In a year that even Hollywood bowed before the exquisite artistry of French Cinema –with The Artist receiving five Oscars and legendary filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen delivering their own cinematic love letters to Paris – the Rendez-vous with French Cinema should not be missed by any self-respecting film lover. From March 21st to 24th, this charmingly titled fest will showcase eight eagerly awaited French films in four of the most loved film venues in London: Ciné Lumière, Curzon Soho, Curzon Mayfair and The Clapham Picture House.
Keeping in line with the currently popular theme of nostalgia, the opening film of the festival follows the romantic adventures of a mother and a daughter from Paris in the sixties to London’s modern days. Directed by Christophe Honoré with an all-star international cast that includes French idol Catherine Deneuve , Parks and Recreation alumni Paul Schneider and Czech director Milos Forman, Beloved sways through romance and drama with the characters intermittently bursting into songs.
Two other highlights of the festival also revolve around the idea of l’amour fou. Goodbye First Love, which has already been screened in some of the biggest film festivals in the world, tells a heartfelt tale of teenage love, while Delicacy is a romantic dramedy about a workaholic widow who is courted by a Swedish co-worker, starring the always lovable Audrey Tautou.
Moving away from romantic films, there is Olivier Marchal’s (creator of the hit TV cop drama Braquo) intense gangster film with the apt title A Gang Story. Finally, parents and children alike will definitely be enchanted by Tales of the Night, the latest film from celebrated French animator Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress).
Add to this eclectic mixture of films, some exciting Q&A sessions with A-list talents such as Deneuve and A Prophet’s wonderful star Tahar Rahim, as well as a number of intriguing after screening events like a Norman nautical party, and you have five genuinely “jours de fête” as our Gallic friends would say. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
For more info about screenings, visit the links below:
Institut Francais (March 21-23rd)
Curzon Soho and Mayfair (March 21-24th)
The Clapham Picture House (March 24th)