EN GUERRE (2018)

en guerre

selection officiel competition

A film by Stéphane Brizé

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Mélanie Rover, Jacques Borderie

English title: At war

In spite of heavy financial sacrifices on the part of the employees and a record profit of their company, the management of the factory Perrin industries nevertheless decides the total closure of the site. Agreement scorned, promises not respected, the 1100 employees, led by their spokesman Laurent Amedeo (Vincent Lindon), refuse this brutal decision and will try everything to save their jobs.

Magnificent fiction that feels like a documentary, La loi du Marché  appears today as the first film of a fierce social diptych where Stéphane Brizé and Vincent Lindon, director and committed actor, set themselves against the world of large companies, destined to grind its production in the ultimate quest for profit. From another angle, the trade union struggle, En Guerre shows the fight, that feels like a documentary, especially in the texture of the image, the choice of the camera on the shoulder, and the impressive game of amateur actors who live the fight. It feels like the fiction is real with the tv channels who report the news. This film will talk to people who has lived it. Here in France there are at least 115 strike a years we have one here now with the train company SNCF. Here the employees are pissed and strike to halt production. They demand to talk to the CEO. Yes it is like that in France I have seen it many times so the film feels like it is real at times due to the fact that there are few professional actors,  the others are amateur actors and everybody here has done a formidable job. Is the film inappropriate? On the contrary, does it fall to the point where the social struggle has never been so tense during the first year as President of Emmanuel Macron? Is it the confession of a lost cause?


En guerre is above all a complex film, behind a simplicity of feigned point of view. You see the fight with the mediators even between employees who are fed up with all this. Sometimes it goes on for months. Not a pretty thing here but a script well written again from the director Stéphane Brizé. A different view of the social struggle here without repeating himself. And yes it is presented at the Cannes film Festival.




everybody knows

film d'ouverture

Opening film

A film by Asghar Farhadi

Cast: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Jaime Lorente

Carolina (Penélope Cruz) and her Argentinean  husband with their children comes back to her hometown Madrid for a wedding. During the wedding unexpected events takes place that will reveal secrets to the open.

This film is the open film at the Cannes Film Festival, ok then good move but….. Here is the most looked at director who is the most creative of them all, with the Separation his masterpiece, and the client where he shines now he does a film in Madrid and it fall apart. As soon as the film started a quarter of it into it I knew where this was going and who did it and i do hate that from the most creative director. He needs to get back on the horse soon.The disappointment of his latest opus must take into account that Farhadi had never made any mistakes so far, until now.  Let’s first dispel any misunderstanding: the transposition in Spain of an initial material intended to be shot in Iran is not, a priori, a problem in itself. Farhadi had proved that he knew how to find his bearings in a shoot abroad, with actors of a language that is not his own.  Le Passé, made in France, allowed to find his style. However shot in Madrid everything falls apart. I am not saying that the film is not good it is watchable and it has a great cast with some great performances. Because of that Everybody Knows deserves the attention.


Everybody knows 2






Official selection

Everybody Knows (dir: Asghar Farhadi) – opening film
At War (dir: Stéphane Brizé)
The Wild Pear Tree (dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Ayka (dir: Sergei Dvortsevoy)
Dogman (dir: Matteo Garrone)
Le Livre d’Image (dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
Knife + Heart (dir: Yann Gonzalez)
Asako I & II (dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
Sorry Angel (dir: Christophe Honoré)
Girls of the Sun (dir: Eva Husson)
Ash Is Purest White (dir: Jia Zhang-Ke)
Shoplifters (dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda)
Capernaum (dir: Nadine Labaki)
Burning (dir: Lee Chang-Dong)
BlacKkKlansman (dir: Spike Lee)
Under the Silver Lake (dir: David Robert Mitchell)
Three Faces (dir: Jafar Panahi)
Cold War (dir: Pawel Pawlikowski)
Lazzaro Felice (dir: Alice Rohrwacher)
Yomeddine (dir: AB Shawky)
Leto (L’Été) (dir: Kirill Serebrennikov)

Un Certain Regard
Donbass (dir: Sergei Loznitsa) – opening film
Angel Face (dir: Vanessa Filho)
Border (dir: Ali Abbasi)
The Dead and the Others (dir: João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora)
El Angel (dir: Luis Ortega)
Euphoria (dir: Valeria Golino)
Friend (dir: Wanuri Kahiu)
The Gentle Indifference of the World (dir: Adilkhan Yerzhanov)
Girl (dir: Lukas Dhont)
The Harvesters (dir: Etienne Kallos)
In My Room (dir: Ulrich Köhler)
Little Tickles (dirs: Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)
Muere, Monstruo, Muere (dir: Alejandro Fadel)
My Favorite Fabric (dir: Gaya Jiji)
On Your Knees, Guys (Sextape) (dir: Antoine Desrosières)
Sofia (dir: Meyem Benm’Barek)

Out of competition
Solo: A Star Wars Story (dir: Ron Howard)
The House That Jack Built (dir: Lars von Trier)
Le Grand Bain (dir: Gilles Lellouche)
Little Tickles (dir: Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (dir: Bi Gan)

Midnight screenings
Arctic (dir: Joe Penna)
Fahrenheit 451 (dir: Ramin Bahrani)
The Spy Gone North (dir: Yoon Jong-Bing)
Whitney (dir: Kevin Macdonald)

Special screenings
10 Years in Thailand (dir: Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
The State Against Mandela and the Others (dir: Nicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte)
O Grande Circo Mistico (dir: Carlo Diegues)
Dead Souls (dir: Wang Bing)
To the Four Winds (dir: Michel Toesca)
La Traversée (dir: Romain Goupil)
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (dir: Wim Wenders)

Closing film
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (dir: Terry Gilliam)





fright night

A film by Tom Holland

Cast: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse

A teenager obsessed with horror films finds out that a vampire lives across from him. He tells the police, his friends but none of them will believe him. He decides to take matters into his own hands.

Roddy McDowall, who plays Peter Vincent an old wash out  actor who used to star in vampire movies. “The kids today,” he complains, “don’t have the patience for vampires. They want to see some mad slasher running around and chopping off heads.” That is so true even back then. This film is fun watch and more fun to see it again some 33 years later due to the fact that the special effect then where awesome. It happens one night where Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) while making out with his girlfriend who does not put out, sees some neighbours caring a coffin downstairs across where he lives. He gets curious and try to find out who lives there. When he finds out that it is a Vampire and tells everyone of his entourage even the police they do not believe him.

The first part of the film is funny and the second part unleashes lots of spectacular special effects and yes back then there were done well and fun to watch. Now days CGI on the computer which laid off those who was doing it in the studio. By the way Peter Vincent, is obviously supposed to remind us of  Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. McDowall’s performance is  funny, and he must have enjoyed it. Fright night is not your usual film horror film it stand out.





A film by Andrew Haigh

Cast: Travis Fimmel, Steve Zahn, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Charley Plummer

Charley Thompson (Charley Plummer)  is fifteen years old and has learned to live alone with a fickle father. Just arrived in Oregon, the boy finds a job at a horse trainer and cares for Lean on Pete, a purveyor.

Here is a terrific film where the director fully developed the characters and leaves you at the end wanting more. There are no concept of hiding twist here it is real as it gets. However the film is a different kind of road movie. You are going  to feel what our protagonist feels. Along the way on his journey you will meet Del (Steve Buscemi) the horse trainer, Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) , a homeless alcoholic, Amy Seimetz who plays the girlfriend of his dad and several others that he will meet along the way. Charley is going to become attach to the horse and find himself in this dilemma where he sees one way to go. As the film builds its momentum charley’s situation is about to become more desperate but his persistence will maintain him to stay alive and he will become a bit resourceful. The dialogue here  is more with charley where he talks to his horse to tell him where he comes from which also he won’t feel so along at times. It’s really the story of someone falling into a dangerous situation because he acts with his heart. It fells real and you want him to succeed. However the cinematography is beautiful, raw and brutal. The director here has a remarkable trust in his actors and vice versa. A must see. 





A film by Lars Kraume

Cast: Jonas Dassler, Judith Engel, Tom Gramenz

East Germany, 1956. Kurt, Theo and Lena are 18 years old and preparing to graduate from high school. With their comrades, they decide to do a minute of silence in class, in tribute to the Hungarian revolutionaries harshly repressed by the Soviet army. This minute of silence becomes a state affair. She will rock their lives. Faced with an East German government determined to identify and punish those responsible, the 19 students of Stalinstadt will face all threats and remain in solidarity.

Based on a true story back in 1956 a bunch of student listening to the illegal radio on the east german (4 years before the wall) about the Hungarians who wants the Russians out of their country are starting a revolution. One of the classmate decided to have a minutes of silence in class in honour of the Hungarians. And may the investigation begins, yes the school decided to see who started this.  The school is going to play dirty and secrets will surface. The film is plunging into the cold war that some people didn’t know about. It is a hard decision toward the end that the students took and thank god they took it. It is also about sacrifices and what is best for their kids. Education however is important. The costumes and the set design ere beautiful, it is like you were there. It is an ensemble cast and they are so perfect for each other. A  Brilliant successful stroke of action for this captivating evocation of East Germany where high school students discover the notion of treason, submission and rebellion.





A film by Jean-Paul Civeyrac

Cast: Andranic Manet, Diane Rouxel, Jenna Thiam

English title: A  Paris education

Étienne goes to Paris to study cinema at the university. There he meets Mathias and Jean-Noel who share the same passion as him. But the passing year will shake up their illusions …

Jean-Paul Civeyrac is a discreet filmmaker, author of sensitive and rather intimate films. As Civeyrac said in an interview “By imagining a story in the form of sentimental education, I wanted to talk about cinema, friendship, love and politics too, and to make a film a bit like a first film in a sense of urgency. The script is a bit autobiographical no surprise to me here.  Etienne’s (Andranic Manet) lnew Parisian life complicates his sentimental situation, and his conception of cinema is confronted with other visions. The so negative Mathias (Corentin Fila) and the friendly Jean-Noël (Gonzague Van Bervesseles) but also a flock of girls: his love interest from Lyon, from whom he slowly distances himself (Diane Rouxel), his bunch of roommates, such as fine art student Valentina (Jenna Thiam), activist Annabelle (Sophie Verbeeck), and finally the smart one Barbara (Valentine Catzeflis). He will be conflicted of which he will learn more than a few things. Here is a magnificent  black and white film, rich in a number of impressive shots that form together a plot yet simple but complicated as well. The film as an irresistible charm with a very realistic and sophisticated look. The shots are in their natural state. Not an easy thing to do coming to a fairly smaller city and going to the big city like Paris and trying to make it as a film maker. The ending could not be more perfect. A must see. 





A film by Vladimir de Fontenay

Cast: Imogen Poots, Callum Turner, Callum Keith Rennie

A young mother drifts from one motel to the next with her intoxicating boyfriend and her 8-year-old son. The somewhat family scrapes by living one hustle at a time, until the discovery of this mobile homes community  where the mother sees a possible future.

A house is what you buy; a home is what you make. Poots the impressive actress plays here Ali here plays it beautifully well she is hooked on her intoxicating boyfriend and gets by hustling (illegally trafficking, and dealing animals, namely roosters for fighting) with her boyfriend Evan (Callum Turner). They are struggling day by day and Ali sees it that it is not a good thing for a kid to be around this kind of life. However she wants stability and a home they can live in, So does her boyfriend but he does not want to get out of this kind of life. He want to make the easy money. Evan is cruel to the kid that is not his son by taking him on some kind of criminal activity. Sure enough the mother get into a crisis with Evan and runs off. And may the journey of being reborn begins.


The characters here are well develop; Ali come with emotional baggage and so is Evan. It is of sort a morbid story and you hope there is a bit of relieve for Ali who want more out of life but does not know how to go about it. It is shot in the winter and there is a glacial beauty into the cinematography. Mobile home-made sails to the theatre here in France through the Cannes film festival but the film is on its third week and that is it, I saw it just in time before it goes off into the sunset. I am wondering if the audience even liked it. I know I did, it is so intelligently written.



dans la brume

A film by Daniel Roby

Cast: Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Fantine Harduin

One day  where a strange deadly mist submerges Paris, survivors find refuge in the upper floors of buildings and on the roofs of the capital. Without information, without electricity, without water or food, a couple tries to survive this disaster and save their daughter … But the hours go by and one thing is clear: relief will not come and if one should survive , one hope to try his luck IN THE MIST …

English title: Just a breath away

The correct translation for title is In the mist by the way . So you have seen the Mist the American version this is the French version but rewritten differently, also from the fog by John Carpenter. As soon as I seen the daughter I knew how it is going to end and it did. The images of Paris of which the mist is setting in Paris where are hero du jour Mathieu (Romain Duris) is trying to escape running to his daughter’s apartment.The originality of Dans la Brume lies primarily in its Parisian decor, but also in its choice to take an interest in home life : separated parents and girl with an incurable disease. The advantage here to film in Paris and using CGI for the fog along with the apartment with the girl and her mom lives. The filmmaker focuses on not doing in the sensational but keeping it real; What would our real people will do in this situation. Where the writer who wrote the screenplay has decided that our hero will make errors along the way. With only 9 millions Euros for the film the director was creative in order to shoot  the  film that is entertaining.




RAZZIA (2018)

Razzia 2

A film by Nabil Ayouch

Cast: Maryam Touzani, Arieh Worthalter, Amine Ennaji

Five separate narratives set in Casablanca will merge into each other and all hell will break loose.

Nabil Ayouch offers us a film about dreams, trial, acceptance and struggles in the streets of Casablanca. “Happy is he who can act according to his desires” opens the film by a proverb from in Berber.  In Razzia, the French-Moroccan director puts together five different stories spanning two-time periods that is going to fit the highly charged theme of the film.

We start out in 1982 in the spectacular setting of the Atlas mountains, in a tiny village where a teacher Abdallah (Amine Ennaji) must bow to the laws  of the state and stop teaching in Berber, the only language that his students understand. Soon, the defeated Abdallah who is angry but passive about the news  will leave this place, and with it his budding romance with the spirited widow Yto (Nezha Tebbaï). We jump up to 2015 where this beautiful woman Salima (Maryam Touzani) dressed a little provocative for a woman in Morocco who takes a swim well almost in her dress, because a  bikini is not allowed over there to protest the law (Men and women are not the same). She goes in a house of her friend named Yto to dance and be free smoke if she wants because at home her boyfriend does not want her to work nor smoke or dance. I guess just sit there and look pretty. Elyas (Abdellah Didane) the son of Yto who works as a bartender has this house full of memorabilia of Casablanca the film with Bogart. Then you have Hakim (Abdelilah Rachid),  faces different problems, as his family and neighbours in the city’s working-class Medina district stand in the way of his dreams of becoming a rock star like Freddie Mercury. And Inès (Dounia Binebine) who lives a charmed life is lonely and trying to find her identity in all that. All those stories will merge at the end where all hell is going to break loose. A terrific puzzled film with beautiful cinematography at its purest form. The director here shines as usual in hoping he does for the rest of his career. He knows how get the actor there playing emotional part and well as he knows how to write them. Do not miss this one. Plus a perfect ending to go with it.


Razzia 3

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