The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
The 11th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW FRENCH CINEMA
"The 11th Annual Festival of New French Cinema unveils new work featuring some of the most effortlessly charismatic performers in contemporary film" -Chicago Tribune
"This year's lineup...is especially strong" -Chicago Sun-Times
"If our survey of six of this year’s 11 titles is any indication, perhaps we should pay more attention to France’s actors. Hold your cheap Gérard Depardieu jokes, please; every film we looked at is driven by terrific performances rather than directorial flash." -TimeOut Chicago
Très très Magnifique! It's that time of year again, the time to check out the 11th Annual Festival of New French Cinema, the one and only festival in the country to bring you a whole new generation of film directors, writers and actors from France. This year's line-up is one of the most exciting yet, offering you everything from an arty romantic comedy (You and Me) to a gently appealing film noir (Ill Wind), from a disturbing psychological thriller (Anna M) to a controverial sex comedy (The Price To Pay) and everything in between. Relationships, family, illness, death and politics are just some of the themes that the talented cast of this year's directors examine with artistry and insight. Favorite actors to grace the screen this year include Emmanuelle Devos, Yvan Attal, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Lindon, Jonathan Zaccaï, Bernard Le Coq, Roschy Zem and Miou Miou, joined by newcomers whose performances will leave you wanting more. Special programming features include writer-director Stéphane Allagnon in attendance (Ill Wind), a panel discussion and luncheon on the topic of sexual politics in contemporary French cinema, and other guests in attendance (to be confirmed).
The Festival of New French Cinema is co-presented by Facets Multimedia and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago. It is co-curated by Charles Coleman, Film Program Director of the Facets Cinémathèque, and Diane Eberhardt, Artistic Attaché at the French Consulate in Chicago.
A panel of film professionals discuss issues such as sexuality, relationships and the portrayal of women in and French and American cinema. Panelists include New City film critic Ray Pride, Paris-based film scholar, author and Cahiers du Cinéma collaborator Sally Shafto; University of Oklahoma film studies professor and book author Brian Price; and guest filmmaker from France TBA. Diane Eberhardt, co-curator of the festival, will moderate.
Saturday, December 8 at 11:30 am, followed by a luncheon buffet.
$10 general public
$7 Alliance Française, Facets and French Consulate members
Sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago and the Alliance Française of Chicago.
Chicago PremiereOPENING NIGHT FILM!
THE PRICE TO PAY
(LE PRIX A PAYER)
"Affords some genuine comic mileage, with a steady undercurrent of melancholy and frustration…" -Variety
"Starts out looking like a très conventional French sex farce but deepens into something far trickier...It's a bold undercutting of the genre" -TimeOut Chicago
A controversial comedy about sex, power and money. What are a modern spouse's responsibilities inside the comfortable boundaries of a wealthy, one-income family? Odile (Nathalie Baye in top form) is an up-scale housewife, whose luxurious apartment is kept immaculate, and who has little else to do in life but shop, visit beauty salons and fend off the amorous advances of her husband Jean-Pierre (Christian Clavier). Frustrated by the separate bedrooms and the absence of intimacy, Jean-Pierre, on the questionable advice of his driver Richard (a taciturn and cynical Gérard Lanvin (The Taste of Others), himself incensed by his unemployed girlfriend's sudden decision to become a novelist, decides that his home situation is no longer acceptable and that Odile's life of leisure must be re-negotiated. "No sex, no money!" he announces delicately, as he proceeds to strip her of cash and credit cards until the marriage is once again consummated!
Directed by Alexandra Leclère, France, 2007, 95 mins. In French with English subtitles.
"A very funny romantic comedy with a flawless cast" -Paris Match
Clara (Cécile de France, Avenue Montaigne), a young Jewish woman and her Muslim boyfriend Ismaël Roschdy Zem, Days of Glory) have been living happily together for three years. Their relationship takes a serious turn when Clara discovers she is pregnant. They could not be happier, but now they have to introduce themselves to each other's families. This is when the trouble starts… Director/co-writer Roschdy Zem makes an impressive directorial debut in a comic drama that raises challenging questions about family and faith.
Directed by Roschdy Zem, France/Belgium, 2006, 35mm, 88 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Fri., Dec. 7 at 9 pm
Sun., Dec. 9 at 1 pm
BLED NUMBER ONE
Award of the Youth Cannes Film Fest
"Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche has simply invented a whole new way of filming, right in front of our eyes" -Les Cahiers du Cinéma
"A finely observed slice of life...it speaks volumes about the conditions of life in today's Algeria" -Hollywood Reporter
Bled Number One is a slice-of-life film that speaks volumes about the conditions of life in today's Algeria. Kamel, played by Ameur-Zaïmeche himself, is released from prison in France, and immediately deported to Algeria, his country of origin. In forced exile, he becomes a lucid observer of a society in turmoil as Algeria is torn between the urge to modernize and the weight of ancestral tradition.
Directed by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, France/Algeria, 2006, 35mm, 104 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Sat., Dec. 8 at 1 pm
Wed., Dec. 12 at 9 pm
"A pleasingly peculiar blend of sacred and profane that's quite unlike the vast majority of contemporary French films." -Variety
Recommended! "Writer-director Gerald Hustache-Mathieu strikes a tone that's neither snide nor condescending, introducing an element of the miraculous into his joyful heroine’s sensual awakening." -Chicago Reader
Avril is a gentle, soft-spoken young nun who grew up in a convent where she was found abandoned at birth. On the eve of her vows, which will seal her lifetime commitment to the church, she learns that she has a twin brother, also abandoned at birth. Facing the outside world for the first time, Avril leaves the convent in secrecy and embarks on an adventure that will take her to the wild, deserted landscapes of Camargue, where, with the help of a friendly, tattooed and handsome stranger she finds her brother and his boyfriend. Seen through the eyes of an innocent, this film is filled with the discovery of new pleasures and emotions, the sensual beauty of life on the beach and grilled fish by the campfire, the joy of companionship and the exhilaration of youth and freedom. But Avril's journey must also lead her to a painful confrontation with the past and a difficult re-evaluation of her life choices. The vibrant young cast brings energy and authenticity to a narrative that strives to look at the question of faith in the modern world with honesty and fairness. Miou-Miou delivers a powerful performance as one of the nuns at the convent with a few secrets of her own.
Directed by Gérald Hustache-Mathieu, France, 2006, 35mm, 96 mins.
Sat., Dec. 8 at 3 pm
Sun., Dec. 9 at 7 pm
THE YEAR AFTER
Best First Film Locarno Intl Film Fest
"A haunting, methodical portrait...straightforward but not simplistic" -Variety
½ "Anais Demoustier may well be giving the performance of the festival" -Chicago Tribune
"Speaking few lines, Anais Demoustier is perfectly eloquent" -Chicago Sun-Times
Recommended! "This modest 2006 drama sneaked up on me, thanks to the naturalistic acting of Anais Demoustier and Ariane Ascaride...Through judicious pacing and clean cutting, director Isabelle Czajka avoids the maudlin, bringing freshness to a worn subject." -Chicago Reader
The impact of the loss of a parent in a teenager's life is recorded here with harsh emotional honesty and a pared down narrative. Fifteen year-old Emmanuelle is unable to connect with her mother or get in touch with her own grief after her father dies from a long and painful illness. She spends time at the mall with a new friend who doesn't know about her tragedy, shopping for clothes she doesn't wear, going through life on automatic. Occasional outbursts of anger occur in confrontations with her mother, but most of the film's emotional impact lies in its minimalism, following Emmanuelle through the dreary landscapes of her Parisian suburb, as she gazes out bus windows past shopping complexes and endless highways. Anaïs Demoustier delivers a striking performance as a teenager of few words whose stoic exterior hides a shattered interior of grief and loneliness, and who must decide how to move forward in her life.
Directed by Isabelle Czajka, France, 2006, 35mm, 91 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Sun., Dec. 8 at 5 pm
Thurs., Dec. 13 at 9 pm
U.S. Premiere with filmmaker STÉPHANE ALLAGNON
"Distinguished by a sure narrative hand and a subversively droll demeanor... fresh spin on a popular genre" -Variety
"Writer-director Stephane Allagnon makes an auspicious debut with an assured feature...Ever so subtly, this soft-edged drama evolves into a classic film noir with all sorts of unexpected refinements" -Chicago Sun-Times
"Wonderful... In a performance that sent us scurrying to the Internet to look him up, Zaccaï uses his open, innocent face to great effect...but somehow he hints that there’s more going on beneath the surface" -TimeOut Chicago
"Writer-director Stephane Allagnon sets a refreshingly amiable tone" -Chicago Reader
An effective caper set in a small seaside town battered by strong winds, in which an appealingly aloof and laidback computer technician from the city (Jonathan Zaccaï) is hired for temp work at the local supermarket. Staying at a hotel where he is the only client, he befriends some of the locals and flirts with the bartender, all the while beginning to understand that the antiquated computer system of the supermarket is a front for money embezzlement by the general manager (Bernard Le Coq) and his former technician, rumored to have mysteriously disappeared. As the small group of off-beat characters sets out to embezzle the embezzler, this quietly affecting film keeps marching to his own little beat, in rhythm with the howling wind and the mood of a film noir.
Directed by Stéphane Allagnon, France, 2007, France, 92 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Filmmaker Stéphane Allanon will be here for a Q&A after both screenings.
Sat., Dec. 8 at 7 pm
Sun., Dec. 9 at 3 pm
YOU AND ME
(TOI ET MOI)
"An effective romantic comedy, where Marion Cotillard shines." -Télérama
The second film from 2002 Camera d'Or-winner Julie Lopes Curval (Seaside) comes You and Me, a story about two sisters searching for romance. Ariane, a writer of photo-novels for the magazine "Toi et Moi" , has a tendency to use and embellish the love lives of her and her sister Lena, a shy classically trained musician who is dealing with her own romances in this charming look at the female side of love. With a strong inability to distinguish reality from fantasy, Ariane finds herself falling victim to her own fairytale romantic notions and her utter disappointment when they take physical form. Directed by Julie Lopes-Curval, France, 2006, 90 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Sat., Dec. 8 at 9 pm
Mon., Dec. 10 at 9 pm
(LE DERNIER DES FOUS)
Best Directing & Jury Prize Locarno Intl Film Fest
"A lightning bolt in the sky of emerging French cinema." -Les Inrockuptibles
"Corrosively austere...Achard ratchets up the tension with chilling control" -Variety
The disintegration of a country family is seen through the wide-open eyes of a young boy. With a mentally unstable mother who never leaves her room, a helpless and passive father, a controlling grandmother, a love-sick brother who turns to alcohol and violence and a new friend who betrays him, eleven year-old Martin (Julien Cochelin) finds little solace in life on this run-down farm, other than in the bond he shares with the housekeeper and the company of his cat. This spare film is replete with a quiet anxiety, where the mounting despair is portrayed in carefully constructed, precise scenes, whose minimal action is starkly contrasted within an austere Gothic drama.
Directed by Laurent Achard, France, 2006, 35mm, 95 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Sun., Dec. 9 at 5 pm
Tues., Dec. 11 at 7 pm
"Carré is superb" -Variety
"A film of great mental violence that leaves the viewer shaken." -Le Journal du Dimanche
"Writer-director Michel Spinoza treads on familiar ground, but this male nightmare of an unwelcome lover is far less sensational and misogynist than related films." -Chicago Sun-Times
Recommended! "Carré gives an unforgettable performance...Writer-director Michel Spinosa is sparing in his use of camera tricks, escalating tension through small details; madness in movies is rarely this creepy, or entertaining." -Chicago Reader
Move over, Glenn Close! Anna M. may not boil bunny rabbits for spite, but she is just as delusional about her prospects of enduring love with a married man as was the ill-fated antagonist of Fatal Attraction. When she lands in the office of a handsome doctor after a botched suicide attempt, young Anna mistakes his hands on her broken leg for an affectionate caress, and misinterprets his instructions for a follow-up exam as the promise of a first date. The doctor quickly tries to discourage her profession of love, but it takes more than harsh reality and dashed hopes to stop Anna, who begins a relentless and calculated pursuit of his affections, finding new and creepy ways of invading his mind, life and home. An unsettling psychological thriller about the pathology of madness and the obsession of unrequited love, with just the right touch of camp and a powerhouse performance by Isabelle Carré, who portrays a mixture of neurotic behavior and cunning to chilly perfection.
Directed by Michel Spinoza, France, 2007, 35mm, 106 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Mon., Dec. 10 at 7 pm
Tues., Dec. 11 at 9 pm
THOSE WHO REMAIN
(CEUX QUI RESTENT)
"A haunting debut" -Variety
"The tragic romantic plot moves are all familiar, but Devos and especially Lindon make us care nonetheless." -TimeOut Chicago
"Writer-director Anne Le Ny avoids cheap sentiment, infusing her story with quiet grace, but the film's real strength is the chemistry between Lindon and Devos, whose nuanced performances make the chance relationship absorbing and wholly believable." -Chicago Reader
Bertrand, whose wife is dying of cancer, and Lorraine, whose lover also suffers from the disease, visit their loved-ones every day in the cancer ward, where they meet one day by chance. One conversation leads to another, and soon their daily encounters in the hospital cafeteria become the only moments to look forward to in a life filled with illness and sadness. Director Le Ny creates a delicate and moving depiction of the guilt, fear and grief that come with the responsibility of caring for a dying loved-one, and of the conflicting emotions that arise when a new person suddenly enters the life of the survivor. The film features pitch perfect performances by two of France's most established actors, Vincent Lindon (The Cost of Living; School of Flesh) as the sturdy, quiet man and Emmanuelle Devos (Kings and Queen; Gentille; Read my Lips) as the free-spirited, socially clumsy young woman who injects subtle humor into the film despite the harshness of its theme.
Directed by Anne Le Ny, France, 2007, 35mm, 93 mins. In French with English subtitles.
"It's not very often that French cinema addresses the world of politics, and it's even more rare for it to do so with such intelligence and finesse" -Rolling Stone
"For its closing-night film, the fest delivers one more face -- familiar or not -- that is a masterful canvas." -Chicago Sun-Times
Shortly before the presidential election in a European state, Michel Dedieu (Yvan Attal) has had to stand in at a moment's notice for his party's candidate, whose rapidly progressing cancer has obliged him to withdraw. The day after the first round, very little time remains for Michel to prepare with his inner circle for the televised debate that will pit him against his opponent. Considered unfavorable by the media and public opinion, it is imperative that he ameliorate his image and hone his arguments. With this aim in mind, he organizes a working weekend at home, and we observe the candidate, initially docile and fragile, as he accedes to the demands of his staff until, nearing exhaustion, he realizes that he is in fact caught up in a terrible plot. The only way he can pull back will be by playing his own score... First-time director and ubiquitous French film star, Niels Arestrup, presents a Machiavellian view of the enigmatic universe of politics in this suspenseful thriller, which is filmed with elegance and subtlety.
Directed by Niels Arestrup, France, 2007, 35mm, 95 mins. In French with English subtitles.