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San Francisco Film Society: French Cinema Now – November 6-9, 2014

Three Men to Kill (1980)

Three Men to Kill (1980)

By Janine Gericke. 

The San Francisco Film Society’s Fall season begins with the seventh annual French Cinema Now series on November 6. As expected, this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint, providing enough storytelling variety and star power to satisfy any San Francisco Francophile. The four-day event kicks off with Paris Follies (France 2014, 98 min.), starring the astonishing Isabel Huppert as a woman looking for a little excitement in her life. The film also stars Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Michael Nyqvist. The director, Marc Fitoussi, is expected to be in attendance, and audiences will have two opportunities to see the film. The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo stars in the heist film, The Last Diamond (France 2014, 109 min.), directed by Eric Barbier, which also screens on Thursday night.

The second day offers a coming of age story and a romantic comedy. Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood (France 2014, 113 min.) follows 16-year-old Marieme, as a member of a girl gang in suburban Paris. Thomas Cailley’s Love at First Sight (Les Combattants, France 2014, 98 min.) is a love story that takes place at an army recruitment boot camp.

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Saturday has the North American Premiere of Jean Denizot’s The Good Life (France 2013, 93 min.) The film follows a father and his two sons who are living on the run. International star Marion Cotillard stars as a woman fighting for her job in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night (Belgium/France/Italy 2014, 95 min.). The night’s last film is Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu’s Love is the Perfect Crime (France/Switzerland 2013, 111 min.). The film stars Mathieu Amalric as a professor suspected in the disappearance of a female student.

The final day begins with a screening of Jacques Deray’s Three Men to Kill (France 1980, 93 min.). The film stars Alain Delon, from one of my personal favorites Le Samouraï (1967). This newly restored thriller should be a crowd pleaser. Françoise Dupeyron’s One of a Kind (France 2013, 123 min.) tells the story of Frédi, who has a gift for healing. The Easy Way Out (France 2014, 98 min.) also has its North American Premiere at this year’s French Cinema Now, and director Brice Cauvin is expected to be in attendance.

The weekend’s final film, from acclaimed director Olivier Assayas, is a star-studded ensemble starring the lovely Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Grace Moretz, Clouds of Sils Maria (France/Germany/Switzerland 2014, 123 min.).

This year’s series should have something for everyone. If you are in the San Francisco Bay area, be sure to stop by the Vogue Theatre November 6-9th.  Visit sffs.org for more details.

Janine Gericke is a Film International ‘In the Field’ writer.

1 Comment for “San Francisco Film Society: French Cinema Now – November 6-9, 2014”

  1. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night is perhaps the best film I have seen so far this year, though I had to buy a British Region 2 DVD to see the film – it’s nice to see Marion Cotillard in a project worthy of her talents, rather than slumming in a Christopher Nolan film.

    One of the nicest thing about Two Days, One Night is the compactness of the film; it runs very straightforwardly through Cotillard’s quest to keep her job, after her unscrupulous boss offers each of her co-workers a 1,000 euro bonus if they agree with his plan to fire her after a leave of absence due to illness.

    Going from one colleague to another, she is met with a wide variety of responses to her plea, leading up to a rather unexpected but altogether appropriate ending, which I won’t reveal here. The only other film I can remember recently hitting me with this sort of impact is Under The Skin, and it’s somewhat sad that the offerings out there right there are so thin.

    Whiplash, for example, is just another remake of the Red Shoes, with J.K. Simmons, a gifted actor, in the Lermontov role. Two Days, One Night is a film that speaks to the current economic climate of uncertainty, as well as the unrelenting disparity between management and workers, who always seem to get the short end of the stick.

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