The 17th annual Boston French Film Festival is about to go down which means it’s officially time for a road trip! In fact, methinks my good friend Michelle posted about this on her Facebook page so that I’d have to start planning a visit. Touché, Michelle. Check out the trailers to a few of the movies they’ll be showing this year and remember: French movies + Boston accents = happy time.
But first, please allow me to explain my love for French cinema, which is based solely on, like, twelve French films I’ve seen. Okay, first of all there’s Audrey Tautou. I recommend Amelie and every film she’s ever been in, period. Oh, and especially this year’s Delicacy. Trent also put me on to one of her best performances in He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not. Through Tautou’s movies I met and fell in love/lust with Marion Cotillard. She won an Oscar for one of the most brilliant and intense performances I’ve ever seen, in La Vie En Rose. And as I was writing this post I thought of one of the first French films I ever watched, but could not remember the title. When I googled “French film about a couple that plays these creepy games,” I found the title of the best film ever: Love Me If You Dare. And to my shock and awe, I discovered that Marion Cotillard was in that one too. So it’s official. She changed my life.
But I am by no means an expert; I haven’t even seen anything by Godard, so my love is quite superficial, until I watch his movies :) Still, if you’ve watched any really good American film, you’ve experienced the influence of French cinema. Everybody from Scorsese to Tarantino to Spike Lee obsesses over how the French do it, and it shows in their work. So if you’ve seen one of their movies, you’ve caught a glimmer of the glory that is French cinema.
And now, trailers/clips from the five French films I would totally see if I still lived in Boston. I mean Bahh-stin. Shouts out to Somerville High.
Visit the official Boston French Film Festival site for more!
17 Girls (17 filles) by Delphine and Muriel Coulin (2011, 90 min.). Based on the 2008 pregnancy scandal in Gloucester, Massachusetts, 17 high school students in a French coastal town decide to make a “pregnancy pact” and raise their children together.
You guys probably remember when this scandal happened. This story was just asking to be made into a film. I’m glad the Coulins decided to take it up.
Black Venus (Vénus noire) by Abdellatif Kechiche (2010, 159 min.). A powerful film about Saartjie, a South African woman brought to Europe by her master Caezar to perform as the Hottentot Venus, a show centered on displaying Saartjie’s “exotic” body.
Another true story, the Venus Hottentot is a haunting tale of exploitation, race, sexuality, and society that deserves its space on the big screen.
A Happy Event
A Happy Event (Un heureux événement) by Rémi Bezançon (2011, 110 min.). Barbara, a young graduate student, is madly in love with her boyfriend Nicolas when she learns she is pregnant.
The trailer looks like a French version of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. Minus J-Lo and plus French equals good times. No offense to J-Lo. She did alright in What To Expect… :)
Farewell My Queen
Farewell, My Queen (Les adieux à la reine) by Benoît Jacquot (2011, 100 min.). As torches and pitchforks descend on Versailles, Jacquot’s camera meticulously captures the passion, opulence, and debauchery of Marie Antoinette’s (Diane Kruger) final days.
For those of us who weren’t really feelin’ 2006’s Marie Antoinette (with Kirsten Dunst), there’s this version of the story. The idea of focusing on the Queen’s same-sex love affairs sounds pretty awesome– and very unique– to me.
Outside Satan (Hors Satan) by Bruno Dumont (2011, 110 min). With his trademark long shots that highlight the vastness and beauty of the French landscape, Dumont’s latest film traces the mysterious healing ability of a man, an outsider who arrives in the village and befriends a traumatized woman.
From the trailer, I imagine a darker, more frightening version of 2011’s Martha Marcy May Marlene (if only to have something to compare to it). And I didn’t know that that film could get darker. But I forgot about French film :)
French Film Buffs Unite!0