5 items from 2017
Ask any 10 people what their favorite movie is, and at least five will probably say “Amélie.” Jean Pierre Jeunet’s whimsical 2001 romantic comedy about a lonely Parisian waitress who plays guardian angel in the lives of strangers quickly became—and remains to this day—a cult favorite for misfits everywhere. Jeunet originally wrote the role for English actor Emily Watson but rewrote it for a French actress due to scheduling conflicts and Watson’s difficulty speaking the language. Audrey Tautou was already an up-and-comer in her native France, but her role as the titular heroine was her springboard to international stardom. Even without subtitles, it's easy to see Tautou's exceptional ability to communicate with her eyes and through body language. Also notable is her use of an actual phone as a prop. Before she went on to charm audiences, Tautou had clearly won over her auditioners, whose laughs can be heard off-screen. »
For the twenty-second year in a row, The Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance have lined up a sparkling slate for their Rendez-Vous with French Cinema screening series, which aims to showcase “the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking.” The series runs from March 1 – 12. This year’s programming, including the selected films, panels, and events, includes a special focus on the myriad of ways that French culture influences the arts in America, and vice-versa.
The series will open with the North American premiere of Étienne Comar’s “Django,” starring Reda Kateb as the legendary jazz musician and Cécile de France, and will close with the U.S. premiere of Jérôme Salle’s “The Odyssey,” with Lambert Wilson as explorer Jacques Cousteau and co-starring Audrey Tautou and Pierre Niney.
This year »
- Kate Erbland
“We can’t get rid of each other,” Phillipa Soo says fondly of her former Hamilton co-stars. After a year playing Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical, the Tony-nominated actress -- like most of the core original cast members -- left the show last summer to focus on the next step of her career, which will see her playing Amélie in the Broadway musical adaptation of the 2001 French romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou. “You have a little bit of sadness, because you’re like, ‘Oh, this means it’s the end of something,’” Soo said last year, just before departing. “But it’s the beginning of something else.”
In the months since leaving Hamilton, she joined Moana, providing the voice for one of the villagers in the Disney animated film for which Miranda composed original music. And most recently, the Schuyler sisters -- Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Chephas Jones -- reunited »
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– The Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance announce the complete lineup for the 22nd edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the celebrated annual series showcasing the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking, March 1 – 12.
The lineup features 23 diverse films, comprised of highlights from international festivals and works by both established favorites and talented newcomers, including François Ozon’s Lubitsch adaptation “Frantz,” set after World War I; Bertrand Bonello’s “Nocturama,” a provocative exploration of a Paris terrorist attack carried out by young activists; Bruno Dumont’s oddball slapstick detective story “Slack Bay,” starring Juliette Binoche; Rebecca Zlotowski’s visually arresting “Planetarium,” with Natalie Portman as a touring psychic who catches the eye of a movie producer in 1930s Paris; and Jean-Stéphane Bron’s “The Paris Opera, »
- Kate Erbland
Paris– After world premiering on opening night at Berlin Film Festival, Etienne Comar’s ‘Django’ will have its North American bow at the start of the 22nd Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the Manhattan-set festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and French film promotion org UniFrance.
Rather than a traditional biopic, the film chronicles the tumultuous life of jazz legend Django Reinhardt and his family during WWII and his escape from Nazi-occupied France. The film stars rising French actor Reda Kateb (“Hippocrate”) in the title role, opposite Cécile de France (“The Young Pope”) who plays Reinhardt’s friend and muse.
“Django” marks the directorial debut of Comar, a well-seasoned French producer and screenwriter whose credits include Maiwenn’s “Mon Roi” and Xavier Beauvois’s “Of Gods and Men,” both of which competed at Cannes. “Mon Roi” won best actress (for Emmanuelle Bercot) and “Of Gods and Men” took home the grand prize. »
- Elsa Keslassy
5 items from 2017
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