Posted in French film

RODIN (2017)

Rodin

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A film by Jacques Doillon

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Izïa Higelin, Séverine Caneele

This film is presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2017. In Paris, in 1880, at the age of 40, Auguste Rodin received his first commission from the State: the Gate of Hell composed of figurines, some of which will make his glory as Le Baiser And The Thinker. He shares his life with Rose, his constant companion, when he meets the young Camille Claudel, his most talented pupil who quickly becomes his assistant, then his mistress.

No, Rodin certainly does not reveal a simple biopic. Doillon,  explores the most inventive and paradoxically the least appreciated period of the sculptor’s career during his lifetime, is primarily concerned with sentimental drama. At 40, the artist tackles one of his most ambitious creations: the door of Hell.  He wishes with this work to give a tangible illustration of the Circles of Hell from “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, is a roundabout way of expressing his repressed impulses and feelings. Panting like a boxer in the ring, sometimes brusque, sometimes passionate, Rodin is interpreted to perfection by Lindon, who is this exceptional actor who nails it dead on. It is a joy to see him pulling no punches and going full blast like a torpedo. He said in an interview he had to learn how to sculpt 5 hours  a day for 5 months. Rodin was a hard worker who has a long time girlfriend , and also a mistress who was his student. Camille was crazy about Rodin and was hoping that he left his girlfriend, however Rodin had a weakness for women. Lindon here won for best actor for the measure of a man last year maybe well I do not want to jinx it for him. I hope he does.

Rodin film

Izïa Higelin, Vincent Lindon

Posted in French film

DE TOUTE MES FORCES (2017)

De toutes mes forces

A film by Chad Chenouga

Cast: Khaled Alouach, Yolande Moreau, Laurent Xu

English: Of all my strength 

Nassim ( Khaled Alouach) first time in a Parisian high school and seems as carefree as his pals. No one suspects that in reality he has just lost his mother and returned every night to a youth center. Despite the goodwill of the director, he refuses to be assimilated by the young people of his youth center. Like a tightrope walker, Nassim sails between his two lives, which must not meet at any price.

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Here is a teenager who will lose his mother where not even his uncle and aunt wants to take him because they can’t. He is put in a youth center for teenager where either their parents can not take care of them or they passed away. Nassim refuses to go but has no choice. He has to do with what he has to do with. He goes to a Parisian school and does not tell his friends where he resides now. He does not want them to find out to fear that they will think less of him. Nassim wants to be different then the others but he has all for success in his life and going to want to destroy it all due to the fact he is still angry with his mother for leaving him in this mess.  Chad Chenouga follows step by step the path of the young man avoiding the clichés. By sparing himself nothing of his fears, doubts, anger and determination, he creates an immediate empathy, especially as the young Khaled Alouach, with the face of an angel and curly hair, plays him perfectly well. Yolande Moreau, full of roundness and tenderness, torn between being the mother for them and being the strict director,  cop like transports us without restrictions to the heart of this intimate drama. There is a nice little film creatively written that avoid  all the clichés.

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Posted in French film

LES FANTÔMES D’ISMAEL (2017)

LES FANTOMES D'ISMAEL

A film by Arnaud Desplechin

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg

English: Ismael’s Ghosts

The first film at the Cannes films festival here is Ismael’s Ghosts. The execution of this film is obsessively near perfect and it’s not conventional.

On the eve of the shooting of his new film, the life of a filmmaker is upset by the reappearance of a lost love …

It is set up as a spy film at the opening of the film but the director through you off course from the start. it is not you typical film here , he shot it unconventionally with back and forth story telling form of flashback that is going to be a little confusing at first but you are going to find your way in. His style remains refreshingly free-spirited. Ismael (Mathieu Amalric) is preparing; a scrappy but enticing drama chronicling the life of his brother, Ivan (Louis Garrel). He is also obsessed about the disappearance of his former Carlotta (Marion Cotillard) wife some 20 years ago. He is fighting not to think about it too much. Here come this woman Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is shy & affectionately kind-hearted lover, encourages him to keep his head above water. But somehow his former wife reappear out of nowhere. There is a bit of frustration in this film but the actors are outstanding is a matter of fact the cast is perfect. It has its up and down here and a lot of drama. This high-caliber director has this awesome creative mind here but I know some of you will not like this one. Here in France there are a lot of critics that loves it, even the audiences.

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Posted in Belgium Film, British film, French film, uncategorized

A MESSAGE FROM THE KING (2017)

Message_from_the_King

A film by Fabrice Du Welz

Cast: Teresa Palmer, Luke Evans, Tom Felton

Jacob (Chadwick Boseman) King arrives from Cape Town in Los Angeles, in search of his missing sister. A stranger in a world of which he knows nothing. $ 600 in pocket and a return ticket to Cape Town 7 days later.

The opening of the film a man in customs where the officer asks him bunch of question , but the man in question is on vacation. He is from Cape Town Africa and drive a cab over there. They ask him if he has family his response is no. Soon after settle in this Roach motel. He goes to see his sister at her apartment. No one has seen her so he begins to investigate. What is he going to find, her is not going to like it and will put in motions a series of events that is going to take place.

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This film noir is a slow paces burner nothing that you have not seen before but has a few twist and turn especially at the end. You won’t see it coming. It is shot like a 70’s style film showing the not so good neighbourhood in L.A. An outsider who is trying to find his sister who is going to make some friends along the way or I might have help one in distress. When he finds out what happens to his sister the dark side of Jacob will surface. To me if he did end the film like he did then the all film is out in the water . A nice little ending here that makes the film worth seeing.

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Posted in Based on a true story, French film

DJANGO (2017)

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A film by Etienne Comar

Cast: Reda Kateb, Cécile De France, Bea Palya

Django Reinhardt is not a name that is commonly heard  outside the Tzigane jazz community. The story burst open in a Tzigane community in Belgium where a bunch of them are playing jazz when suddenly they are shot by german soldier even the blind man who was playing the guitar.

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The real Django.

Then the story takes us in Paris, 1943 as the jazz guitarist ( Reda Kateb) is reaching the height of his success . Unfortunately the german who occupied Paris want Django to play in Germany for the troops . But Django has idea of his own he wants to go to the neutral zone the Swiss border. The narrative Zig Zag here a bit but it is fine. Django is waiting to go to Switzerland and waiting for the instruction from his passer. But a certain German officer caught up with him and if he does not complied to the orders to play in Germany well the tzigane community will perish.

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Complete collection (1934 – 1951)

Etienne Comar here capture the atmosphere and emotion of watching one of the most incredible guitarists who ever lived play. Reba Kateb incarne beautifully well the guitarist. Cécile de France plays Louise, Django’s former flame and double agent for the resistance, does a stunning performance of moral twists and turns. The film capture the all atmosphere in the bar, cigarette smoking, Pastis, and whiskey as well as wine being served. The cinematography is stunning and the viewer will bath in a 1943 setting. You get the complete edition (1934 – 1951) of Django Reinhardt, which is now on my computer.

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Posted in French film

JUSTIN DE MARSEILLE (1935)

affiche justin de marseille maurice tourneur

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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Posted in French film

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.

CESSEZ-LE-FEU