FRENCH NEWAVE 2.0 SERIES
Popular French NeWave 2.0 Series get bigger in 2016, starting earlier on Thursday April 21 and ending on Monday April 25 with still a whole day of screenings On Saturday April 25, from 11:00 am to midnight. Save the dates for an exclusive program of seven features putting the new French New Wave under the spotlights:
Thursday April 21 - 5:30 pm – Truffaut Theater
Comedy, drama, musical • North American Premiere • 20th anniversary screening
If procrastination were a science, wannabe rapper duo Orel and Gringe would be shortlisted for a Nobel Prize. With their 30th birthdays descending upon them like a trainload of old, the boys need to rustle some hustle on the career front. Trouble is, in the five years since producer Skread began funding their studio time, these idols of idleness haven’t managed to record a single song. Battling a host of personal demons, including fear of failure, denial, and a work ethic that defines dodging your pesky girlfriend as a full-time job, these princes of the preoccupied spend their days trying to squeeze what drops of creative inspiration they can from the banality of their own existence. Fed up with the excuses, Skread brings the hammer down; complete a song in the next 24 hours, or this circus gets its plug pulled. Set in the somnambulant gloom of Caen in Normandy, this hip-hop dramedy is based in part on the lives of rising rap stars Orelsan and Gringe. Co-written by Stéphanie Murat, Christophe Offenstein, Orelsan. Directed by Orelsan, Christophe Offenstein.
Saturday April 23 - 11:15 am – Truffaut Theater
Drama • North American Premiere
When we first meet 36-year-old Dom in a pub listening to old sea shanties, it’s not immediately clear if he’s an actor playing a fisherman, or a fisherman re-enacting the story of his life. Dominique Leborne won the Best Actor Award in the Venice Horizons sidebar for his portrayal of himself – a divorced father of two trying to hold his family together at all costs. Usually, Dom is out on fishing vessels for months at a time, but when his daughter Mailys (Mailys Leborne) turns up pregnant, social services threatens to take custody of the kids unless he can spend more time with them. Dom has only known a life at sea, so his best shot at making his own hours is to get a boat of his own. But without any capital, his decision to stop working for others precipitates a downward spiral that brings the family to the brink of homelessness. This unassuming docudrama starring a trio of nonprofessional actors manages to blend just enough reality and fiction to get the best of both. Written and directed by Samuel Collardey.
Saturday April 23 – 1:20 pm – Truffaut Theater
War, thriller, fantaisy • West Coast Premiere
War-torn Afghanistan becomes a metaphysical netherworld in this evocatively eerie genre bender. No-nonsense Captain Antarès Bonassieu (Jérémie Renier) and 12 French NATO soldiers patrol a badland of endless dust and rock in search of a Taliban warlord called “Sultan”. The unit is on high alert, relations with the villagers are fraught, and the Taliban are everywhere and nowhere. One night, while observing what appears to be some kind of ritual involving a tethered goat, two of his men disappear. Initially Bonassieu maintains a firm command on the situation. He believes he knows who took the men, and where they might be located. But as certainties begin to fall away, Bonassieu’s grunts – hardened fighters to a man – are consumed with primal fear. Whatever is happening out there is bigger than the war on terror, and far more mysterious. Co-written and directed by Clément Cogitore.
Saturday April 23 – 4:00 pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama • West Coast Premiere
(Followed by a panel discussion with producer Dominique Besnehard)
If you were thinking a willowy leading actress and a lot of cute puppies mean you’re in for a schmaltz fest, think again. I am a Soldier is a hard-hitting drama about a woman compromised by the financial pressures of France’s economic austerity. In a thoughtful, subdued performance, Louise Bourgoin plays Sandrine, a 30-year-old who, after a failed attempt to succeed in Paris, is forced to retreat to Roubaix and the working-class life she’d hoped to escape. Disengaged from the world, she takes a job working at her Uncle Henri’s dog-breeding kennel. Everyone in her immediate circle has money issues, except Henri, and as she soon finds out, that’s because he’s operating an illegal puppy mill. Puppies are smuggled in from Eastern Europe, purchased by weight like meat; the unsold stock disposed of with little more concern. In desperate times money trumps morality and Sandrine stays with it, long enough to discover she has a knack for business. Intoxicated by finding her first real talent in life, Sandrine turns a blind eye to the dark side of the actual business she’s in. Co-written and directed by Laurent Larivière.
Saturday April 23 – 7:40 pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama • West Coast Premiere
(followed by a discussion with actress Zita Hanrot)
This perceptive celebration of a resilient immigrant mother of two working as a house cleaner in Lyon, cleaned up at the 2016 César Awards, taking prizes for Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Most Promising Actress for bright newcomer Zita Hanrot. Adopting a grounded, episodic approach, the film focuses on the challenges of cultural assimilation as seen through the eyes of two generations of women. Fatima is a divorcee holding down several menial jobs. She emigrated from North Africa at 20, but 20 years later, she struggles to speak enough French to communicate with her own daughters Nesrine and Souad, whose lives she is tirelessly devoted to improving. Nesrine is trying to strike a balance between cramming for her pre-med exams and dating, while the younger and more rebellious Souad is testing her limits and her mother’s patience by acting out. Facing veiled racism, suspicion, awkwardness, and shame on a daily basis, Fatima discovers that the perfect outlet for her frustrations is also the best way to tell her daughters how she really feels. Written and directed by Philippe Faucon.
Saturday April 23 – 10:15 pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama • West Coast Premiere • After 10 Series • >17
A heat wave isn’t the only thing in full swing in this steamy drama about rich kids in the coastal town of Biarritz stripping down and shaking off that mid-summer ennui. As Young George, Marilyn Lima (think adolescent Bardot painted by Botticelli), unexpectedly falls for Alex after he coaxes her into a casual encounter. When the feelings aren’t reciprocated, George tries to remind him what he’s missing by instigating a game of truth or dare with enough dare in it to put a glint in the eye of a porn impresario. Aided by some selfies and the Internet, word spreads, and what began as an attempt to spark a little jealously explodes into a furious wildfire of sexual discovery. George, Alex, and their growing circle of libertine teens are now determined to find their limits, consequences be damned. Written and directed by Eva Husson.
Monday April 25 – 3:00 pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama • West Coast Premiere
This intimate take on a rollercoaster relationship puts all the tropes of romance on its head by looking at it through the eyes of a woman seduced by the male equivalent of a blonde bombshell. Licking her wounds in a convalescent center after an accident-on-purpose on the ski slopes, fortyish lawyer Tony looks back on a tumultuous decade with her dream guy, Georgio. An effortlessly charming restaurateur, Georgio views the world as a stage upon which he is performing his life. Tony obliges with five-star reviews, at least while the passions are in full flush. Only later, when the couple gets down to the business of building a life together, will Georgio’s wolfish ego and his inability to fully let go of his womanizing past, begin to tarnish the shine. But even if theirs is a doomed relationship, Tony is about to learn that it doesn’t always have to be this way. Vincent Cassel is at his raffish best, and Emmanuelle Bercot won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her heartbreaking portrayal of a woman desperate to fall out of love. Written and directed by Maïwenn.