Rendez-vous with French Cinema, March 6-15: Special Events to Celebrate
FSLC Series’ 20th Anniversary
By: Ellis Nassour
Film Society of Lincoln Center, presenter of the New York Film Festival, will celebrate the 20th Anniversary March 6-15 of one of its most popular series, Rendez-vous with French Cinema with celebrated stars, directors, talks, exhibits, and special events. The showcase of the best in contemporary French film, presented in association with UniFrance Films, this year will not only sweep across screens at FSLC’s campus but also the IFC Center and BAMcinématek. Festival co-chairs are celebrated French actress and four-time César winner Nathalie Baye and Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese.
New York’s sophisticated cinephiles have been huge fans of French cinema for seven decades. In recognition of that the Cultural Services of the French Embassy NY and the Alliance Française are partnering with FSLC for several programs and events.
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema‘s 22 features, some with multiple showings, and four shorts, says Isabelle Giordano, executive director of UniFrance Films, " exemplify contemporary French artistry, not only that of established masters but also emerging talents, raise ideas both topical and eternal, and take audiences to entirely unexpected places. The line-up demonstrates the landscape of French cinema has never been more fertile, and the voices issuing from it never more diverse."
The opening night attraction, at 7:30 P.M., 3 Hearts, directed by Benoit Jacquot
(Farewell, My Queen), "a romantic and tragic roundelay," stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni, and legendary Catherine Deneuve, one of French cinema’s most popular stars worldwide. The director and Mademoiselle Gainsbourg will be present. The film will open soon in New York and select cities.
Saturday, March 7 will be a busy day and a quite exciting one for lovers of French cinema. That day ( and March 9), acclaimed actress Mélanie Laurent’s second feature as director Breathe, nominated for two César Awards [the French Oscars], will screen. "It’s a perceptive account of youthful angst and obsession," says Mademoiselle Laurent, "focusing on a shy girl’s volatile relationship with her school’s new girl." Joséphine Japy and Lou de Laâge co-star with César winner Isabelle Carré (Beautiful Memories) as a dysfunctional mother. Following the (March 7) screening, the director will do a Q&A.
Mademoiselle Baye, Christa Théret (2013’s Renoir), and Raphaël Personnaz (2014’s The French Minister) headline Frédéric Tellier’s suspenseful SK1, based on Patricia Tourancheau’s harrowing non-fiction book, Guy Georges: La Traque, about the botched multi-year hunt, arrest, and trial of serial killer Guy Georges, nicknamed "The Beast of the Bastille" and whom psychiatrists termed "a narcissistic psychopath." Q&A with the director and Mademoiselle Baye.
Also programmed that day will be Cedric Jimenez’s gripping César-nominated thriller The Connection, set against a late-70s disco-age backdrop, stars The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, playing radically against type in a [Alain] Delon-esque turn "as a Marseilles magistrate determined to nail a heroin czar in the criminal ring that inspired The French Connection. Co-stars include Gaetano Zampa (Little White Lies), Benoît Magimel (The Piano Teacher), and Céline Sallette (House of Pleasures). Q&A with Cédric Jimenez and Mademoselle Sallette.
On March 7 at 5:30 HBO will sponsor a free discussion of changing times in cinema and the world of new viewing habits and instant access, The 21st-Century Cinephile. Participants: Melissa Anderson (journalist), Thierry Lounas (SOFILM magazine), Florence Ben Sadoun (ELLE), and Serge Toubiana (Cinémathèque Française). Moderating will be Dennis Lim, director of FSLC programming.
The following day at 5:30, HBO also sponsors a free discussion, Actress on Actress: Nathalie Baye & Mélanie Laurent. Festival co-chair Baye started her career with François Truffaut, Maurice Pialat, and Jean-Luc Godard, will chat with Breathe director Laurent, known for her roles in Inglourious Basterds, Beginners, and Enemy and working with U.S. directors.
Films by directors Abd Al Malik, Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Cédric Anger, Antoine Barraud, Lucie Borleteau, Thomas Cailley, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, Stéphane Demoustier, Christophe Honoré, Armel Hostiou, Jean-Charles Hue, Cédric Kah, Sophie Letourneur, Thomas Lilti, Pierre Salvadori, André Téchiné, and Cyprien Vial will also be screened.
All films have English subtitles. For a complete roster of films in the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series, along with synopsizes, a video preview, information on March 11 and 13’s shorts program, more free events, times and venues, visit www.filmlinc.com.
Closing night of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema will be filled with all manner of surprises. There will be a live musical performance celebrating the film scores of French New Wave films in FSLC’s Furman Gallery at the Walter Reade, featuring LoW Entertainment, responsible for the scores of two of the series’ films.
Showing, with two screenings, will be Reality, from director Quentin Dupieux (also known as Mr Oizo in the music world; Rubber), who again lets his imagination take flight, this time in a [David] Lynchian house of mirrors where the only "reality" is a tape inside the carcass of a boar about to be stuffed and amateur filmmakers questing for the perfect scream. Described as "unique, hilarious, and much more than the sum of its quirks," it features music by Philip Glass. Q&A with co-star Élodie Bouchez.
The series will include a pop-up Galerie Cinema by Anne-Dominique Toussant at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; and the 20×24 Project, an exhibit of over-sized Polaroid portraits of French film luminaries by Myrna Suarez in the Furman Gallery adjacent to FSLC’s Walter Reade Theatre; and, Tuesdays throughout March, Leading Ladies, a retrospective of films by director Benoît Jacquot at the Alliance Française, with wine reception [admission is free for FIAF members, $13 for non-members, and $7 for students. Visit www.fiaf.org for more information].
Support for the FSLC’s 20th Anniversary Rendez-Vous with French Cinema is provided by L’Oreal Paris, La Sacem, Lacoste, Piper-Heidsieck, Renault-Nissan, TV5 Monde, Cultural Services of the French Embassy NY, and Alliance Française (FIAF).
Tickets for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema are $25 for the public and $20 for students, seniors, and FSLC members. However, opening night tickets are sold through the Alice Tully Hall ticketing system and must be purchased separately. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For the series VIP Experience pass, contact email@example.com or call (212) 875-5668.
Free tickets to the talks will be distributed at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box office on a first-come, first-served basis starting one hour prior to the conversations. There’s a limit one complimentary ticket per person, subject to availability. For those unable to attend in person, event video will be streamed at www.filmlinc.com.