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Film Festivals

Rendezvous with French Cinema Series Brings Us New Titles By World-Class Directors

french cinThis year's installment of the Rendezvous with French Cinema series, The 19th edition -- presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance Films -- annually showcases a slice of contemporary French film of the previous year.

Running from March 6th through the 16th, 2014, this festival features several interesting new works at three venues: The Film Society, the IFC Center and BAMcinématek.

In François Ozon's Young & Beautiful, a gorgeous 17-year-old — Marine Vacth, in a striking, quasi-Bressonian performance — decides to become a call-girl. The director's films are consistently stylistically accomplished and this is no exception — his handling of camera-movement, camera-placement, composition for the frame, and editing are remarkable.

Ozon, working from his own screenplay, achieves some unexpected pathos and his refusal to explain his protagonist is admirable, although I would have appreciated greater artistic ambition here, as I would regarding the director's other films.

The digital image in Young & Beautiful is mostly handsome although some sensuality is attenuated in scenes with bright light. The sphinx-like Charlotte Rampling has a memorable cameo and the great French actress, Nathalie Richard, is featured in a small role. A final bonus is the expressive use of several Françoise Hardy songs on the film’s soundtrack, each one marking a passage of time.

In Jacques Doillon’s Love Battles, from the director’s own screenplay, a young woman engages in a series of erotic and romantic confrontations with a man whom she has fixated upon. Doillon is faithful to his austere conception and risks tedium in the pursuit of artistic honesty and refusal to charm but this certainly has many of the impressive qualities that distinguish the director’s original body of work.

The intertwining of aggression and hostility with vulnerability and tenderness is remarkable here and the female lead, Sara Forestier, gives an especially compelling performance. The film is shot in a relatively loose style, with a lot of handheld shots, generating an unusual intimacy. The use of a digital format, however, proves to be a serious liability as the copious bright sunshine in the film washes out the image due to the narrow range of contrast.

Agnès Jaoui's entertaining Under the Rainbow is about, among other things, a romance between a music student and the daughter of an industrialist, interspersed with fairy-tale elements. Working with her regular writing partner, Jean-Pierre Bacri — who brilliantly co-stars with Jaoui here — the filmmaker has constructed an clever screenplay with excellent dialogue. The mise-en-scène, however, is undisciplined, lacking the  elegance of an earlier feature like Look at Me. This weakness is further compounded by the inadequacies of the digital format.

love-battles-resizedSerge Bozon's eccentric Tip Top follows the investigation by two Internal Affairs operatives into the murder of an immigrant Algerian informant. The unusual tone here is engaging and it’s pleasurably disorienting effect is enhanced by delightful, comic performances by Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Kiberlain, in the lead roles. The director's style is formally controlled and characterized by abundant visual wit although the formal splendors are hampered by the deficiencies of the digital format. (The intriguing Bozon was the subject of a Film Society retrospective a few years ago.)

Bertrand Tavernier's Quai d'Orsay observes the circus-like atmosphere in which a newly hired young speechwriter attempts to please his employer, a Minister of foreign affairs. Thierry Lhermitte gives a bravura performance as the manic politician but Niels Arestrup as the chief deputy is even more impressive. 

Quai d'Orsay is not without interest but does not rise to the level of the director's best films, such as Coup de Torchon or Captain Conan. The absorbing classicism that opens the film settles into a somewhat routine conventionality for most its length. Here, again, the reliance on a digital format lamentably diminishes the visual texture.

For more information go to: www.filmlinc.com/films/series/rendez-vous-with-french-cinema-2014

Film Society of Lincoln Center
70 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY  10023

IFC Center323 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10014

BAMcinématek
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Open Roads—New Italian Cinema 2013

Director Marco Bellocchio
Open Roads — New Italian Cinema
June 6 - 12, 2013
 
You can’t fault the Film Society of Lincoln Center for bringing back Marco Bellocchio’s Dormant Beauty (which was first screened during Film Comment Selects in February 2013) as part of the latest edition of Open Roads — New Italian Cinema: this is an important, typically idiosyncratic film on a timely subject from a true cinematic master.

Read more: Open Roads—New Italian Cinema 2013

The Museum of Arts & Design Celebrates Punks on Screen & Screenprinting


From stapled zines, to xeroxed flyers, and 45 single sleeves, the aesthetics of the punk movement had an aesthetic of its own, with reverberations felt to this day in the world of art, media, and music. Running April 9 to August 18, Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976 - 1986, at the Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle, NY, NY) collects hundreds of texts, images, DIY zines, and more from the era that gave us The Ramones, Bad Brains, Patti Smith, and more.

Running alongside the exhibit is a film series of punk movies from around the world. Global Punk, running April 25 to July 11, is comprised of 7 films from countries including Mexico (Nadie es Innocente), Japan (Wild Zero), Hungary (The Dog’s Night Song), and the U.K. (Jubilee).

To learn more, go to: https://madmuseum.org/

Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976 - 1986
April 9 - August 18, 2019

Global Punk
April 25 - July 11, 2019

The Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

AIPAD Photography Show: Interior Spaces & Worldwide Galleries



One of New York and America’s biggest exhibitions of photographers and their work, the Photography Show Presented by AIPAD returns to New York's Pier 94 (711 12th Ave.). Running April 4 to the 7th, this is the 39th edition of the show and will feature nearly 100 photography galleries with work including contemporary, modern, and 19th century photographs, photo-based art, video, and new media.

Exhibitors include:

  • Alan Klotz Gallery
  • Arnika Dawkins Gallery Photographic Fine Art
  • Atlas Gallery
  • Augusta Edwards Fine Art
  • Barry Singer Gallery
  • baudoin lebon
  • BOCCARA ART
  • Bruce Silverstein Gallery
  • Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
  • Candela Gallery
  • Catherine Courturier Gallery
  • Catherine Edelman Gallery
  • Charles Isaacs Photographs Inc.
  • ClampArt

And many more.

The AIPAD Talks segment of the show features lectures and panel discussions that include subjects such as queer photography after Stonewall, art and representation, US/Mexico relations expressed through photography, and a series of discussions with artists. AIPAD will have a special exhibition called A Room For Solace: An Exhibition of Domestic Interiors, presented by Alec Sloth and will feature domestic interiors that speak to the possibility of finding refuge during turbulent times.

To learn more, go to: https://www.aipadshow.com/

The Photography Show Presented by AIPAD
April 4 - 7, 2019

Pier 94
711 12th Ave.
New York, NY 10019

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