mon 11/12/2017

French cinema

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.American Made ★★★★ Doug Liman's bouncy action caper revisits the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Montparnasse 19

The myth of Modigliani, the archetypal tortured artist, was set in train while he was still alive and remains potent almost a century after his death. Every so often a few game academics try to put things straight, and now Tate Modern’s exhibition...

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DVD: The Death of Louis XIV

Albert Serra has earned himself the directorial moniker “the Catalan king of stasis”, and nothing in The Death of Louis XIV is going to dispel such a reputation – if anything, he has honed that characteristic approach further, concentrating this...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier

In terms of cinema history, 1969’s Les Chemins de Katmandou is a footnote. Directed by André Cayatte, whose most interesting films were 1963’s interrelated marital dramas Jean-Marc ou la Vie Conjugale and Françoise ou la Vie Conjugale, it was a...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Wages of Fear

The opening shot sets the tone for what follows: a pair of duelling cockroaches attached to a string, tormented by a bored child. In 1953’s The Wages of Fear, we quickly sense that Henri-Georges Clouzot’s characters are similarly powerless. His...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Love of a Woman

In Jean Grémillon's final fiction film The Love of a Woman, Marie Prieur (Micheline Presle) arrives on the Breton island of Ushant to replace the tiny settlement's aging Dr Morel (Robert Naly). While showing Marie her new digs and surgery, Mme Morel...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Touchez Pas au Grisbi

Jean Gabin’s gangster’s paradise says more about him than the bullets he later lets fly. France’s greatest male star made a barnstorming comeback to pre-eminence as sharp-suited, drolly masterful Max in Jacques Becker’s Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954...

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DVD/Blu-ray: J'Accuse

Abel Gance’s remake of his 1919 classic was a worthy but overwrought attempt to avert World War II, which by 1938 was already a fait accompli. In their comparative sombreness, King Vidor’s The Big Parade (1925) and Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the...

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Coming soon: trailers to the next big films

Summer's here, which can only mean Hollywood blockbusters. But it's not all Spider-Man, talking apes and World War Two with platoons of thespians fighting on the beaches. There's comedy, a saucy menage-à-trois, a film about golf and even a ghost...

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DVD: Cézanne et moi

For viewers not familiar with the background story of Cézanne et moi – which surely includes most of us without specialist knowledge of late 19th century French artistic and literary culture – the moi of this lavish yet curiously uninvolving double...

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Souvenir review – Huppert does deadpan like Buster Keaton

Isabelle Huppert isn’t just here for the nasty things in life. Her rape non-victim in Elle was one of the most iconoclastic performances even she’s given, enigmatic yet emotionally rich, rooted and moving. She won’t get nearly as much attention for...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Claude Barras and Céline Sciamma on My Life as a Courgette

If one were to stop at the title, My Life as a Courgette – from the French Ma vie de Courgette and unsurprisingly renamed for those insular Americans as My Life As a Zucchini – could be too easily dismissed as a juvenile or childlike frivolity. And...

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