Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rendez-vous With French Cinema, 2014 edition, opens at the FSLC, IFC Center, BAM & The Paris

It's back. One of and maybe the most popular series in the history of the Film Society of Lincoln Center opens this Thursday evening at Manhattan's storied Paris Theater and continues through March 16 at two venues in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn: the FSLC, the IFC Center and BAM.

Yes, RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA, the 2014 edition, is here, beginning with the stellar opening night attraction -- Emmanuele Bercot's smart, funny and moving Catherine Deneuve vehicle, ON MY WAY (Elle s'en va). Also on tap are new films by fab French directors from Doillon to Ozon, Bozon to Ropert, Campillo to Gondry, some newcomers, old-timers (yes Bertrand Tavernier is back!) and a whole lot in between. This year, in fact, will see at least 24 films screened -- if I am correct, a record number for this series.

For some fifteen years or so, TrustMovies used to see every single film in this series. Of late, he can no longer manage that. This year, as last, he had to content himself with only viewing the opening night selection, but, as almost always occurs, Rendez-vous has chosen a good one: something you might call arthouse/mainstream that should prove popular with audiences while not alienating most critics.

Ms Deneuve could hardly have chosen a better vehicle nor a stronger director to bring it home. The actress shines consistently (is there a sexier, more alluring senior citizen in all France?) and Ms Bercot, shown at left and lately of Student Services, directs and co-writes this coming-to-terms tale with effortless ease and skill. The story spans four generations, with each brought to fine life, and while the film is sentimental, the sentiment is handled with enough spunk and spark so that we're laughing at these characters as often as we're laughing with them. The movie is also a kind of unexpected road trip, with a destination not quite what you'll expect.

If you cannot see On My Way now, don't fret: Cohen Media Group will be releasing it theatrically on March 14, just one week after Rendez-vous begins. Meanwhile, take a look at the entire Rendez-vous With French Cinema schedule here. And remember that you can see all, many, or at least a few of the films at all three venues: FSLC, IFC Center and BAM. If one is sold out, consult another.

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