Monday, November 15, 2010

French Film Lovers, spend your weekend at FIAF, as the IN-FRENCH-WITH-ENGLISH-SUBTITLES fest returns to New York City

Francophiles (of the more mainstream sort than is reached by the FSLC's Rendez-vous With French Cinema), rejoice!  For IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES -- that fast-paced, three-day, nine-movie, one-showing-only festival of new and popular French cinema -- returns to New York City for its second annual series of fun films at FIAF -- in the French Institute/Alliance Française Florence Gould Hall.

So successful was last year's batch that this year's is even bigger, with movies starring the likes of Gérard Depardieu (above, with Gisèle Casadesus), Catherine Frot, Clovis Cornillac, Karin Viard, Fabrice Luchini, Roschdy Zem and Lambert Wilson.  There's even -- get this -- a theme song that's been composed and recorded for the festival -- using its own unique title.  (You can listen to it by clicking here -- and if you like it, you can click here to buy it!)

Last year the combination of a flu and the FSLC's Spanish Cinema Now series prevented me from seeing any of the IFWES films.  This year, I swear, will be different: While I'd like to view all the films being shown, I hope to see at least three of the nine. These will include the opening night movie, Five Brothers (Comme les cinq doigts de la main), a thriller with an all-star cast including Patrick Bruel, Vincent Elbaz, Eric Caracava and Caterina Murino.

One of my absolutely favorite French actresses is the alternately funny and moving, centered and crazy, and always delightful  Catherine Frot (Chaos, The Page Turner plus the VOD hits Les soeurs fâchées and Angel of Mine). She's included this year with a 1960s era, cold war spy spoof called Imogène McCarthery, which sounds like fun. And since I've never seen Frot (below)-- who's as good playing plain as she is going glamorous -- in anything I didn't enjoy (often immensely), I'll gladly take my chances.

And finally, I hope to view M. Depardieu in the new film by Jean Becker, who, back in 1999, gave us one of the most wonderful walks down (French) memory lane with his Children of the Marshlands (Les enfants du Marais), a film that really should have played theatrically in the U.S.  And if the French had had the foresight to nominate it for Best Foreign Language Film, I'd wager it would have been nominated -- if not won.

Becker is back with a film said to be a real heart-tugger: My Afternoons With Marguerite (La tête en friche).  Because this fellow is great director of actors (in roles small to large) with an eye for color, production design and details of all kinds, I think we can expect something quite watchable.

But there are so many movies that look like fun in this fest --  click here for the entire program and here to procure tickets -- I wouldn't want to stop you from checking out a few more titles on your own.  Again, In French With English Subtitles, plays this coming Friday through Sunday, November 19 - 21.  (Note: if you purchase the two-day pass, you can save a bundle of bucks.)

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