Which makes this month's CinémaTuesdays at FIAF such an unusual pleasure. Not only are we seeing la jeunesse on screen and behind the camera, we're getting a look at some filmmakers that we might not have previously noticed. (FIAF's series are curated by the ever-alert Marie Losier and Clementine Gallot and so reflect the mindset and taste of these women.)
Goodbye First Love, already received a national release and was chosen by The NY Times' A.O.Scott as one of this past year's best. Of the remainder, TrustMovies had neither heard of any of the filmmakers nor seen any of their work. But now, having viewed the entire series via press screeners, he can vouch for the success of January's films.
Here's the complete scheduled, in order of appearance
U.S. PREMIERE: WITH NEITHER DRUM NOR TRUMPET (Sans tambour ni trompette) Tuesday January 8 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm. Directed by Zoé Gabillet, 2011. Color. 10 min. With Elsa Pasquier, Mahault Mollaret, Johanna Landau. In French with English subtitles.
Truffaut's Mississippi Mermaid) and also shows us some of the cinema's employees until the moment the lights go down and the movie begins. For maybe the first time, it's us -- the audience -- up there on the screen in all our disparity, charm and annoying qualities. And this first-time filmmaker captures a lot, ending with an inspired moment of perfect transition between the movie that's about to be shown and the movie we've just seen. SPECIAL NOTE: You can meet the director in person on Tuesday, January 8, at 7:30pm, when Ms Gabillet will present her short film, followed by a Q&A.
GOODBYE FIRST LOVE (Un amour de jeunesse) Tuesday January 8 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm. Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, 2011. Color. 110 min. With Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Magne-Håvard Brekke. In French with English subtitles.
All is Forgiven), and her extraordinary second feature, The Father of My Children. Her latest is terrific at showing us the thrilling, obsessive quality of young love, as well as its all-or-nothing appeal. You can read my complete review of the film, at the time it opened early last year, by clicking here.
THE SHADY SAILOR (Le marin masqué), Tuesday, January 15 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm. Directed by Sophie Letourneur, 2011. B&W. 35 min. With Sophie Letourneur, Laetitia Goffi, Johan Libéreau. In French with English subtitles.
Johan Libéreau plays the title character.
DEAR PRUDENCE (Belle Épine) Tuesday, January 15 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm Directed and co-written by Rebecca Zlotowski, 2010. Color. 80 min. With Léa Seydoux, Anaïs Demoustier, Agathe Schlenker. In French with English subtitles.
Léa Seydoux (Farewell My Queen, Midnight in Paris, Largo Winch) is excellent, as usual, in this sort-of coming of age tale about a teenager who has just lost her mother trying to come to terms with life, family, and approaching adulthood. Libéreau appears again as one in the gang of bikers our heroine falls in with. "Jewishness" plays a big part in this film, and there's a sparkling scene around the dinner table with dialog that fairly crackles.
three showings of two long "shorts"
Bruno Dumont territory -- but without much religious feeling (though I've long suspected Dumont's faith is fake). But I must admit that this is that rare movie about which you realize that murder/suicide is the only possible answer for the characters on view. (Yes, I'm kidding -- but only by half.) There are pleasures along the way, the biggest of which comes from seeing a gorgeous actor named Thibault Lacroix full-frontal, bathing, peeing, and carrying on something fierce. This is not your everyday screen fare, and Lacroix carries it off with a great body, beautiful face and more than a little style. The other two actors are fine, as well, though the paces they are run through can't quite measure up to Lacroix's. In any case, like it or not, this is a film you'll probably remember for some time.
A WORLD WITHOUT WOMEN (Un monde sans femmes) Tuesday, January 22 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm. Directed by Guillaume Brac, 2012. Color. 57 min. With Vincent Macaigne, Laure Calamy, Constance Rousseau. In French with English subtitles.
U.S. PREMIERE: SONG SONG, Tuesday, January 29 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm. Directed by Gwendal Sartre, 2012. Color. 40 min. With Alain Bouckaert, Jeanne Roche, Cyprien Parvex De Collombey. In French with English subtitles.
U.S. PREMIERE: NIGHT DRIFTERS (La nuit remue), Tuesday, January 29 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm. Directed by Bijan Anquetil, 2012. Color. 47 min. With Hamid Jan, Sobhan Sardari. In Farsi, Dari with English subtitles.
King Kelly and now this combo narrative/documentary oddity about immigrants in France from Afghanistan who explain their situation to each other's camera-phones, even as this is linked together by camera-phone shots of groups of immigrants protesting, on the move in secret, and what have you. This transition from up-close-and-personal and maybe narrative footage to fuzzy, pixilated, washed-out "documentary" footage makes for an interesting, if distancing 45 minutes.
Bijan Anquetil gets points for originality but loses some for content- and character-building. You would hope to know these men a little better after 45 minutes, so perhaps more time might have been spent with them and less with the washed out groups shots. Still, at the end the filmmaker manages a wonderful coalescing as his two styles suddenly mesh and bring us into a moving few moments when this sad twosome becomes part of something larger and greater. This film won Best First Film prize at the Festival International de Cinema de Marseille.
Cinema programs are made possible by Institut français, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
CinémaTuesdays is sponsored by American Airlines, The Official Airline of FIAF; Lancôme, Nespresso, and TV5MONDE.
FIAF would like to thank the following winter season sponsors:
American Airlines, the official airline of FIAF; the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Florence Gould Foundation; Institut français; New York State Council on the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, and Robert de Rothschild.
What: FIAF presents Vive la jeunesse ! Young French Directors
When: Times and titles detailed above.
Where: FIAF - Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues) Admission: $10; $7 students; Free for FIAF Members
Tickets: www.fiaf.org | Phone: 800 982 2787 Information: www.fiaf.org | 212 355 6160
Directions & Transportation: Subway - 4, 5, 6, N, R and Q to 59th Street & Lexington Avenue; F to 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue; E to 53rd Street & 5th Avenue Bus - M1, M2, M3, M4, Q31 to 59th Street; M5 to 58th Street