The French Film Festival is back again in Melbourne (and the rest of Oz) and once more I will try and get across the water (read- Yarra River) to the Como or out to the country fields of Northcote to go the Westgarth – le sigh. I rarely make it to more than one screening at this fest. My own fault as theres always tonnes of stuff (or at least more than one) that I want to see. This year is no different and if the past years are anything to go by they always have one of my favourite films of the year squeezed in there (2008’s ‘Le Chansons d’Amour’ and 2009’s ‘A Christmas Tale’ – and I still haven’t been able to track down ‘Actresses’ - quel domage!).
Anyhow here’s my picks of the fest:
1. Wild Grass – Alain Resnais – If you have read my blog much you’ll know of my obsession with 3 modern French actors in particular – Romain Duris, Louis Garrel and Mathieu Amalric. I try and see everything they are in because they choose interesting films and are amazing in them. This one has the Amalric and the Resnais (of ‘Hiroshima mon amour’ fame) directing which just equals guaranteed awesomeness doesn’t it?
2. Making Plans for Lena – Christophe Honore – I have a real soft spot for Christophe Honore, the aforementioned Garrel and his dad, director Philippe Garrel for that matter. The younger Garrel has a small but great role in this film. A lot of Honore films I dislike upon first viewing but scenes and lines will come back to haunt me for months (or even years!) to come. He is worth investing some time in.
Interesting sidebar note is that the French title is ‘Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser’ much nicer than 'Making Plans for Lena' - in my opinion. The international title is a play on the XTC song ‘Making Plans for Nigel’ which plays at a key point in the film.
3. White Material – Claire Denis – its embarrassing to admit I haven’t seen '35 Shots of Rum' or 'Beau Travail'. Especially considering how EVERYONE in the entire world seems to agree these are two of the greatest modern French films ever. So I should really see this – film nerd guilt aside it’ll probably be pretty great.
I would probably see ‘Gainsbourg’ – which I blogged about before and ‘Chanel Coco & Igor Stravinsky’ but they are getting general release and all that, plus they look a bit B-Grade. ‘Ricky’ which is Ozon’s newie is showing at an extended season at ACMI. Oh and ‘Micmacs’? I’ve gone off Jeunet a bit – yeah he’s made 3 good films – but did you see 'A Very Long Engagement'? Also it’s getting general release ‘natch.