The New York Film Festival–NYFF 2017, the most prestigious cinema event in New York City celebrated its 55th edition included one of the most exciting line-ups of French language films in recent NYFF history. The Focus on French Cinema team was on hand for the screening of many of the French films and French co-productions that included BPM Beats per minute by Robin Camillo (chosen to represent France at the Oscars and also playing at FFC’s French Cinématheque in February 2018), Faces and Places by Agnès Varda and JR in the Main Slate, Speak Up by Stéphane de Freitas in the Documentary Section and L’Atalante in the Revival Section.
Favorites from the festival team included :
BPM Beats per minute (120 battements par minute) by Robin Camillo (see photo above), focusing on the front line of AIDS activism in the 1990’s, will be our first French Cinématheque film in February 2018 at Avon Theatre in Stamford – visit Alliance Française of Greenwich website for more information www.afgreenwich.org
Faces Places (Visages/Villages) directed by Agnès Varda & JR and winner of the L’Oeil d’or at Cannes shows the 88 year old Agnès Varda teamed up with 33 year old visual artist JR for a tour of rural France
Félicité directed by Alain Gomis a French director of Guinea-Bissauan and Senegalese descent is set in the roughest areas of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A tough but funny and terrifying film
Ismael’s Ghosts (Les fantômes d’Ismaël) directed by Arnaud Desplechin is another ode to actor Mathieu Amalric’s acting as a filmmaker in the throes of writing a spy thriller based on the escapades of his brother, Ivan Dedalus (Louis Garrell) – total madness and Desplechin at his best
Let the Sun Shine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) directed by Claire Denis features the magnificent Juliette Binoche as a middle-aged Parisian artist struggling with emotional and romantic love. A funny film highlighted by an extraordinary conclusive monologue by the still inspiring Gerard Dépardieu
Revivals included L’Atalante by Jean Vigo, Bob le flambeur by Jean-Pierre Melville, The Crime of Monsieur Lange by Jean Renoir, Grandeur and Décadence by Jean-Luc Godard and Le Révélateur by Philippe Garrel and One Sings, the Other Doesn’t by Agnès Varda.
Speak Up (A voix haute, la force de la parole) a documentary by Stéphane de Freitas and co-directed by Ladj Ly explores the Eloquentia competition (invented by de Freitas) that determines the best orator at the University of Saint-Denis. The forgotten art of speech speaks to us in this film.
What a week at NYFF! To see the full line-up visit: www.filmlinc.org
On our way to the next major cinema event, Cinemania in Montreal the first week of November. Festival line-up will be announced one week prior to the November 2-12 festival www.festivalcinemania.com. Stay tuned!
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