wed 26/06/2019

French cinema

DVD/Blu-ray: Sauvage

Anyone who saw Félix Maritaud playing the angry activist Max in Robin Campillo’s Paris ACT UP drama 120 BPM will certainly remember him (main picture). He came to the film as a non-professional, from an arts student background, and builds on that...

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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.Arctic ★★★★ Mads Mikkelsen on peerless form as a deep-frozen plane...

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DVD: The House by the Sea

Robert Guediguian has spoken of the influence of Chekhov on The House by the Sea (Le Villa), and the shadow of the Russian dramatist, particularly The Cherry Orchard, can certainly be felt in the French director’s latest film, his 20th in a career...

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Interview with director Agnès Varda, who has died at 90

I met Agnès Varda, who died today aged 90, just once, for the interview that’s reproduced below. It was in Paris in January 2018, shortly before the Belgian-born filmmaker was to become the oldest Oscar nominee in history, for the wonderful...

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Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno review - cold carnal overdose from Kechiche

Abdellatif Kechiche, the Tunisian-French director, is perhaps best known for the lengthy and explicit sex scenes in La vie d’Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Colour). His latest film opens, slam in your face, with a sequence of passionate love-making:...

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An Impossible Love review - toxic romance across the years

This is a love that begins sweetly, turns terrible, and is told with unflinching directness. Directed by Catherine Corsini, An Impossible Love is based on a novel by Christine Angot (known in France, and increasingly elsewhere, for her powerful...

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DVD: The Workshop

Laurent Cantet’s The Workshop (L’Atelier) is something of a puzzle. There’s a fair deal that recalls his marvellous 2009 Palme d’Or winner The Class, including a young, unprofessional cast playing with considerable accomplishment, but the magic isn’...

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DVD: Reinventing Marvin

You have to turn to the brief interview with director Anne Fontaine that is the sole extra on this DVD release to discover the real source of her film Reinventing Marvin. Though Fontaine and Pierre Trividic’s screenplay is credited as original, it...

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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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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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