ROADS (2019)

A film  Sebastian Schipper

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Stéphane Bak, Ben Chaplin

Gyllen, an 18-year-old boy from London, flees the family vacation in Morocco aboard the motorhome stolen from his father-in-law. On his way, he meets William, a young Congolese of his age who wants to reach Europe in search of his missing brother. They decide to join forces. This improbable duo is making its way through Morocco, Spain and France to Calais, driven by the desire for adventure. As they travel, friendship and trust are going to be settling in between the two teenagers. But they will make difficult decisions will change their lives forever.

Here is an other film from Schipper who directed the film called Victoria. I meet Stéphane bak at an Apple store because it was May the Cannes Film Festival just started Apple decided to do workshop where directors, actors, editors, and graphiste (who made film posters). So Bak a newcomer in the business who is a comic turned actor was talking to us about this film. Bak was there to show us how to dubbed the animation Spider man: into the spider man verse in French (I prefer the original version) Then we had to give it a try dubbed it ourselves on an ipad. Not an easy thing to do. we had fun that’s for sure. I went to all the workshops in may about cinema. So A friend of mine who was there at the time decided to see Roads and we weren’t disappointed.

Here are two teenagers who are going to meet because one of them is going to steal an RV the one of his step father to trying to see his father. On the other hand the other teenager who is African needs to finds his brother to get him back home. Here is an entirely a different road movie one that sheds light on the plight of refugees in Europe especially in Calais France. There are some twist in the story and it is refreshing to see a different kind of road movie for a change.

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CITIES OF LAST THINGS (2019)

A film by  Wi Ding Ho

Cast:  Lu Huang, Hong-Chi Lee, Linda Jui-Chi Liu

Three nights of a man’s life. Three nights to cross an unseen world, which will rocked his existence. He is about to commit the irreparable. But his past will catch up with him …

Forget Hollywood here is a new wave of directors from Asia (Japan, South Korea and China) who are taking risk and reinventing themselves in telling an original story. The Story is  not told in chronological order, We gradually learn what motivate Zhang. Where is it going to make more sense is going to be in the middle of the story when we learn that Zhang is a young married police officer. Where the Americans are multiplying the super heroes movies and remakes because they think there are no more stories to tell, and the European cinema unfortunately is struggling with it. Whatever!!! Here the Asia cinema are getting more and more followers. And for the first time the Korean film named Parasite win the Palme D’or at Cannes. And the latest of Taiwan film named Cities of the last things has catch the attention of other film festival. It is an Asia / French production. 

Thanks to an incredible directing which separate the film in three part, this feature is distinguished by an intense surprise which is very attentive to the details of the story. You can see why more and more people are now following Asian Cinema. The Three parts of the story we are following the protagonist at a different stage and age of his life. Every things seems to indicate that the psychology of the characters is in his past a stroke of genius from the director who loses the audience on the psychologie on a man who is devoured by his bitterness. By following the course of this man over forty years the director let us see how an event can change the destiny of the protagonist. The first part is a bit slow, the second you beginning what drive our protagonist and the third where the action is and will answer all of you questions. The director makes us see and understand about the practices from the future and even today the social network, the cloning, plastic surgery and a drug that makes us young. Here our protagonist is lonely and has no control of his life. We will ask questions about the future and even about the entire planet and be able to identify ourselves in this film. Do not miss this one. 

THE MUSTANG (2019)

A film by  Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts Jason Mitchell, Bruce Dern

Incarcerated in a prison in Nevada, Roman has no contact with the outside world or with his daughter … In an attempt to get him out of his silence and violence, he is offered to integrate a social rehabilitation program through training wild horses. Alongside these mustangs as unpredictable as him, Roman will gradually learn to control himself and overcome his past.

Nevada prison, convict Roman Coleman is unable to keep his temper in check. Matthias Schoenaert doesn’t hesitate to declare that he isn’t good with people after years of confinement. He gets rehabilitation help from a prison therapist (Connie Britton). Here is a man who killed someone who feel remorseful, who is broken and even angrier than ever. Roman even has outburst of anger from time to time but by enrolling into the social rehabilitation program he is going to find a little bit of peace with himself. The inmates here have a chance to get rehabilitated and when they get out to be able to reintegrated into society and have a regular job. Two totally opposite worlds, one of a prisoner and a horse, who will nevertheless learn to understand each other and learn from each other. It seems horses are the solution for roman to get on the right path. Matthias incarnate the role of this emotional man who has a temper but wants to get better. In a way the horse that he named Marquis who also has a temper are going to heal each other in the weeks to come. Here Roman wants to take control of his life and have a normal life. The are unanswered question towards the end but I like it this way.

SIBYL (2019)

A film by  Justine Triet

Cast:  Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Laure Calamy

The film is presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2019Sibyl is a novelist reconverted into a psychoanalyst. Caught up by the desire to write, she decides to leave most of her patients. As she searches for inspiration, Margot, a young actress in distress, begs her to receive her. Margot is in a middle of making a film , she is pregnant with the main actor … who is in a relationship with the director of the film. While she exposes her passionate dilemma, Sibyl, fascinated, record her on her cell phone secretly. The words of her patient nourishes her novel and takes her back in her past. When Margot implores Sibyl to join her in Stromboli for the end of the shoot, everything accelerates at a vertiginous pace …

Sibyl (Virginie Efira) mother, sober for years from alcohol decide to ditch her patient to write an other Novel, after all she was a successful write at one time. She goes to alcoholic anonymous weekly, has her circle of friends as well as a boyfriend. At first when Sibyl receives Margot she fells like she is the mother that has to nourish her child as well as to protect her. That is the first act. The she goes on this island now sibyl has new rules that she has to obey from the director Mika (Sandra Hüller) plus in between there are the flashback of the life of sibyl from time to time. Here is a novelist who is going to have a melt down. Terrific acting from Exarchopoulos and Efira who are plugging themselves in a waterfall of emotions not an easy thing to do. Terrific directing from Justine Triet who directed Vitoria previously.

BLANCHE COMME NEIGE (2019)

A film by  Anne Fontaine

Cast:  Lou de Laâge, Isabelle Huppert, Charles Berling

English title: White as snow

Claire, a young woman of great beauty, arouses the irrepressible jealousy of her mother-in-law Maud, who goes so far as to premeditate her murder. Saved in extremis by a mysterious man who lodge her on his farm, Claire decides to stay in this village and will awaken the excitement of its inhabitants … One, two, and soon seven men will fall under her spell! For her, it’s the beginning of a radical emancipation, both carnal and sentimental …

Here is the fable of snow white rewriting in today’s contest By Anne Fontaine who breaks the codes and delivers a burlesque fable. Once upon a time … Snow White, but like you never seen it before. I have to say that because the subject matter that she chooses she is unique in a way. She takes elements of the fable like the the 7 dwarfs and the poisoned apple turns it around into a modern fable. Claire (Lou de Laâge, who is perfect in the role) survives an attempted murder orchestrated by her mother-in-law Maud (Isabelle Huppert).who is jealous. Claire found herself in this foggy village in the mountains where she will awake the excitement of seven men and she Claire discovers her desires. Of course the men has their fragilities and their weakness without the clichés. The film is done in a form of a thriller. Maud who is trying to find her to finish the job. Funny at times in this strange and comic tale that Anne seems to give it a fresh look. By the way the cinematography is breathtaking.

TEL AVIV ON FIRE (2019)

A film by  Sameh Zoabi

Cast:  Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton

Salam, 30, lives in Jerusalem. He is a Palestinian and an intern on the set of the hit Arabic series “Tel Aviv on Fire!” Every morning he crosses the same checkpoint to work in Ramallah. One day, Salam is arrested by an Israeli officer Assi, fan of the series, to try to get away, he claims to be the scriptwriter. Taken to its own trap, Salam will be imposed by Assi a new scenario. Obviously, nothing will happen as planned.

Salam (Kais Nashif) a Palestinian living in Israel, he’s working as a production intern on the TV series named Tel Aviv On Fire, set in 1967 on the verge of the Six-Day War, it is clear that he is here because his uncle is a producer of the series and tries to rekindle the relationship of an ex girlfriend. Salam is here on the set as a person who reviews the authenticity of the language spoken. When he goes back home, Officer Assi , fan of the series ask him if he is the screenwriter, and bang Assi read the latest script and demand that he writes the story as he sees fit. To top it all off the next day the original writer had enough and leaves the set. Salam’s uncle promote Salam to screenwriter. Ho! boy. Salam here has no inspiration and has writer’s block. but you will not believe that is going to happen.

The director here is being conscious and careful about the ongoing issues about the Israeli and the palestinian, and balances the humour and the narrative perfectly well. Here Palestinians and Israelis has to live together regardless of the past and it is not an easy thing to do. Salam here is in his neck but seems to try to get his head above water. He is trying to get his old flame back in the process. Making a series is a hard thing to do and is a lot of work. Nobody seems to be on the same page. Here Salma is trying to make everybody happy will he succeed at getting his old flame back and will he succeed in writing a successful ending. Well see the movie.

MON BÉBÉ (2019)

A film by  Lisa Azuelos

Cast:  Sandrine Kiberlain, Thaïs Alessandrin, Victor Belmondo

English title : Sweetheart

Heloise is the mother of three children. Jade, her “youngest daughter”, has just turned eighteen and will soon be leaving the nest to continue his studies in Canada. Jade’s departure approaches, and in the stress that this represents, Heloise remembers their shared memories, those of a tender and fusional mother-daughter relationship, and anticipates this departure by playing the apprentice filmmakers with her IPhone, so she has memories to look back to when Jade is gone …

Nearly three years after “Dalida”, more than ten years after “LOL “, the director Lisa Azuelos returns with Mon Bébé going back to the family theme that she does so well especially the mother daughter relationship. It is filmed with ease and grace and I so love that. Extremely well writing, entertaining, well casting need I say more. Ok I will say more first Sandrine Kiberlain delivers the role beautifully well has great chemistry with Thaī Alessandrin who is a new comer I think and to top it all off Victor Belmondo the grandson of Jean-Paul Belmondo is in this film. A bit of a autobiographie in there somewhere like her film LOL. The director here admitted that she was faced with the departure of her own daughter who like in the film has decided to study in Canada. So she decided to write it finally but under a form of fiction. It is an emotional film but not too emotional with some moments of pure beauty. We know that the last child that is going to leave it is going to be difficult for the mother to let her go. It is hard for a mother to let go her child into to the world the mother wants always to protect her child don’t matter what. Azuelos avoid the clichés here and what a terrific film she directed. You will have a good time guaranteed.