8 items from 2011
House of Tolerance, The Artist, and the other nominations for the 2012 Prix Lumière Awards have been announced. The 17th Annual Prix Lumière Awards are “The Price of Enlightenment international criticism, sometimes also called Enlightenment Trophies” and were “created by leading producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier and U.S. journalist Edward Behr to honor French-language cinema from France and abroad. 200 journalists (international media correspondents in Paris) from around 50 countries vote each year to award their own prizes to members of the French film industry.” This year’s ceremony “will take place on Friday, January 13, 2012.”
The full listing of the 2012 Prix Lumière Awards nominations is below.
L’exercice de l’Etat (The Minister), Pierre Schoeller
Best Foreign Film in French
Curling, Denis Cote, Canada
Et maintenant, »
"The San Francisco Film Society's annual French cinema roundup stretches its national mandate a bit this year," writes Max Goldberg in the Bay Guardian, noting the inclusion of The Kid with a Bike by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, "one of the best films of the year regardless of country of origin," and Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre. "Also worth checking out is Pierre Schöller's fascinating train wreck of an information age political thriller, The Minister, starring longtime Dardennes player Olivier Gourmet as a compromised bureaucrat. The Long Falling [image above], Martin Provost's second match up with actress Yolanda Moreau after Séraphine (2008), purposefully shuttles from a hardened Belgian village to an unmoored Brussels and features Agnès Godard's characteristically probing camerawork, itself a pride of French cinema."
The acclaimed 2009 French comedy film Park Benches (Bancs publics), an IFC film, will be released on DVD on July 26 by Entertainment One.
The DVD will carry a list price of $24.98.
Directed and co-written by Bruno Podalydès (the “Montmartre” segment of Paris, Je T’Aime) , the movie interweaves three primary narratives set in a wealthy Paris suburb—one involving a lonely man and the office workers across the way, another focusing on the people in a local park, and a third dealing with those in a nearby home-improvement store. The stories are set into motion via the aforementioned lonely guy, ultimately revealing that wealthy suburbanites aren’t always as happy as they appear to be.
High time to round up the films at this year's Cannes Film Festival that never saw entries of their own and send them on their way. Today: Un Certain Regard.
"Bakur Bakuradze's The Hunter seems like a ficticious version of Raymond Depardon's Modern Life, a trilogy on farming that was screened in Cannes in 2008," finds Moritz Pfeifer, who also interviews the director for the East European Film Bulletin. "With no soundtrack, no professional actors, little dialogue and a minimalist plot, the film depicts the daily life of Ivan (Mikhail Barskovich) as he peacefully runs his pig farm in one of the less populous areas of northwestern Russia…. Clearly, Bakuradze wants to depict an alternative world, and the spirit of his film is more utopian than its hyper-realistic images suggest."
Grumbles the Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt: "There is maybe 10 to 15 minutes of actual story located within this 124 minute slog, »
Words like "punishing" and "challenging" have been following around Abdellatif Kechiche's "Black Venus" ever since it premiered at the Venice and New York Film Festivals last year, adjectives that could be considered misleading when the film's greatest flaw is it's too simple. The true story of Saartjie "Sarah" Baartman, an African woman exploited for her shapely figure by freak shows in Europe and coveted by perverts and scientists alike in 1815 for an unusually elongated labia, it offers the chance for Kechiche to apply the largely observational, unemotional style that he employed for the 2008 modern masterpiece "The Secret of the Grain" in a historical context.
Whereas "The Secret of the Grain" was full of rich characters we would come to know throughout its course, "Black Venus" features just two varieties: black and white, not only in the color of their skin, but in their behavior as the film is populated »
- Stephen Saito
Two-time Palme d'Or winners the Dardenne brothers cast their first star, while a Parisian police thriller could be the worst film in competition
The weekend saw the latest film from two of the festival's heaviest hitters: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who have won the Palme d'Or twice (for Rosetta in 1999 and L'Enfant in 2005); their new film Le Gamin au Vélo, or The Kid With a Bike, is in competition. Unusually for the Dardennes, this one features a star in the traditional glossy-glam sense: Cécile de France. Still, there's no mistaking it for anyone else's film: a social-realist drama set in the suburban-rural hinterland of the directors' native Belgium, on the theme of parent and child, and father and son, with repertory casting of the Dardennes' favourite players: Jérémie Renier and a brief, almost totemic appearance from Olivier Gourmet.
The Kid With a Bike restates the Dardennes' style so emphatically it »
- Peter Bradshaw
Chicago – Just as Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” and Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos” recounted the true tale of a controversial revolutionary over the span of at least two theatrically released pictures, Jean-François Richet’s 2008 double feature “Mesrine” stages the jaw-dropping amount of robberies and prison escapes committed by its titular French gangster. His resumé is impressive, but his life makes for rather redundant drama.
Though Jacques Mesrine was a member of the French Army during the Algerian War and even dabbled in the Quebec Liberation Front, he appears to have been a much more shallow figure than some have claimed, if this film is of any indication. One of his kidnapped victims makes the valid point that if Mesrine truly were a revolutionary, he would’ve taken the lives of his enemies rather than their money.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Even Mesrine’s partners become increasingly skeptical, particularly Charlie Bauer, who argues that the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
"35 Shots of Rum". Two couples live across the hall in the same Paris apartment building. Neither couple is "together." Gabrielle and Noe have the vibes of roommates, but the way Lionel and Josephine love one another, it's a small shock when she calls him "papa." Lionel (Alex Descas) is a train engineer. Jo (Mati Diop) works in a music store. Gabrielle (Nicole Dogue) drives her own taxi. Noe (Gregoire Colin) claims only his much-loved cat is preventing him from moving to Brazil.
The four people are in and out of both apartments so readily, we sense they're a virtual family. One night they head out together in Gabrielle's taxi for a concert. The taxi breaks down, it rains, they shelter in a Jamaican cafe, there's good music on the juke box, they dance with one another. During the dancing and kidding around, it becomes clear to them, and to us, »
- Roger Ebert
8 items from 2011