French film

JUSTIN DE MARSEILLE (1935)

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A film by Maurice Tourneur

Antonin Berval, Pierre Larquey, Alexandre Rignault 

Justin is a bandit with a big heart: he protects the weak and it is worth it  to him to be respected and appreciated by a great majority of people of Marseille. The only shadow on Justin’s board is Esposito, a dark character with the head of a band of dangerous criminals.

Maurice Tourneur is one of French cinema’s important directors who enjoyed tremendous success not only in France but in Germany and USA too where he made some major films. Studio Pathé has  released an important DVD box set which features some of his best known films Justin De Marseille is one of the earliest successful gangster film in French cinema. Tourneur here had sa lot of success in America as well he reinvented story telling. He influenced a lot of directors. “Show the people anything, but show them something,” he declared in an interview. Story telling had to be done right. As for this story it was done right, the thing is that I love the most is the landscape to how was Marseille Back then. I went back a few years ago and did it aver changed. It is about the rivalry of two gangster and how they are going to battle it out. Justin here help the one in need but keep in mind he is a gangster who deals drugs or even steals it from his rival gang. In the mix there is a girl who just got in Marseille and looking for a job but ends up in bed with one of the rival gangster. A terrific film here with one happy and confident loving by the people of Marseille Justin, who thinks this is all fun a games. Funny at times and well filmed with some beautiful scenery. If you can get the coffret I suggest it is worth it.

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CESSEZ-LE-FEU (2017)

CESSEZ-LE-FEU (2017)

A film by Emmanuel Courcol

Cast: Romain Duris, Mathilde Courcol-Rozès, Arnaud Dupont, Céline Sallette

English: Cease fire (translation of the title)

1923. George (Romain Duris) , a hero of the 1914 war fleeing his past, has for four years led a nomadic and adventurous life in Africa when he decides to return to France. He finds his mother and his brother Marcel, a war invalid walled up in silence. Unable to regain a place in this post-war period when life went on without him, he meets Helene (Céline Sallette)  a sign language teacher with whom he forges a tormented relationship …

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It is to pay tribute to his grandfather that Emmanuel Courcol, who is the first feature film and who is known mainly as co-screenwriter of the films of Philippe Lioret, had the desire to address this Historical period. 1914-1918 is the first “modern” war, infamous for the physical consequences it has left the soldiers. On the other hand, few specialists have studied the psychological consequences of this type of conflict, what is now known as “post-traumatic stress disorder” due to the impossibility of returning to civilian life. The opening scene Has this raw realism that is enough to account for this bloody horror. Then everything calms down. We are in 1923, five years after the end of the war. One discovers a Paris where people are moving on and forgetting the war. The money of the wealthy flows freely, the carelessness of this new society, has an insolent luxury of the hideous and above all the arrogance of the new generation that is spreading  out everywhere. For Georges, a wounded, ex-soldier  and lonely man who no longer finds his place in this world which he does not recognize, it is unbearable. So he goes to Africa, well for some reason I will not mention he see the film he goes back to France. Georges’ brother did not recover well from the war. There George meet this free-spirited independent  woman who is maybe going to be good for him or not. Emmanuel Courcol is showing us an elegant and sober look on a painful period of our history. He also paints a precise picture of a contrasting period, magnified by the illuminations of Tom Stern, who transports us from the trenches but in France and Africa as well. There are superb colourful costumes as well as a beautiful scenery of the countries. Very good for a first film, I will give you a warning some of you will not like this film. This film is about relationship and the soldier coming back home not knowing if they are going to be integrated  in society again.

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C’EST BEAU LA VIE QAND ON Y PENSE (2017)

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A film by Gérard Jugnot

Cast: Gérard Jugnot, François Deblock, Isabelle Mergault

English: It is a beautiful life when we think of it. 

Loïc le Tallec, in his sixties, never really took care of his son. When his son dies in a car accident Loïc is devastated. He learned that his son has a donor’s card and his heart is in a body of an other young man. Loïc try to find him.

Nothing original here but it is a nice little comedy where you are going to learn a little bit about the Bretagne a region north-west of France. All of this in the magnificent scenery and capricious weather of Bretagne. Of course there is comedy here and the film is a little predictable. But it is easy to watch even fun and the beautiful scenery plus the actors are fine here. Touching and funny, this comedy about a father in search of redemption is a skillful mix between laughter and emotion. It is a beautiful fable like in France we know how to make deep in humanities and optimism. voila no more no less.

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LE SERPENT AUX MILLES COUPURES (2017)

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A film by Eric Valette

Cast: Tomer Sisley, Terence Yin, Pascal Greggory

What a French thriller néo-noir that works finally no pas possible. Ok back in the day there were a lot of them but now days it is the Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland who knows how to do them. Here Eric Valette has done an adaptation from the Series Noire entitled DOA is a thriller with a breath of fresh air. I have too admit Olivier Marshall knows how to make them I think he has a film coming out soon I can’t wait.

I am not going to say much about it you are going to find out when you see the film and a little warning it is not perfect but what is those days. In the mixed there are a motor cycle man played by Tomer Sisley (who is himself a director) we do not know much about him or where he comes from all we know is escape jail. But by killing a few person along the way he will set off a chain of event as follows a dude played by Terence Yin, who co-stars, he is from china, his character is a ruthless man with the effectiveness of a Terminator, affixed of a sidekick that perfectly holds the role of this lean mean machine of no emotion what so ever. Some drugs dealer ,no really! a lawyer and a godfather of sorts. Some racist farmers who does not like black people farming next to them. And you have a modern western with an explosive  ending. voila have fun.

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CORPORATE (2017)

CORPORATE

A film by Nicolas Silhol

Cast: Céline Sallette, Lambert Wilson, Stéphane De Groodt

What don’t you understand? we do not want you any more. So quit already. Yes it it going on all aver the world This sort of comportment in the corporate world.

Emilie Tesson-Hansen ( Cécile Sallette) , the human resources manager of the financial department of the Esen Group loses her cool to a long time suffering employee she set a series of events that will follow. For starter the suicide of this particular employee. You see Emilie is from the humans resources and has to tell the employee that they are trying to get rid off without touching employment. She is train for that. her entire professional world and her perception of herself that’s about to turn upside down. Cécile Sallette incarnate her character beautifully well. Emilie does her job well and has no problem with it but when the incident occur then she begins to question herself. They used the strategy that is called Ambition 2016 plan that uses behavioural evaluations to target those who resist change. But when the boss (Lambert Wilson) is afraid that is going to backfire and they are going to point the finger at him he is using Emilie as his escape goat. First film by Niclas Sihol here who has written the screen play has done a great deal of research here to know how the system work plus the lingo that goes with it.  voila c’est tout.

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PRIS DE COURT (2017)

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A film by Emmanuelle Cuau

Cast: Virginie Efira, Gilbert Melki, Renan Prevot

English: Not on my watch

Nathalie is a jeweler and has just moved to Paris for a new job and a new life with her two sons. But the jeweller suddenly changes their mind and tells her  that the position will not be for her. Nathalie wants to protect her children and decides not to tell them anything. This lies will give birth to other lies on both sides. May the fiesta of lies begins.. …

First I knows for a fact not too many people will like this film. But here Cuau is a talented director in telling the story with a realism into it. The filmmaker once again demonstrates, with a very limited budget, the extent of her skill at subtly, with a few stroke making her characters’ behaviour seem real skilfully executing  the rhythm of the narration and getting the best out of her outstanding actors. Virginie Efira, who carries the film exceptionally well and may I add what a joy to see Gilbert Melki delivering an outstanding performance as usual. The film is filmed with finesse and edited with scientific cadence is a slow cooker thriller here which the director accomplished the portrayal of this family that is solid and affectionate which will bring them to the brink of fear of this cruel world until they are almost on the verge of the point of no return here Natalie thinks of a solution to get them out. The thing here Emmanuelle Cuau deserves to have more money to make the most of her potential.

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ORPHELINE (2017)

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A  film by Arnaud des Pallières

Cast: Adèle Haenel, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Solène Rigot 

English title: Orphan 

Here it is a portrait of a woman at 4 stages in her life. A little girl with a tragic ending of a hide and seek game. As a Teenager she is running away because she is not happy there and she meets man after man and  goes back home later. As a young woman who works along the side of a professional gambler and as a woman in her 30’s married who has changed her name and tried to hide her passed but it has caught up with her.

We begin with Renée (Adéle Haenel), a schoolteacher with dreams of becoming a mother, who finds her life turn up side down  with the reintroduction of an old friend recently released from prison (Gemma Arterton). Sandra (Adéle Exarchopoulos), who responds to an advert to work alongside an older gambler (Robert Hunger-Buhler) in a shady role. Karine (Soléne Rigot), who is subject to abuse from her father, and so drifts from one man to the next, seeking love and affection. The director here who is demanding of his actress but lets them work as freely as they want as wrote this story of his wife I am going on a limb here loosely based on his wife past life. Each stages of her life has a tragedy of some kind. The film is disorienting at times but you will figure it out. You begin to wonder if this woman is going to be caught a break. Orphan explores the complexities of women, in a way that is seldom seen on-screen.

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