sat 22/09/2018

French cinema

Faces Places review - Agnès Varda's enchanted journey

On the eve of her tenth decade, the marvellous Agnès Varda embarked on the enchanted journey that we see in Faces Places. For admirers of the great French director – of whom there are a great many: indeed, it is hard not to be won over by her...

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Agnès Varda: 'You think I'm finished?!' - interview

At a time when the issue over the scarcity of opportunities for female filmmakers is finally winning traction, it’s important not to forget those women who have succeeded, despite the obstacles. One of these, and one of the very first to...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention. Apostasy ★★★★ Unquestioning faith fractures in a quietly...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Redoubtable

For viewers challenged by the work of French auteur classic Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Hazanavicius’ Redoubtable catches the moment when Godard himself began to be challenged by Godard. The irony, a considerable one, is that Godard was rejecting...

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The Guardians review - beautifully crafted drama

A slow tracking shot over the gassed corpses of soldiers, their masks having failed the ecstasy of fumbling, opens The Guardians. This French art house film would perhaps have been better served by the English title The Caretakers; it's...

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Blu-ray: La Belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête had been planned as a slice of wartime escapism, a distraction from the privations of war. The film was also a chance for Cocteau to give his male lead Jean Marais a less overtly sexy role than his fans were used...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Let the Sunshine In

Un beau soleil intérieur, the film’s French title, is part of a piece of advice given by a clairvoyant (Gérard Depardieu, in a surprise 15-minute cameo at the end of the movie). Try to find the beautiful sun within, he tells Isabelle (a glowing...

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Ismael's Ghosts review - call me novelistic

The literary allusions and aspirations come thick and fast in this roomy, novelistic, most French of films from Arnaud Desplechin. Naming its characters after Joyce and Melville, interpolating passages from Philip Roth and Bernard Hermann’s score...

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Michel Hazanavicius: 'Losing himself is how he found himself'

French director Michel Hazanavicius made a name for himself with his OSS 117 spy spoofs, Nest of Spies (2006) and Lost in Rio (2009), set in the Fifties and Sixties respectively and starring Jean Dujardin as a somewhat idiotic...

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Revenge - a blood-soaked joy

Deep in an unnamed desert, a violent and psychedelic retribution is sought. The aptly named Revenge is a brutally rewarding experience, bringing classic horror and exploitation tropes kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It is the debut...

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Juliette Binoche: ‘Repetition feels like near death’

It’s about time Juliette Binoche and Claire Denis teamed up: the legendary French actress, Gallic film royalty known by her countrymen and women as La Binoche, with one of the country’s most unique directors, both talented and formidable women who...

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Custody review - unflinching and masterful

Divorce proceedings turn sour in this devastating debut from writer/director Xavier Legrand. Using the full palette of human behaviour, Custody expertly balances high tension and grounded realism to create a timely and lingering film.We start at a...

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