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In the Courtyard (Dans la cour)

Festival du film français

From 07/11/2014 at 17:00 to 16/11/2014 at 22:00

The 22nd French Film Festival UK is a true celebration of Francophone cinema. This year, it will feature an eclectic selection of contemporary titles. Highlights include Abderrahmane Sissako’s film Timbuktu, a powerful and deeply moving condemnation of intolerance and Julie Bertuccelli’s School of Babel, portraying sensitively immigrant children in France. Cinema-goers will certainly enjoy Guédiguian’s latest film, Ariane’s Thread, a captivating tale around his two muses: Ariane Ascaride and Marseille. Paris Follies features a graceful, yet mischievous Isabelle Huppert while Catherine Deneuve makes us laugh and cry in equal measure in Pierre Salvadori’s In the Courtyard. Other actors at the top of their game include André Dussollier and Niels Arestrup who come to blows in Volker Schlöndorff’s magnificent film, Diplomacy.

Event's details

  • Where: Institut français, 17 Queensberry Place
  • Age group: Everyone
  • Price: £12, conc. £10


19/11/2014 - nushshoaib a dit :

is this types of shows conduct in pakistan

19/11/2014 - writers_reign a dit :

Having now watched what to me were the pick of the limited feature films available to London audiences (incidentally we don't need to look too far to see why Scotland gets virtually all 33 entries; the Head Office of FFFUK is in Sunbury Place, Edinburgh) I thought I might comment on them in the order in which I saw them.

First up was Robert Guidiguian's Ariane's Thread, an interesting translation because this film reunites Ariane Ariscade with Lola Naymark with whom she appeared in Elonore Faucher's Brodeuses which was translated as a Common Thread. Because Brodeuses was such a magnificent film it is tempting to state that Ascaride can be outstanding in films directed by someone other than her husband but this would be as insulting as stating that Sabine Azema, who was brilliant in Danielle Thompson's La Buche, is also capable of doing great work even when not directed by Alain Resnais. Ariane's Thread is nothing less than a valentine to Ascaride and it's fitting that her regular co-stars Gerard Meylan and Jean-Pierre Darroussin are on hand to complement a great actress. As a bonus - for some at least - this feelgood entry is totally free from the political element that inevitably informs a Guideguian feature. Highly recommended.

I watched next Anne Villaceque's Weedends (the French title leaves it at that but for UK viewers 'in Normandy' has been grafted on), a particular treat for buffs like me because it features a trio far too little known outside France in the shape of Karin Viard, Jacques Gamblin and triple-threat (writer-director-actress Noemie Lvovsky) who, together with German actor Ulrich Tukur, comprise the two married couples around whom the film is centred. Friends for 30 years they bought adjoining country homes in which they regularly weekend together and we meet up with them at the moment when a mid-life crisis has Gamblin in its grip and observe its effect on the group as a whole. Nothing terribly dramatic and/or life-changing occurs and Villaceque has the confidence to keep out of the way and let the consummate actors do their thing. For good measure she throws in two or three wonderful visuals that would not be out of place in a small Gallery. Again warmly recommended.

In my review for imdb I gave Mark Fitoussi's Paris Follies the sub-head Emma's Dilemma in order to signal that this owes more than a little to Madame Bovary, a role, of course, that Isabelle Huppert had already played for Claude Chabrol a couple of decades ago. Ironically Huppert and co-star Jean-Pierre Darroussin are two of the best in the business yet they are totally unconvincing as the much-married couple who farm together. To be fair to Fitoussi he has nothing much beyond a divertissement with brilliant actors at the top of their game in mind and in this he succeeds admirably. A third selling point for me - if one were needed - was the name of Marina Fois on the credits. Alas, her cameo consumes little more than ten minutes screen time and she is much too fine an actress to need to resort to costume and granny glasses to delineate an uptight spinster.

Volker Schlondorff's Diplomacy is essentially a two-hander with a large cast. Based on a play it is easy to imagine the verbal chess game confined to a single set and two actors and when any tension is diluted from the outset - because we know, don't we, that von Cholwitz DIDN'T actually raze Paris to the ground in August, 1944, as the Fuhrer demanded of him - then it helps if the two actors in question know their business and when those actors are Niels Arestrup and Andre Dussollier such speculation is academic. An excellent film with perhaps limited appeal in the case of younger audiences.

Lucas Belvaux appears to to have a deep-seated aversion to the 'original' screenplay plus a healthy disregard for the tacit rules that apply to the 'borrowing' of the plots of others or else why would he enter a field already ploughed to perfection by, amongst others, Marion Vernoux (Rien a faire) and Claude Goretta (La Dentelliere). In short Pas son genre is Belvaux's take on the romance that dares to cross a social/intellectual divide. Housewife Valeria Bruni Tedeschi met her redundant Executive at a job centre whilst more germane, hairdressing assistant Isabelle Huppert met her university student whilst on holiday. Emilie Dequenne is a full-blown hairdresser who meets philosopher and lecturer Loic Corbery when he pops into her salon for a haircut. In nothing flat he's loaned her Dostoevsky's The Idiot in a possible Freudian message and here again Belvaux is echoing the real Scott Fitzgerald who provided his lover Sheila Graham with a full Reading List, and equally real Artie Shaw who did something much the same for wife Ava Gardner. With originality so thin on the ground all we can do is trust in the actors and this is where Belvaux pulls it off with Dequenne - who is far from chopped liver - turning in what is arguably a career-best performance as the hairdresser almost-but-not-quite matched by Loic Corbery's philosopher. Belvaux also scores brownie points by setting the scene in an Arras behind which we almost expect to find Polonius lurking.

Pierre Salvadori has something of an eye for the slightly offbeat and disparate pairing witness Apres Vous and in Dans le cour he is at it again via Catherine Deneuve and Gustave Kervern and an unlikely couple who bond over cleaning fluids and courgettes. Rock musician/singer Kervern has done one gig too many and walks away with no trade to turn his hand to and improbably winds up as a janitor in a building managed by Deneuve and her husband, Deneuve is not short of the odd insecurity herself and like is drawn to like and an off-the-wall friendship forged. Salvadori's strength is observational and there is a decent selection of fruitcakes on hand all worthy of his lens. If you enjoy quirky then this is right down your rue. Now, roll on the next Rendez-vous With French Cinema.

06/11/2014 - patriciaconnell a dit :

I totally agree with you. I wished there were more films screened in London. I will pass on your message to the organisers and to the Institute.

06/11/2014 - writers_reign a dit :

Here we are again. Another month of pleasure laced heavily with frustration. The point I'm about to make seems so obvious that it's difficult to believe it hasn't been raised and/or addressed previously but given that I weote directly to FFFUK several years ago and have yet to receive an acknowledgment it is perhaps not that difficult to understand.
Here is the main thrust: FFFUK begins tomorrow (Friday, October 7) and runs for 31 days during which time 33 Feature films will be screened in 11 cities. Of those 33 a mere 14 feature films will be screened in London, the capital. As it is clearly too easy to screen 33 films in 31 days in all 11 cities it is equally clear that there is some kind of logic at work; the organisers have clearly determined for example that Nicole Garcia, one of the finest French actresses of her generation who, in addition, has written and directed six feature films, is 1) completely unkown or 2) highly unpopular in London but a National treasure in Scotland, which is the only reason why her seventh film as writer-director, Going Away, is screening in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness AND NOWHERE ELSE in the UK. Similarly it appears that London filmgoers are completely indifferent to actors of the calibre of Jean Reno and Isabelle (Best Actress Cesar winner) which explains why Day Of The Crows is showing only in Cambridge and York. Those same two cities also luck in to yet another Cesar Best Actress, Manu Devos, who appears with Natacha Regnier in DomesticLife. Although Andre Techine is not a favourite of mine I would have thought he was sufficiently well known for eyebrows to be raised when his recent entry French Riviera is another playing exclusively in Scotland especially when boasting Guillaume Canet and Catherine Deneuve amonst the cast list. Nicole Garcia is shafted yet again when Gare du Nord - in which she wears only her actress hat - is confined to a single screening in Cambridge. Scotland strike yet again claiming three of the four venues - the other is Newcastle - for Jean Becker's Get Well Soon; boasting leading men out of the top drawer in Gerard Lanvin and Jean-Pierre Darroussin this is nothing less than a travesty. One of the keenest losses is Matthieu Amlaric's new title The Blue Room in which once again her directs as well as acts and though it will play in six cities London is not one of them. Nils Tavernier may yet have to prove he is his father's son as a director - this can be done; witness Jacques Tourneur, Jean Becker, etc - but this is hardly reason enough to bar him from London and certainly not when his leading man is Jacques Gamblin. Gamblin appears again alongside Sylvie Testud and the wonderful Zabou Breitman in 24 Days which is, alas, for Scotland only.
Were the subject matter anything other than film the above list would be an indictment but I have every confidence that here it will be brushed aside and swept under the carpet.
I write as one who considers French Cinema the finest in the world and who owns 700 dvds of French films ranging from the Silent era to the present d day, yet someone who has t resort to either a trip to Paris or dvd to view new films by the triple-threats Valerie Lemercier (100% Cachemir) and Valerie Bruni Tedeschi (Un Chateua en Italie) because they have still to appear in Frecch film-starved London. To end on a positive note; the organisers got it right with Goodbye To Language, the latest offering by anti-film maker Jean-Luc Godard. This will play Newcastle and Scotland. Not quite far enough, it's natural habitat would be the Outer Hebrides or even further North where there may just be room enough for the entire Academic-Pseud axis plus their egos. I hope to enjoy the crumbs from the rich Scotsman's table from tomorrow onwards.


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