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A View of Rendezvous with French Cinema

The annual Rendezvous with French Cinema sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center is a Love Crimeconsistent disappointment when judged against its earlier incarnation, which was co-programmed by Cahiérs du Cinema. The present version usually features only a handful of films by significant directors; this year's program is no exception.

Directors championed by Cahiérs with new films this year include François Ozon, Benoit Jacquot, and Catherine Breillat as well as two experimental film programs curated by Cahiérs critic, Nicole Brenez. The Positif (another French film journal) favorite, Bertrand Tavernier -- who, it is interesting to note, was championed too by auteurist critic, Robin Wood -- also has a new feature and will appear in person for an onstage conversation about his career.

Another director celebrated by Positif was Alain Corneau who just recently passed away and is being honored with a retrospective tribute screening of his neo-noir Série noire, adapted from a novel by the extraordinary Jim Thompson with dialogue by Oulipo legend, Georges Perec.

Corneau's last film, the entertaining and well-crafted Love Crime, a clever critique of contemporary capitalist mores, is also being screened in the series. The excellent Ludivine Sagnier gives a noteworthy performance but the greatest thrill is owed to Kristin Scott-Thomas, sensational here as an alpha-female executive.

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