French NeWave 2.0
On Saturday, from 11:00 am to midnight, save your day for an exclusive program of five features putting the new French New Wave under the spotlights (Truffaut Theater):
Saturday April 29 - 11:00 am – Truffaut Theater
Drama, comedy • North American Premiere
(Followed by a discussion with writer/directors Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma.)
This tragicomic feature debut from no fewer than four co-directors casts non-actor Daniel Vannet as the hero in the story of his own life. Stocky, disheveled, illiterate and inarticulate, Willy has lived a humdrum existence; all 50 years of it with his parents in a provincial northern backwater. When his twin brother dies, Willy takes it upon himself to become a fully independent member of greater society, a journey that will take him as far and wide as the neighboring village. If Willy endures, it is not because he is extraordinary, but because he struggles so sincerely to become ordinary -- an apartment, a scooter, and some friends -- Willy wants it all. Thus begins this sweetly melancholic social misfit’s late initiation into adulthood. Along the way he encounters another Willy, a young man also living on the margins, but for very different reasons. At once cruel and sensitive, sentimental and squalid, Willy I emerges finally as a delicate rumination on otherness and social conformity.
Saturday April 29 – 1:20 pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama • Los Angeles Premiere
(Followed by a discussion with writer/director Morgan Simon)
This punchy but sensitive drama set in the underground music scene marks the debut of a filmmaker to watch. On stage, post-punk singer Vincent (Azaïs) is an explosion of animal furies convulsing with emotional intensity. But back at home, with the mic unplugged, Vincent is more inclined to let his tattoos do all the talking. Since his mother died, Vincent’s feelings of alienation and disorientation have only increased. At 24, with a day job that won’t pay for his upkeep, he lives like roommates with his father Hervé. Everything changes when Hervé shacks up with a new girlfriend only a few years older than Vincent. Vincent’s anger, jealousy, and grief are soon roiling in a potent brew. But when his new “mother” becomes the object of his desire, the mix is ready to blow. Kévin Azaïs, who made an indelible impression with Love at First Fight (COLCOA 2015), brings a searing charisma to the role of Vincent.
Saturday April 29 – 4:00 pm – Truffaut Theater
Documentary • Special Presentation • COLCOA.Doc
At the age of 8, Hélène Nicolas was diagnosed with severe autism and placed in an institution. But this 2017 Best Documentary César nominated film is not about disability, but rather the discovery of a special ability. Dissatisfied with Hélène’s progress, her mother Véronique quits her job so that she can devote herself full time to Hélène’s care. Up to this point Hélène had been completely unable to communicate, but Véronique is astonished to discover that Hélène is able to place letters in a sequence, like a scrabble game, in order to make words. Not only that, but Hélène has a gift for language, creating surreal and playful poems with wit and insight. In the decade since Véronique made the discovery, Hélène has fashioned an alter ego for herself called Babouillec and published several books of poetry. These works, adapted to the stage by the prestigious Avignon International Theater Festival, are a window into a mischievous mind reveling in a liberated inner world, yet capable of striking observations about the outer world. While Hélène’s creative process is explored, it’s the glimpses of her relationship with her patient and dedicated mother that touch us most.
Saturday April 29 – 7:30 pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama • West Coast Premiere
(followed by a discussion with writer, director Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar)
With so many terrorist attacks in France over the last decade, radicalization has become the hot-button issue. Heaven Will Wait takes the topic head on with two disturbing stories about teenage girls heeding the siren call of ISIS. Sonia is just 17 when she is arrested for involvement in a planned jihadist attack. Angry at being prevented from joining her confederates in Syria, Sonia is placed under house arrest. A deprogrammer is called in to reintegrate her, but her shocked and devastated family fears she is lost forever. Then there’s Melanie, the studious, aspiring cellist, picture-perfect daughter. Her single-parent mother has no idea that she has fallen for her “prince”, an online ISIS recruiter posing as a trusted advisor and promised husband. A timely drama mixed with documentary-like sequences of deprogramming conducted by real-life indoctrination expert Dounia Bouzar, who heads an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of radical Islamic recruitment in France.
Saturday April 29 – 10:20 pm – Truffaut Theater
Comedy • West Coast Premiere • After 10 Series
Taking flight where Martin Scorcese’s After Hours touched down, this jubilant comic vehicle for Édouard Baer doubles as an affectionate homage to the timeless allure of the City of Light. Baer’s swaggering buffoon persona is unleashed as Luigi: theater impresario by trade, irresistible charmer by aspiration, and inexhaustible scoundrel by nature. Over the next 24 hours, he’ll need to call on his most dubious qualities. On the eve of opening night, Luigi’s new play is teetering on financial collapse. His cast and crew threaten a walkout if they don’t get paid, and his temperamental Japanese director demands a live chimpanzee for the performance. Even his faithful assistant Nawal (Tautou) has deserted him, leaving Luigi to set off into the Parisian night with his no-nonsense intern Faeza. Their quest for a chimp and a chump takes them on a delirious tour of the city’s most absurdly charming offerings, from Bollywood shoots to African communes. When Luigi’s deeper fragilities surface, his recklessness escalates into a quixotic high wire act. But who will be there to catch him when he falls?
You may also see these programs form the COLCOA TELEVISION competition : MANON 20 YEARS