Thursday, March 31, 2016

French Film Festival Highlights

This year, I went to 7 of what seems to be over 40 films on show during the Sydney Alliance Francaise French Film Festival. The brochure this year notes
'The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival was first launched in 1989 by the Alliance Francaise in Sydney and has since become a major annual event for all 6 capital Alliances Francaises in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide.Each year, the festival provides a unique opportunity for cinema aficionados to embark upon a thrilling voyage which showcases the best contemporary French Films. With each festival season, Australian audiences have displayed a continually deepening interest in our screening programme, which also contributes to the strengthening of cultural ties between our two countries."
It's true, every year I get to some of the screenings, and the cinema's are filling up. I'm also frequently surprised at the number of french speaking patrons that surround me in the cinema. It's truly a thoroughly enjoyable event in my year, when I trawl through the program with certain criteria, and different friends in mind, to finally come up with my selection of possible outings in the month.

This year I decided on a possible of 14 films I would like to see, and a schedule that meant I could possible see 11 - and in reality I saw 7.
  1. Rosalie Blum - directed by Julien Rappeneau - Actress Noemie Lvovsky - Drama Comedy - Based on the award winning series of graphic novels by Camille Jourdy - This enchanting directorial is a warm, witty and impeccably performed drama comedy about a random encounter that has u unexpected and far reaching consequences.
  2. Taj Mahal - directed by Nicolas Saada - actress Stacy Martin - Drama - Nicolas Saada's excellent film takes a sober look at the plight of a family caught up in an invasion by fundamentalist extremists'.
  3. The Measure of a Man/ La Loi du Marche - directed by Stephane Brize - Actor Vincent Lindon - Drama - This film is a testament to human resilience and decency.. a moving social drama that scoped Best Actor Award at the Cannes International Film Festival 2015.
  4. Dheepan - directed by Jacques Audiard - Actor Antonyhasan Jesuthasan - Drama - This immigrant drama unfolds in solidly involving, carefully observed fashion. Winner of Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival ... blistering slice of realism... with a unique presentation of the asylum seeker experience that will move audiences profoundly.
  5. Macadam Stories /Asphalte - directed by Samuel Benchertrit - Actress Isabelle Huppert - Drama - Comedy - A quirky and endearing urban dramedy
  6. Blind Date/ Un Peu, Beaucoup, Aveuglement - directed by Clovis Cornillac- Actress Melanie Bernier - Comedy Romance - Unexpected and refreshing....Opposites attract not just each other, but also hilarious and surprising complications in this delightful and laugh filled movie.
  7. Boomerang - directed by Francois Facrat - Actor Laurent Lafitte and Actress Melanie Laurent - Drama - A well-run thriller with a deliciously suspenseful Hitchcockian Atmosphere....
I don't think I chose any dudds this year - and I can hardly pick a favourite because they were all so different, and left me with such different experiences. Blind Date was definitely the funniest I saw, Dheepan was very moving for me personally, Boomerang did have me engaged in the mystery right up to the end, and Taj Mahal was almost too terrifying and surreal.....  

Let me know if you have any favourite french films this year..... 


Jeanie said...

We don't get a lot of French film around here, unfortunately. I really appreciate your good descriptions and knowing that they all pleased. This sounds like such fun -- I'm going to have to seek those out on video. Thanks, Tamara!

Esme said...

Thank you for your kind words. Lucy is a darling. These movies all sound lovely.