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The French Revolution Continues In London

 

One can see that the French Revolution never really ended in the 18th century…..it continues into our own, in terms of style, fashion and the arts. French film is continually re-inventing itself and finding new ways of expression in a 100-year-old art form. At this year’s London Film Festival, a section appropriately entitled French Revolutions showcases some of the cinematic trend-setters of the year.

 

With the obvious exception of the American and the British, the French have been one of the few countries in the world to produce bona fide international movie stars, as well known outside of their country as in it. However, most of the French stars are appreciated for the diversity of their roles rather for endless repetition of the same persona. This certainly describes Isabelle Huppert, a fearless actress who is featured in two of the films in the section. In COPACABANA, she takes on a rare comic role, as a woman forced to go on a training course to become a travelling salesperson who cannot abide with the aggressive sales techniques that she is expected to apply to her future customers. In SPECIAL TREATMENT, she plays a hard-bitten prostitute who is looking to get out of the game and becomes entangled with a client who is a psychoanalyst.

 

One of the top French actresses of the moment is actually English. Kristin Scott Thomas has revitalized her career by starring in a succession of intensely dramatic French films. Her latest, IN YOUR HANDS, is a controversial story of the intense relationship between a woman who has been kidnapped and her abductor. Oscar winner Marion Cotillard stars opposite sexy leading man Benoit Magimel and veteran Francois Cluzet in the touching comedy LITTLE WHITE LIES  about the lies we tell ourselves and others in order to avoid confrontation. Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani have been dazzling international audiences since the 1970s. They unite in MAMMUTH, the story of an unconventional man and the women in his life.

 

Of course, in France, which invented the auteur theory in the first place, a director may become as well known as the actors in their film. These celebrated mettres-en-scene in this program include Benoit Jacquot (DEEP IN THE WOODS), Romain Goupil (HANDS UP), Lola Doillon (IN YOUR HANDS), Catherine Breillat (THE SLEEPING BEAUTY) and Jean-Paul Civeyrac (YOUNG GIRLS IN BLACK). From the newest generation of emerging talents comes such new names as Antony Cordier (HAPPY FEW), Isabelle Czajka (LIVING ON LOVE ALONE) and Mikhael Hers (MEMORY LANE). In France, the cinema revolution is never over…For more information on these and other films screening at the London Film Festival, visit: www.bfi.org.uk/lff.  Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Circuit Editor  

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About Festival Circuit

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Coverage of the world of film festivals on the international film festival circuit.


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