Axelle Ropert, has given us a film (The Wolberg Family, shown above) that is among the best of last year, except that it did receive any kind of release in the USA until now, so it' ll have to wait, I suppose, to be the best of this year. (See my earlier review of Ropert's film here.) Another of these interesting movies -- The Other One -- features a dynamite, award-wining performance from Dominque Blanc (below), who nails the jealous lover character as you've seldom seen her. One of the major treats of this festival is the new film, Bus Palladium, from actor/writer Christopher Thompson -- his first as director -- that offers just about everything: laughs, tears, intelligence, music and a wonderful young cast.
here. (Click on each red/bold title to learn more about the individual films.) Right now, because FIAF is presenting a one-night theatrical screening of Bus Palladium -- titled (and badly) in English The Last Summer Tour -- followed by a Q&A with its writer/director, I'll concentrate on that movie first, and come back to some others in the fest, as I see each of the films. I'll also have a short interview with Christopher Thompson posted here in the days to come, after I've spoken with him later in the week. You can order tickets for the film/Q&A here.
TrustMovies is used to seeing the work of M. Thompson, shown at right, in tandem with that of his mother, noted writer/director Danièle Thompson (Avenue Montaigne and La Code a Changé), with whom he often collaborates. He is also the grandson of famous French actor/writer/director Gérard Oury and actress Jacqueline Roman, so artistic provenance and collaboration would seem to be in the family's bones. Working alone, as he now has on Bus Palladium, he's chosen a decidedly youthful story to tell, which covers a few years in the life of five friends who form a rock group that takes off rather splendidly until it finally, all-too-soon, crashes. This is told upfront, as we see old footage of the group, then find ourselves at a funeral, before bouncing back three years.
Rémy Chevrin: Love Songs, Live and Become) is often in a roving mood, and some of this movement is wonderfully handled: We're with these energetic kids -- hearts and minds -- all the way. When the occasion calls for quiet intimacy, Thompson captures that, as well. We learn haltingly about each of the five, with the lion's share of interest going to Manu and Lucas, played respectively by Arthur Dupont (above) and Marc-André Grondin (below).
One to Another (Chacun sa nuit). Here he is less charismatic but equally good as the one musician in the group who gives the most trouble yet holds the pack together. M. Grondin has the quieter, more subtle role, and he, too, impresses.
Elisa Sednaoui (above, right), and the industry woman who gives the group its big break, played by a blond-tressed Géraldine Pailhas (below).
Dominique Reymond) who expects her son to follow in the correct footsteps. Finally, Thompson manages to give us yet more of a venue and characters of which we've already seen ample, yet he makes his seem fresh and new. If we are not surprised by much of what we see, we are still, I think, delighted and finally quite moved by the experience.
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