Film Programme (Ratings for all films are to be confirmed)
More information on the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema can be found on this post (click here) and at the festival’s website which provides schedule and ticketing information.
- A bout portent (Point Blank) [synopsis]
- Americano [synopsis]
- Dernier étage gauche gauche (Top Floor, Left Wing) [synopsis]
- Elle s’appelait Sarah (Sarah’s Key) [synopsis]
- Forces spéciales (Special Forces) [synopsis]
- Gibier d’élevage (Shiiku) [synopsis]
- L’art d’aimer (The Art of Love) [synopsis]
- L’Exercice de l’état (The Minister) [synopsis]
- La fille du puisatier (The Well-Digger’s Daughter) [synopsis]
- Le moine (The Monk) [synopsis]
- Les bien-aimés (Beloved) [synopsis]
- Les femmes du 6ème étage (Service Entrance) [synopsis]
- Les hommes libres (Free Men) [synopsis]
- Poupoupidou (Nobody Else But You) [synopsis]
- The Artist [synopsis]
- Un heureux événement (A Happy Event) [synopsis]
- Cet obscur objet du désir (That Obscure Object of Desire) [synopsis]
- Grosse fatigue (Dead Tired) [synopsis]
- Lucie Aubrac [synopsis]
- Travaux, on sait quand ça commence (Works) [synopsis]
- Trop belle pour toi (Too Beautiful For You) [synopsis]
Carole Bouquet Retrospective
A bout portent (Point Blank)
In French with English subtitles, Action, France, 2010, Colour, 85mins
Director: Fred Cavayé
Cast: Gilles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem, Gérard Lanvin
Things couldn’t be better for Samuel and Nadia: he will soon be a nurse and she is expecting her first child. But their world is tipped upside down when Nadia is kidnapped in front of Samuel’s very eyes and he’s incapable of doing anything about it. When he comes to, his cell phone rings: he has three hours to get a man, under police surveillance, out of the hospital where he works. Samuel’s destiny is henceforth linked to that of Sartet, a gangster figure actively wanted by every branch of the police. If Samuel ever wants to see his wife alive again, he must act quickly…
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 2010, Colour, 105mins
Director: Mathieu Demy
Cast: Mathieu Demy, Salma Hayek, Géraldine Chaplin, Chiara Mastroianni
Martin lives in Paris with Claire. Their relationship has hit a dead end. When he loses his mother back in California, Martin must return to the city of his childhood to deal with the formalities surrounding his inheritance. In Los Angeles, he’s greeted by Linda, a family friend who offers to help him through the difficult time. She takes him to his mother’s apartment, in a neighbourhood he used to know well when they lived there together. Images from his childhood resurface and disturb him. Martin can’t face up to his mom’s death and takes off to Tijuana on the trail of Lola, a Mexican woman he used to know, and who held a special place in his mother’s life. He finds her at the Americano, a club where she dances every night… But to make his own peace, Martin will have to delve into his past.
Dernier étage gauche gauche (Top Floor, Left Wing)
In French, Arabic, Kabyle with English subtitles, Comedy, France, 2010, Colour, 93mins
Director: Angelo Cianci
Cast: Hippolyte Girardot, Fellag, Aymen Saidi, Judith Henry, Michel Vuillermoz, Thierry Goddard
This is not the way it was supposed to turn out. Like every morning, François Echeveria, a bailiff, should have been able to carry out his daily property seizure, issue Villon in Montigny with a summons, and return home to his disastrous love life. But, on the day of the commemoration of 9/11, fate decides otherwise, putting\ Mohand, an impoverished father, and Salem, his wild son, in his path, who, due to a misunderstanding, kidnap him. François, Mohand and Salem: three men blocked for 24 hours on the seventh floor of a social housing high-rise surrounded by officers of the riot squad who mistake them for terrorists. Three men who fight but who are obliged to get on, understand each other and bring to light a painful family secret. Three men condemned to get on inside an apartment while, outside the building chaos slowly ensues…
Elle s’appelait Sarah (Sarah’s Key)
In French and English with English subtitles, Drama, France, 2010, Colour, 111mins
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup
Julia Jarmond, an American journalist who’s been living in France for 20 years, investigates the terrible rounding up of Parisian Jews and their incarceration in the bicycle stadium, Vel’d’Hiv, during the Nazi occupation of France. Tracing her way back through events, her path crosses that of Sarah, who was ten years old on that fateful day in July 1942. For Julia, what was intended to be a subject of an article then becomes of a personal nature, revealing a family mystery. How do two destinies, 60 years apart, interweave to reveal a secret that will shake the foundations of the lives of Julia and her family? The truth from the past sometimes has a price in the present…
Forces spéciales (Special Forces)
In French with English subtitles, Action, France, 2011, Colour, 107mins
Director: Stéphane Rybojad
Cast: Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou, Benoît Magimel
Afghanistan. Elsa Casanova, an outstanding journalist, is taken hostage by the Taliban. Faced with her imminent execution, a Special Forces unit is sent to free her. In hostile yet magnificent landscapes, an unforgiving pursuit occurs between the captors who have no intentions of letting their prey escape and this group of soldiers who, even with their lives at stake, has only one objective: take her back alive. The strong-willed woman and these men of honour are compelled to face the worst of dangers together.
Gibier d’élevage (Shiiku)
In Cambodian and English with English subtitles, France, 2011, Colour, HD, 93mins
Director: Rithy Panh
Cast: Curil Guei, Jhem Chuop, Soeum Chhouem, Pruoch Chhouem
Cambodia. The year is 1972. At the height of the Pacific War, a US aircraft crashes into Cambodian mountains. The survivor is immediately taken prisoner by the local villagers. But the guy is Black… For the naïve, mesmerized young child telling this story, the man’s nationality, race and language don’t make him an enemy or a stranger, but merely an animal that needs to be taken care of. Rithy Panh brings this story into his native land -the little Cambodian child from the rice fields, who’s responsible for guarding the prisoner, is already sucked in by the Khmer Rouge ideology. Across the border, in Vietnam, war is raging and US fighters fly over his country to bomb Vietnam. Will the child be able not to kill the black man – the enemy? Based on the Japanese classic Shiiku (The Catch) by Nobel laureate Oe Kenzaburo. Gibier d’élevage was presented at L’Atelier du Festival, Cannes Film Festival 2011.
L’art d’aimer (The Art of Love)
In French with English subtitles, Comedy, France, 2011, Colour, 85mins
Director: Emmanuel Moret
Cast: Pascale Arbillot, Ariane Ascaride, Frédérique Bel, François Cluzet, Julie Depardieu
The very precise moment we fall in love, a particular kind of music is produced within us. This music is different for each of us and can arise at the most unexpected moments.
L’Exercice de l’état (The Minister)
In French with English subtitles, Thriller, France, 2011, Colour, 112mins
Director: Pierre Schoeller
Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Michel Blanc, Zabou Breitman, Laurent Stocker
Transport Minister Bertrand Saint-Jean is awoken in the middle of the night by his head of staff. A bus has gone off the road into a gully. He has no choice but to go to the scene of the accident. Thus begins the odyssey of a politician in a world that is increasingly more complex and hostile. Speed, power struggles, chaos, economic crisis… Everything follows in quick succession and clashes. Emergencies follow on each other’s heels. What sacrifices are men prepared to make? Just how long will they hold up in a state that devours those that work for it?
La fille du puisatier (The Well-Digger’s Daughter)
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 2011, Colour, 107mins
Director: Daniel Auteuil
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad, Sabine Azéma, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey
By cutting through the fields to take her father lunch, Patricia encounters Jacques. She is eighteen years old, he is twenty-six. She is pretty, with the fine manners of a young lady; he is a fighter pilot and handsome. A little bit of moonlight will do the rest during their second meeting. There will not be a third: Jacques is sent to the front. The second encounter leads to Patricia’s pregnancy. Jacques’ rich parents claim it’s blackmail and Patricia and her well-digger father are the only ones to have the joy of welcoming the child into this world. A joy that the Mazels soon envy and try to share, for Jacques is declared missing.
Le moine (The Monk)
In French and Spanish with English subtitles, Historical Drama, France, 2010, Colour, 101mins
Director: Dominik Moll
Cast: Vincent Cassel, Deborah François, Joséphine Japy
An adaptation of the notorious Gothic novel by Matthew G. Lewis, published in 1796, The Monk tells the tragic tale of Friar Ambrosio, set in 17th century Catholic Spain. Abandoned at birth and left in front of the doors of a Capuchin monastery, Ambrosio is raised by the friars. He becomes a preacher much admired for his fervor and feared for his uncompromising character. He believes he is sheltered from all temptation. The arrival of a mysterious novice undermines his convictions and leads him down the path of sin.
Les bien-aimés (Beloved)
In French with English subtitles, Musical, France, 2011, Colour, 135mins
Director: Christophe Honoré
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier
From Paris in the sixties to 21st-century London, Madeleine and her daughter Vera waltz in and out of the lives of the men they love. But not every era allows us to love blithely and lightheartedly.
How are we to resist the sands of time that attack our deepest feelings?
Les femmes du 6ème étage (Service Entrance)
In French with English subtitles, Comedy, France, 2010, Colour, 106mins
Director: Philippe le Guay
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain, Natalia Verbeke, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas
Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis Joubert lives a peaceful yet boring bourgeois existence with his wife, a perfect socialite, his children in a boarding school and his finance office. The family has their world turned upside down when exuberant Spanish maids move into their building’s sixth floor, the servant’s quarters. Teresa, Carmen, Dolorès, Concepciòn and her niece Maria who just arrived from Burgos. Jean-Louis will unexpectedly bond with them, especially with Maria. She is young, pretty and full of joy.
In a word, Jean-Louis’ life is about to change… a lot.
Les hommes libres (Free Men)
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 2011, Colour, 99mins
Director: Ismaël Ferroukhi
Cast: Tahar Rahim, Michael Lonsdale, Mahmoud Shalaby, Lubna Azabal
1942, in German-occupied Paris. Younes, a young unemployed Algerian, earns his living as a black marketeer. Arrested by the French police, Younes agrees to spy on the Paris mosque. The police suspects the mosque authorities, among whom Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit, its Rector, of helping Resistance fighters and Jews by giving them false certificates. At the mosque, Younes meets the Algerian singer Salim Halali. Younes is moved by Salim’s beautiful voice and forceful personality and they become friends. Soon after, he discovers that Salim is Jewish. In spite of the risks it entails, Younes stops collaborating with the police. Confronted by the horrors unfolding around him, Younes gradually evolves from being a politically ignorant immigrant worker into a fully-fledged freedom fighter.
Les hommes libres has been awarded the Prix du jury des Jeunes at the 2011 French Film Festival in Bienne, Switzerland.
Poupoupidou (Nobody Else But You)
In French with English subtitles, Thriller, France, 2011, Colour, 102mins
Director: Gérald Hustache-Mathieu
Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Sophie Quinton, Guillaume Gouix, Olivier Rabourdin
Rousseau is a bestselling crime novelist from Paris, troubled by a persistent writer’s block. Candice Lecoeur is a local beauty, gracing the famous “Belle de Jura” cheese packaging, who following a hypnosis session, has gotten it into her head that she might well be the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. The two will meet in the coldest village in France, but only after Candice has been found dead. The case was closed before it even opened and the cause of death has been announced as suicide by sleeping pills. Rousseau is the only one who doesn’t buy it. Reality turns out to be stranger than fiction – and a source of inspiration – as Rousseau uncovers the truth about Candice’s past and her untimely death.
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 2011, Black and White, Silent Film, 100mins
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1931 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema grows out of fashion and is replaced by the talkies. The film is itself a silent film and in black-and-white.
Un heureux événement (A Happy Event)
In French with English subtitles, Comedy, France, 2011, Colour, 110mins
Director: Rémi Bezançon
Cast: Louise Bourgoin, Pio Marmai
“She pushed me into a corner, beyond all my limits, confronted me with the absolutes of love, sacrifice, tenderness, and neglect. She contorted and transformed me. Why didn’t anyone say anything to me? Why don’t we talk about it?”
A happy event or the intimate vision of a pregnancy, sincere and without taboos. Un heureux événement is an adaptation from Eliette Abecassis’ novel of the same name.
Carole Bouquet Retrospective
Cet obscur objet du désir (That Obscure Object of Desire)
In French and Spanish with English subtitles, Comedy, France, 1977, Colour, 105mins>
Director: Luis Buñuel
Cast: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet and Ángela Molina
Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see in flashback) how he became obsessed by her (so much so that he failed to notice that she was played by two different actresses, representing different sides of her personality), and how she tantalised him, but would never allow him to satisfy his desire for her.
Grosse fatigue (Dead Tired)
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 1994, Colour, 87mins
Director: Michel Blanc
Cast: Carole Bouquet, Michel Blanc, Philippe Noiret, Marie-Anne Chazel
When becoming a celebrity turns into a nightmare for a star who suddenly, without understanding, receives slaps and punches instead of requests for autographs.
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 1996, Colour, 114mins
Director: Claude Berri
Cast: Carole Bouquet, Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Roger Milo, Patrice Chéreau
Lyons, March, 1943. Raymond Samuel (Aubrac is his alias in the underground) and Lucie, his wife, are active in the resistance movement against the Nazi occupying forces. On June 21, Raymond is arrested in Caluire, at the house of a doctor named Dugoujon, along with Jean Moulin. Lucie’s passionate love for her husband drives her to risk it all and try everything to snatch her husband from the clutches of the Gestapo. Her efforts contain a mixture of violence and romance and seem to spring from the fertile imagination of a novelist. However, the film is based on the true story of Lucie Aubrac, ‘Ils partiront dans l’ivresse”, published by Les Editions du Seuil.
Travaux, on sait quand ça commence (Works)
In French with English subtitles, Comedy, France, 2005, Colour, 95mins
Director: Brigitte Roüan
Cast: Carole Bouquet, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, Aldo Maccione
Chantal Letellier is “an admirable woman”. She is a lawyer and she always wins. In her profession, she is a success, but in her personal life, she is a failure. Amicably divorced, she is flanked by two “badly brought up” adolescents. Her love life is a desert: no time. As it is necessary for the body to rejoice, she submits to the advances of a client.
Except that the man falls completely in love and attaches himself to her. To get rid of him, she takes on renovation works to make her home a complete disaster. To crown her achievement, she engages a Colombian architect without legal papers, whose situation she helped to straighten out. Indebted to her, he decides to renovate her house completely, with the help from a team of “multi-tasking illegal workers.”
She didn’t ask for that much!
Trop belle pour toi (Too Beautiful For You)
In French with English subtitles, Drama, France, 1989, Colour, 91mins
Director: Bertrand Blier
Cast: Carole Bouquet, Gérard Depardieu, Josiane Balasko, François Cluzet
Bernard (Gérard Depardieu), a well established BMW car dealer in the South of France, is cheating on his beautiful wife (Carole Bouquet) with his ordinary looking temporary secretary (Josiane Balasko).
All images courtesy of uniFrance.