7 items from 2015
While I cannot say the festival has started for me with the searing acuteness found day one in Cannes last year with Timbuktu, with Hirokazu Kore-eda's Our Little Sister the tone of my first full day on the Croisette instead began with the Japanese director's particular sensibility of refined, humane warmth and a complete absence of desire to impress.A wonderful concept centers this picture and called back to me small memories of a Mikio Naruse film I loved long ago, Older Brother, Younger Sister (speaking now of Japanese masters, Our Little Sister also contains a poignant reference to Ozu's The End of Summer). Three single women, not young but also not middle-aged, sisters from their father's first of three marriages, adopt their teenage half-sister after his death strands her between his first and last broken family. So we get a kind of enclave or community of sisterhood, discreet, »
- Daniel Kasman
Even if you've spent the last week in line for SXSW movies all across town, I'm here to report that there's no rest for the wicked. There are a lot of incredible screenings ahead that you won't want to miss, so buck up! First up, the Violet Crown Cinema has White Haired Witch on deck for Asian Movie Madness on Tuesday night. The movie is sponsored by Well Go USA and Iron Dragon TV and you can grab tickets here.
Jean Cocteau's 1946 adaptation of Beauty And The Beast screens on Tuesday up at the Austin Film Society Screening Room (1901 E. 51st Street) for Avant Cinema. Richard Linklater returns with the first selection in the "Jewels In The Wasteland II" series, which will find him presenting Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise in 35mm on Wednesday at the Marchesa. You can buy a series pass here to get you into »
- Matt Shiverdecker
If René Clément's short collaboration with Jacques Tati in 1936 has its later development in the surprising (and political) slapstick of Che gioia vivere (1962), his technical assistance to Jean Cocteau on Beauty and the Beast pays off more rapidly with Le château de verre (The Glass Castle, 1950), starring Cocteau's beautiful beast, Jean Marais, and ice queen monstré sacré Michelle Morgan. This one came highly recommended by Shadowplayer David Wingrove, who saw in its opening sequence a foreshadowing of Last Year at Marienbad's glacial surrealism—frozen figures, somnambulent dancers, palatial surroundings. In fact, the Clément film comes with le jazz hot, and the frozen figures aren't frozen, but there is certainly an air of decadent mystery, with Jean Servais as the chess-playing husband a passable progenitor of the Resnais movie's sepulchral M.But there's more! We begin with a disembodied voice (another Marienbad trope) and open in a fabulous grotto, »
- David Cairns
Qui aime les films français ?
If you do and you live in St. Louis, you’re in luck! The Seventh Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series begins March 13th. The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1930s through the early 1990s, offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations.
This year features recent restorations of eight works, including an extended director’s cut of Patrice Chéreau’s historical epic Queen Margot a New York-set film noir (Two Men In Manhattan) by crime-film maestro Jean-Pierre Melville, who also co-stars; a short feature (“A Day in the Country”) by Jean Renoir, on a double bill with the 2006 restoration of his masterpiece, The Rules Of The Game, and the »
- Tom Stockman
Simone Simon: Remembering the 'Cat People' and 'La Bête Humaine' star (photo: Simone Simon 'Cat People' publicity) Pert, pretty, pouty, and fiery-tempered Simone Simon – who died at age 94 ten years ago, on Feb. 22, 2005 – is best known for her starring role in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic Cat People (1942). Those aware of the existence of film industries outside Hollywood will also remember Simon for her button-nosed femme fatale in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). In fact, long before Brigitte Bardot, Annette Stroyberg, Mamie Van Doren, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret, and Barbarella's Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm – with a tad of puppy dog wistfulness – in a film career that spanned two continents and a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both »
- Andre Soares
It was a battle of Yves Saint Laurent biopics at the Césars (the French Oscars, if you will) this year as both the French foreign language Oscar submission "Saint Laurent" (leader of the pack with 10 nods) and "Yves Saint Laurent" picked up a ton of mentions. Oscar players that popped up include "Two Days, One Night" star Marion Cotillard and animated feature "Song of the Sea." Foreign film Oscar nominee "Timbuktu" also had a major showing. And of course, in the Césars' foreign category, films like "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "12 Years a Slave" are duking it out. Check out the full list of nominees below, and remember to keep track of it all at The Circuit. Best Film "Les Combattants" "Eastern Boys" "La Famille Bélier" "Saint Laurent" "Hippocrate" "Sils Maria" "Timbuktu" Best Director Céline Sciamma, "Bande De Filles" Thomas Cailley, "Les Combattants" Robin Campillo, "Eastern Boys" Thomas Lilti, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Update, 2:25 Am Pt: Last year’s dueling Yves Saint Laurent biopics each picked up several nominations this morning for France’s César Awards. Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, the country’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar, leads the pack with 10 mentions, followed by Thomas Cailley’s Directors’ Fortnight title Les Combattants with nine, and Oscar nominee Timbuktu with eight. Yves Saint Laurent, from helmer Jalil Lespert, took seven nods. Otherwise, there are a number of usual suspects in the batch including Best Actress Oscar nominee Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night, as well as Juliette Binoche for Olivier Assayas’ Sils Maria. In something of a departure — and a first — for the French Académie, they nominated American actress Kristen Stewart for her supporting turn in that Cannes competition entry. (Adrien Brody won the Best Actor prize in 2003 for The Pianist.) There are also six nominations for late 2014 release La Famille Bélier. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
7 items from 2015
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