An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director, Agnes Varda. The aesthetic, political and moral ... See full summary »
Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the US where 167 languages are spoken. IN JACKSON HEIGHTS explores the conflict between maintaining ties to old traditions and adapting to American values.
Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him ... See full summary »
Denis revisits Africa, this time exploring a place rife with civil and racial conflict. A white French family outlawed in its home and attempting to save its coffee plantation connects with a black hero also embroiled in the tumult. All try to survive as their world rapidly crumbles around them Written by
Pusan International Film Festival
White Material is a troubling film that reminded me of Francis Ford Coppola's reading of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, i.e. not as psychological allegory but as fable for pertinent updating. The story revolves around the central figure of Marie, a white European African farm owner, who blindly refuses to acknowledge the danger of increasingly volatile local social unrest. Claire Denis spins a grander web from this precarious situation, invoking the precarious relationships that Marie supports and connects: a one-woman lynch-pin of love, industry and care.
I have not seen the recent Home or Gabrielle, to name two well-received recent performances from Huppert, but for me this is a very significant, form performance from the celebrated French actress. It is her sort of role to be sure: realist, serious, preoccupied, veiled. In addition I enjoyed her free physicality and lack of self-consciousness, helped no doubt by Denis' free camera-work, which often involves chasing Huppert around (her character is driving the film so Denis allows her to literally pull the action along).
Space is created for Marie's son to become the terminally dysfunctional, un-rooted wreck that others allude to, although he inspires no pity. Christopher Lambert, the father, is a marginal but clearly a more urbane figure whose absence tells you all you need to know about his relationship to the work-centred Marie. The supporting cast of native Africans are, unusually, all very good (in location films, there are often a number of local 'actors' who don't live up to the description) notably William Nadylam's Chérif with his Ejiofor-like self-possession and stillness. This film also has the distinction of having the most nausea-inducing child-murder sequence I've ever seen - or, more to the point, heard. 7/10
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