiser son film « La Nuit américaine », dix ans avant Truffaut. D’abord parce qu’il précède son confrère dans la dissection du cinéma, monde parallèle tenté d’en envahir un autre, jaloux et jalousé : la vie. Et surtout parce qu’il affirme que le coeur des hommes peut s’assombrir en plein soleil, comme on peut filmer la nuit en plein jour. Godard contemple les déclins du cinéma et de l’amour, irrémédiablement liés. Une scène mêle à merveille ces chutes abyssales : Prokosch attire Camille vers une minuscule fenêtre, qui ouvre sur la mer, réduite à quelques centimètres carrés. Inconsciemment, le producteur balourd signe l’arrêt de mort du cinéma, remplacé par la télévi­sion, et celui de l’amour de Camille pour son mari, remplacé par le fourvoiement infidèle.

En savoir plus sur site

~ Marine Landrot – télérama.fr

Monthly Film – October

Artemis, heart of artichoke (Artémis, coeur d’artichaut) 2013
by Hubert Viel

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 21st October 2015 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

Artemis, heart of artichoke (Artémis, coeur d'artichaut)
It’s a comedy loosely based on Greek mythology, that imagines the lives of the goddess Artemis in the contemporary world.

Synopsis

The goddess Artemis has distorted the Olympus company and became a young woman who goes to College in Caen in France. First of a misanthropic and solitary nature, because she prefers the company of animals and children than adults, Artemis sees her daily life change when she made the acquaintance of the nymph Kalie Steaux (i.e. Callisto, played by Noémie Rosset), offering him to take with her roommate. Soon, the two young women bind friendship and undertake all kinds of activities and trips. All is told by an omniscient Narrator (Hubert Viel) when sometimes it’s hard to follow the events.

La déesse Artémis a faussé compagnie à l’Olympe et est devenue une jeune femme qui va à la fac à Caen en France. D’abord d’un caractère misanthrope et solitaire, car elle préfère la compagnie des animaux et des enfants à celle des adultes, Artémis voit son quotidien changer lorsqu’elle fait la connaissance de la nymphe Kalie Steaux (autrement dit Callisto), qui lui propose de prendre une colocation avec elle. Très vite, les deux jeunes femmes se lient d’amitié et entreprennent toutes sortes d’activités et de voyages. Le tout est raconté par un narrateur omniscient qui a parfois un peu de mal à suivre les événements.

Reviews of the film

François Truffaut said that a film should express either joy or anguish to the cinema. Joy truffaldienne irrigates every minute of this first film, awarded at the festival of Brive-la-Gaillarde. Artemis, Goddess of the hunt, arrived at the University of Caen in master 2 of modern literature. At the restaurant Uni, she finds a fiery blonde with a high-pitched voice, named Crystal, who will become her roommate and soon, her best friend. Two girlfriends (delicious Frédérique Barré and Noémie Rosset), as Rohmer heroines more smart, depart while vacationing in the Cotentin camping on the beach and dredge the pizzaiolo. With its ‘omniscient Narrator’ performed by the Director himself, his deadpan voice, his smoky ultra super-8 and its special effects to the Méliès, this mythologico-burlesque Phantasmagoria possesses the charm and the lunacy of youth works. (review translated from French) En savoir plus..

~ Jérémie Couston – Télérama.fr

Dans la mythologie grecque, Artémis est la déesse de la chasse, associée à la Lune. Mais, dans le premier film d’Hubert Viel, c’est une étudiante en lettres à la faculté de Caen, les pieds bien sur terre. Guère liante (pour ne pas dire misanthrope), Artémis sort de sa zone de confort quand elle propose à l’exubérante Kalie Steaux (comme la nymphe Callisto) de partager son appartement.

Les deux colocataires se lient d’amitié, au point de devenir inséparables. Kalie prend conscience de la nature divine d’Artémis qui, arc et flèches en bandoulière, se transforme sous ses yeux ou déclenche la foudre. Pourtant, avec les garçons, la déesse ne s’avère guère chasseresse. Si Kalie, libre et dévergondée, s’offre sans complexe à la gent masculine, la chaste Artémis écarte, quant à elle, tous ses prétendants trop pressants. Au cours d’une soirée, elle jette même un charme à l’un d’entre eux.

C’est l’alliance des contraires qui séduit, avant tout, dans cette audacieuse réinterprétation mythologique. Farouche, Artémis trouve chez la bouillonnante nymphe Kalie son exacte opposée. Ce buddy movie (film de potes), à la…

En savoir plus sur site

~ Sandrine Marques – Le Monde

European Film Festival 2015

A shared international cultural experience that aims to promote a friendly relationship and to increase the mutual understanding between European Nations and Sri Lanka.

For the eighth consecutive year, the European Film Festival is taking place in Sri Lanka. Recently released and highly acclaimed films from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and The United Kingdom will be screened. The European Film Festival will begin in September with a chapter in Jaffna and will also travel this year, out of Colombo, to Baticaloa, Kandy, Matara, Horana.

Expérience culturelle de coopération internationale, l’EFF vise à renforcer les liens d’amitié entre Sri Lanka et l’Europe

Pour la huitième année consécutive, le Festival du Film Européen se tiendra à Sri Lanka à l’automne 2015. Des films récents et ayant connu un fort succès aux Pays-Bas, au Danemark, en France, Allemagne, Italie, Pologne, Roumanie, Slovaquie, Suisse et au Royaume-Uni seront présentés au public. Le Festival du Film Européen débutera à Jaffna puis sera également présenté cette année en dehors de Colombo, à Kandy, Baticaloa, Matara, Horana.

SCHEDULE click here.

Monthly Film – September

Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tête chinois) 2013
by Cédric Klapisch

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 23rd September 2015 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tête chinois)
Eleven years after his Franglais smash “L’auberge espagnole” and eight years after sequel “Russian Dolls,” French writer-helmer Cedric Klapisch follows up with the zesty “Chinese Puzzle,” a New York-set comedy that serves as a seductive advertisement for modern urban living. Retaining the energy and zing of the earlier films but dialing down the youthful angst, the pic delivers witty, sexy fare that’s the fast-food equivalent of Richard Linklater’s thematically weightier “Before … ” trilogy. Given the presence of international marquee names including Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, its appeal to auds isn’t tricky to puzzle out.

Synopsis

We find Xavier, now 40 years-old, with Wendy, Isabelle and Martine – 15 years after the l’Auberge Espagnole and 10 years after Poupées Russes. Everything appears so simple but Xavier’s life doesn’t stop taking unexpected detours between Paris and New York. He looks for his way in this crazy mess to find his place as a man as much as his place as a father. And who knows, it may be this very madness of New York that will allow Xavier to resolve, finally, the Chinese puzzle that is his life.

Xavier a maintenant 40 ans. On le retrouve avec Wendy, Isabelle et Martine quinze ans après L’Auberge Espagnole et dix ans après Les Poupées russes.

La vie de Xavier ne s’est pas forcément rangée et tout semble même devenir de plus en plus compliqué. Désormais père de deux enfants, son virus du voyage l’entraîne cette fois à New York, au beau milieu de Chinatown. Dans un joyeux bordel, Xavier u cherche sa place en tant que fils, en tant que père… en tant qu’homme en fait ! Séparation. Famille recomposée. Homoparentalité. Immigration. Travail clandestin. Mondialisation. La vie de Xavier tient résolument du casse-tête chinois ! Cette vie à l’instar de New York et de l’époque actuelle, à défaut d’être cohérente et calme vient en tout cas nourrir sa plume d’écrivain…

Reviews of the film

Bringing an appreciative outsider’s perspective to the sights, sounds and polyglot energy of New York, Klapisch and his collaborators ensure that the two hours whiz by decoratively and entertainingly, buoyed by the jazzy, soulful, vocal-driven score of Christophe Minck and Loik Dury, both returning from “Russian Dolls.” Playful devices, including the fantasy appearances of famous European philosophers imparting words of wisdom, work well in the mix, and there’s a well-executed comic setpiece in which Tautou unleashes her fluent Mandarin to a roomful of Chinese investors.

Modern life may be complicated, but it’s nothing to get stressed about: That’s the alluring message this time around, and the film benefits from the more relaxed mode achieved by these maturing characters. In real life, none of the actors have reached the age (40) that’s suggested by the script, indicating a generosity of spirit on their part that chimes with the film’s contagious mood. Neatly climaxing with a conventionally upbeat romantic-comedy pairing, Klapisch’s freewheeling story now seems to have arrived at its natural conclusion. Read more..

~ Charles Gant, Variety

Douze ans après L’Auberge espagnole et huit ans après Les Poupées russes, revoilà la bande des quatre dans le dernier épisode de la trilogie. Casse-tête chinois se révèle un film vivant comme jamais, bordélique en diable, joyeux et bourré d’énergie. Mais aussi ultra-contemporain et en phase avec une mondialisation qu’on ne connaît que trop. À cela s’ajoutent les questions sur l’homoparentalité, la famille recomposée, l’immigration. Porté par des acteurs tous au top, Casse-tête chinois se révèle irrésistible, va vous donner des ailes et l’envie de tout plaquer pour d’autres continents. Klapisch filme New York avec un cœur gros comme ça. C’est authentique, agité, sentimental, drôle, intelligent. Que demander de plus? Voir plus..

~ D.A. – Le Journal du Dimanche

Monthly Film – August

Jules and Jim (Jules et Jim) 1962
by François Truffaut

POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 19th August 2015 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

Jules and Jim (Jules et Jim)
Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession. The legendary François Truffaut directs, and Jeanne Moreau stars as the alluring and willful Catherine, whose enigmatic smile and passionate nature lure Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) into one of cinema’s most captivating romantic triangles. An exuberant and poignant meditation on freedom, loyalty, and the fortitude of love, Jules and Jim was a worldwide smash in 1962 and remains every bit as audacious and entrancing today.

Synopsis

In the carefree days before World War I, introverted Austrian author Jules (Oskar Werner) strikes up a friendship with the exuberant Frenchman Jim (Henri Serre). Both men fall for the impulsive and beautiful Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), but it’s Jules who wins her hand. After the war, Jim visits Jules, Catherine and their daughter in their Austrian home and discovers not only that his feelings for Catherine are unchanged, but also that they’re reciprocated.

Paris, 1907. Jules, étudiant allemand, et Jim, étudiant français, font connaissance, sympathisent et sont bientôt liés par une amitié profonde. Ils partagent les mêmes goûts en matière de livres, d’art et de femmes. Ils font ensemble un voyage dans le Sud méditerranéen et découvrent, sur un champ de fouilles, une statue dont le merveilleux sourire les bouleverse. De retour à Paris, ils sont éblouis de retrouver ce sourire sur les lèvres de Catherine, une jeune femme rencontrée par hasard. Un quiproquo précipite événements et décisions. C’est Jules que Catherine épousera, sans pour autant cesser d’aimer Jim. La guerre éclate. Le trio ne se reformera qu’après l’Armistice…

Reviews of the film

A shadowy figure amid the 20th-century beau monde – friend to Picasso and Gertrude Stein, and buyer for the American art collector John Quinn – Henri-Pierre Roché waited until his 70s to publish his teasingly semi-autobiographical debut novel, which became one of the 20th century’s most famous depictions of a ménage-a-trois.

Jules and Jim are best friends – perhaps soulmates – who together pursue a charmed life of bohemian indulgence in turn-of-the-century Paris. Drifting from liaison to liaison they share their women as easily as wine, without jealousy or regret – and then they meet Kate. With her “archaic” smile and lips made for “milk – and blood”, Kate is obedient only to the diktat: “He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.” Marrying first Jules and then Jim, Kate draws all three into an ecstatic cycle of intimacy and betrayal, unleashing a seemingly limitless capacity for tenderness, forgiveness and revenge until their passions eventually burn out.

Roché’s guileless prose lends the quality of a parable to his story, which is startling in its erotic candour and its visionary pursuit of love. Kate owes much – perhaps too much – to the figure of the eternal feminine: cruel, beautiful and volatile, she is more archetype than actuality. But that is not really Roché’s concern – instead he probes the “essential quality of our intimate emotions”, laying bare the complex and paradoxical dynamics of desire.

Today the novel is eclipsed by François Truffaut’s celebrated nouvelle vague film starring Jeanne Moreau, and Truffaut contributes a valuable afterword to this edition. Reflecting on the film in 2000, Moreau described it as “the dreamed image of amorous life”; in its exuberant rejection of conventional morality, Roché’s novel describes an emotional logic that is both inscrutable and compelling.

~ Lettie Ransley, theguardian.com

Lorsqu’il cita pour la première fois le roman Jules et Jim dans l’une de ses critiques de la revue Arts, François Truffaut n’avait pas ­réalisé de film. Il se fit la promesse de commencer sa carrière de ­cinéaste en adaptant cet extraordinaire livre d’Henri-Pierre ­Roché, un vieil inconnu de 76 ans.

Même si Truffaut retarda le projet, Jules et Jim fête le passage d’un homme de mots vers un monde d’ima­ges : c’est un hymne au plaisir d’« entrer en cinéma ». Tout en gardant un ton très littéraire, il met en scène la rage d’aimer, à travers des scènes purement ­visuelles. A la lecture du livre, le cinéaste fut « frappé par le caractère scabreux des situations et la pureté de l’ensemble ». Son film réussit le même tour de force. Il évoque la discipline fervente d’une femme libre, décidée à « inventer l’amour ». Jeanne Moreau mord à pleines dents dans ce rôle d’égérie grave et gourmande. Cachée derrière le titre doublement masculin, elle est le pilier central de cet éblouissant chef-d’oeuvre.

~ Marine Landrot, www.telerama.fr

Monthly Film – July

All is forgiven (Tout est pardonné) 2007
by Mia Hansen-Løve

JULY POSTER FOR MAILWednesday 22nd July 2015 – 6.00pm
at
National Film Corporation Theater
303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

 

 

 

All is forgiven (Tout est pardonné)
All Is Forgiven (French: Tout est pardonné) is a 2007 French drama film written and directed by Mia Hansen-Løve. It was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It won the Louis Delluc Prize for Best First Film and was also nominated for Best First Film at the 2008 César Awards.

Synopsis

Victor and Annette are a married couple with a little girl named Pamela. Due to Victor’s continuous bad habits they have a monumental blowout in the relationship. In the aftermath, Victor moves in with a junkie he has fallen in love with and Annette disappears into the city with Pamela. Flash-forward 11 years later, and 17-year-old Pamela is still living in Paris with her mother. When an inquiry into father’s whereabouts reveals that Victor is living nearby, curious Pamela decides to check in on her long-lost dad.

Victor habite Vienne avec Annette et leur petite fille Pamela. C’est le printemps, Victor qui fuit le travail passe ses journées et parfois ses nuits dehors. Très éprise, Annette lui fait confiance pour se ressaisir dès qu’ils seront rentrés à Paris. Mais en France, Victor reprend ses mauvaises habitudes. Après une violente dispute, il s’installe chez une junkie dont il est tombé amoureux. Annette quitte Victor et disparaît avec Pamela. Onze ans plus tard, Pamela a dix-sept ans, elle vit à Paris, chez sa mère. Un jour, elle apprend que son père est dans la même ville qu’elle. Elle décide de le revoir.

Reviews of the film
Originally produced by Humbert Balsan before his death in 2005, Mia Hansen-Løve’s All Is Forgiven (Tout est pardonné) recalls the muted, slow brewing, slice of life implosions of Stefan Krohmer’s Summer 04 and Valeska Grisebach’s Longing, as well as the naturalistic, organic narrative and chance intersections of Barbara Albert’s cinema to create a raw and distilled, yet intimate and insightfully rendered rumination on the nature of connection, longing, regret, and forgiveness. Composed of a series of elliptical, self-contained episodes of the quotidian that collectively reveal the fragments of a disintegrating relationship, the film is also a reflection of human memory in its lucid, essential reconstitution – and awareness – of (life)time passed: Annette’s (Marie-Christine Friedrich) frequent castigation of Victor’s (Paul Blain) excessive drinking, his frequent absences from family outings with their daughter Pamela (Victoire Rousseau) to meet a drug dealer, his increasing disenchantment with his life as an underemployed translator and frustrated poet in Vienna that would lead to their decision to uproot the family move back to Paris, a conversation between Victor and his sister, Martine (Carole Franck) that exposes the fissures in his passionate, but volatile relationship with his devoted and long-suffering partner, a chance encounter with a drug dealer’s friend, Gisèle (Olivia Ross) during a party that would lead him to the abyss of heroin addiction, and ultimately, his separation from his family.

Shot using hand-held DV cameras, Hansen-Løve’s aesthetic juxtaposition of saturated light against vérité-styled images that convey a sense of raw immediacy creates an unexpected coherence between disparate images that evokes the spirit of German Romanticism in its expositions on the duality of nature. It is this poetic transfiguration of the banal that is implicitly revealed in Victor’s letter to his absent daughter, now an adolescent (Constance Rousseau), a passage adapted from Romantic poet Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff that articulates both the reassurance of eternal devotion and regret of missed opportunity.

~ filmref.com

Musique secrète.
Le premier film de Mia Hansen-Løve raconte très simplement une histoire très compliquée. Non pas compliquée au sens où elle serait difficile à comprendre, mais au sens où elle mobilise des relations complexes, entre des moments différents de la vie, des époques, des générations, entre personnes qui n’ont pas le même âge, pas le même pays ni la même langue maternelle, pas le même sexe, pas la même idée de l’existence. lire en plus

~ Jean-Michel Frodon, Cahiers du Cinema

French Film Festival 2015

FILM FESTIVAL – PROGRAM
MATARA

Thursday 9th July
Venue – University of Ruhuna, Tangalle Road, Matara
3:00 pm Aya de Youpogon

KANDY

Friday 10th July
Venue: Alliance Française de Kandy, 640/2 Peradeniya Road, Kandy
5:00 pm Aya de Youpogon
7:45 pm Approved for Adoption (Couleur de peau : miel)

COLOMBO
Saturday 11th July
Venue: National Film Corporation Cinema Hall, 303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07
11:00 am The Rabbi’s Cat (Le Chat du Rabbin)

3:00 pm Approved for Adoption (Couleur de peau : miel)

5:45 pm Aya de Youpogon

 

Sunday 12th July
Venue: National Film Corporation Cinema Hall, 303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07
10:30 am Workshop with Marguerite Abouet on Animated Film Making
Sunday 12th July
Venue: National Film Corporation Cinema Hall, 303, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07
3:00 pm Me, Myself & Mum (Guillaume et les garçons à table)

5:00 pm The Butterfly Symphony (La Symphonie du Papillon)