4 items from 2014
Though actor/director Mathieu Amalric’s last directorial effort, On Tour (2010), landed him a Best Director win at the Cannes Film Festival, it never received Us distribution. Thankfully, his latest effort, an adaptation of Georges Simenon’s novel The Blue Room, won’t be subjected to the same neglect, as it’s an elegantly staged exercise of what could have easily been a straightforward nourish tale of adultery and murder. Pared down to a regal running time of barely eighty minutes, Amalric’s film is cinema of sensation, a puzzle of subtlety detailed accents and various, deliberate textures. Swift and intoxicating, by the time its final implications have been announced, what’s left is a sense of paralytic comprehension, a goading motivation for a second viewing. It’s depiction of an adulterous affair is icy, complicated, isolating, but »
- Nicholas Bell
Scheduled for a 2015 shoot, the film charts the love story between an Italian Pow in Scotland and a local woman.
The original screenplay by John Wrathall was previously selected for Working Title’s emerging writers scheme and has been developed by Blue Horizon with support from the BFI Film Fund.
Wrathall’s credits include the original screenplay for The Liability, starring Tim Roth and Peter Mullan, and Good starring Viggo Mortensen, which screened at Toronto and was released in the UK by Lionsgate.
Set during the Second World War, The Italian Chapel - based on true events - follows a reluctant private in Mussolini’s army who is captured by the British and sent to a windswept camp on »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the 1980s (with a particular focus on filmmakers from the New Wave), offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. Monsieur Hire will screen as part of the festival at 12pm Saturday, June 21st at the St. Louis Art Museum.
In a provincial French apartment block, Monsieur Hire (Michel Blanc) endures a solitary life of dull work as a tailor and vitriolic scorn from his neighbors. Hire’s only solace is an occasional night out bowling and his voyeuristic admiration of a neighbor, the ravishing Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire of “Vagabond”), a beautiful, free-spirited woman conducting a heated love affair through un-drawn curtains across the way. But when police discover the nude body of another young woman in a nearby vacant lot, Hire becomes the prime suspect »
- Tom Stockman
Not a chamber piece in the most literal sense, but with all the poky airlessness that its title implies, “The Blue Room” represents a disappointing return to Cannes for actor-turned-auteur Mathieu Amalric. Adapting Georges Simenon’s slender mystery novella with fidelity to its bleak narrative but indifference to its disquieting erotic and psychological subtext, Amalric’s fourth feature as a director is less a whodunnit than a whodunwhat, with the star on wounded, taciturn form as a businessman under investigation for an initially unspecified crime. But while this appropriately brief film unravels its enigma at a tidy clip, it gathers neither enough heat, nor quite enough of a chill, to linger in the bones. Amalric’s name and a sexy premise may secure some distributor interest outside France, but the view from this “Room” is nonetheless limited.
Amalric’s last feature as director, the sweet-and-spiky burlesque-ensemble study “On Tour,” was »
- Guy Lodge
4 items from 2014
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