Kicking off on 9 March, Palace Cinemas will be hosting the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival. The festival presents a thrilling 45 film line-up featuring the best of French cinema and indeed, some of the finest acting talents.
For four weeks Canberra foreign film lovers will enjoy a wide variety of French genres. Kicking off the festival is Jérôme Salle’s The Odyssey – a biopic about celebrity oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Following on are plenty of comedy films including Lost in Paris and Souvenir starring academy award nominated actress Isabelle Huppert.
A Journey Through French Cinema (Bertrand Tavernier) guides viewers through tributes to French filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and musicians with rare and behind-the-scenes insights. There is also a plethora of coming-of-age school films such as Being 17 (André Téchiné) and Elementary (Hélène Angel) and fans of cinematic art and expressive dance will not want to miss Mosieur Chocolat or Stephanie Di Giusto’s La Danseuse (The Dancer):
Set in the American Midwest, Loie Fuller (French singer-songwriter, Soko) arrives in Boston to follow a newfound dream to achieve worldwide fame as a dancer. As she attempts to break into the dance scene she finds herself competing with a rival performer, Isadora Duncan (Lily-Rose Depp).
Loie sets out to create a dance sequence to blow away her competitors, which in turn, creates a sequence that begins to be rather damaging to her health. With soulful sensuality amid all the characters, this results in a lustful and powerful affair.
Surprisingly much of this film is in English, however, the tone and elegance is unequivocally French. The art dominates story here and dance-lovers will enjoy this the most with beautiful lead performances from Soko and Depp.
While the narrative is slow, and much of the film keeps the viewer somewhat distanced, the true beauty here is in the serpentine dance sequences which light the picture with its dazzling performance and array of colours.
The festival also includes films set in the court of Versailles, such as Mozart’s Sister, a film in which a girl’s struggles to live in the shadow of a prodigal figure, and closing the festival on the 4th of April is A Bun in the Oven, a comedy directed by Nadège Loiseau.
To quote the Festival’s Artistic Director, Philleppe Platel, “You will contemplate for the opening night, laugh for the closing night; and in between, you will travel the world and through time, you will dance and sing, you will fall in love, and you will dream. French cinema, more vibrant and alive than ever, is for every single one of you.”