To better celebrate this precious anniversary, what could be more prestigious and exciting than offering 25 personalities we are fond of to pick 25 films out of their vast personal collections, to be rediscovered on the big screen ?
A very fine gift from them for a highly recommendable program!
Nourished by the worlds of Ronald Searle, Sempé, Franquin, Jijé and most of all Alexis, one of his masters, François Boucq began his career before his twentieth birthday in 1974 at Le Point magazine with political caricatures. He later moved on to L'Expansion, Playboy, Le Matin de Paris, before joining the Pilote team (where he published Cornets d’humour with Delan) and finally Fluide Glacial where he gave birth to the Rock Mastard series and later Les leçons du Professeur Bourremou. Add to that book covers for Frederic Dard (San Antonio) and contributions to magazines such as Science et Vie Junior or record covers for the band Marcel et son orchestre. In 1991 this Stakhanovite penman collaborated with Alejandro Jodorowsky, for the mystical fantasy trilogy Face de Lune (Moon Face). They teamed up again in 1999 for Le Trésor de l’ombre (The Shadow's Treasure) and in 2001 for the series Bouncer. Keen on sketching his contemporaries, in 2017 Boucq signed Portrait de la France, and Trump in 100 Tweets the following year . In March 2018 a retrospective of his work was shown at Hubert Breyne's gallery in Paris.
Mocked by his peers because of his passion for lepidopterophilia, a bank clerk becomes obsessed by a young girl he's spotted on the bus. He decides to kidnap her and hold her captive.
The Collector is a film miles away from the same director's Hollywood sagas.
He chose to show two characters evolving in a huis-clos. In a concentrationary setting!
A young man compulsively and univocally in love tries to conquer the heart of the young girl he's set his sights on. By kidnapping her and keeping her captive.
And behaving with her as he does with the butterflies he meticulously and passionately collects.
If the film's starting point seems to be a simplistic allegory, but as the plot develops, it becomes more complex and subtle.
The director takes great pleasure in this jubilant confined story, like an entomologist. He rejoices in scrutinising his characters in an abnormal context.
Born in 1946, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou began writing at a very young age. At first for the Bordeaux daily La France, then for fanzines like Mercury and Lunatique, and later for magazines like Vampirella, Miroir du fantastique or Ciné-Revue. As soon as 1968 he devoted himself to the spirit of counter culture. And at a time when the genre was still raising eyebrows, he and Roland Lethem signed the anthology 65 ans de science-fiction au cinéma, (65 years of Science Fiction in cinema), a referential anthology and guide.
During that period he takes part in happenings, theater plays, and then goes on to create little experimental follies, like Satan bouche un coin, and a few porn movies. When he isn't writing licentious novels under different nicknames for publishers La Brigandine, he participates in book projects about Belgian movie theaters, the Avant-garde or blue movies. Under another moniker he partakes in some of his comrade Noel Gaudin's entartarges (pie throwing events). Assistant to and close to filmmakers like Franco, Rollin and Lethem, he's at the prow of the alternative culture he likes to transmit and that we like to receive.
After Voyageur Diurne and Homeo, here's the third and last short from experimental filmmaker Étienne O’Leary from Quebec. This psychedelic and kaleïdoscopic journey, shot in France, is a grand testimony of the May 1968 events.
The last of the three short psychedelic films directed in France between 1966 and 1968 by Etienne O'Leary, a young Canadian filmmaker, is the most intense and hypnotic. It shares Lautréamont's incantatory and refractory rage, with a lysergic edge. O'Leary died in 2011 in a Montreal psychiatric hospital at 66 years of age. He didn't shoot anything more after Southern Chromo, a landmark of his era's underground cinema.
During three decades, a very obsessive Parisian using a sophisticated device, secretly filmed the underskirts of women he stalked on the streets...
If numerous monomaniacs appear on screen, very few have stepped behind the camera. That's what makes Charles Way fascinating. The man was a true loony. From the Liberation of France to the mid seventies, he spent his time filming up-skirt shots, unknown by his female victims, in the street or in the stairways of the Parisian subway, with a 16mm camera hidden in a saxophone case. Panties and only panties, sometimes only glimpsed at, or suggested in lacy darkness. Nowadays he would be thrown in prison. And wrongly so. This assumed voyeur, who shares his obsession with us, was no doubt a poet.
Clotilde Courau was only 16 when she quit school to become an actress. She follows theater classes and joins Francis Huster's theater company. In 1988 she plays opposite Michel Bouquet in Molière's l'Avare. Two years later, Jacques Doillon grants her first lead part opposite Ricard Anconina in The Little Criminal, that won her the European Cinema Best Actress award. She follows with Bertrand Tavernier (L’Appât), Patrice Leconte (Les Grands Ducs), Pierre Jolivet (Fred) and Guillaume Nicloux (Le Poulpe). In 2000 she played in the first French neo-slasher (Promenons-nous dans les bois) and gave their chance to young directors like Olivier Megaton (Exit) et Guillaume Canet (Mon Idole). Recently she played with Zahia Dehar in Une fille facile, winner of the SACD award at Cannes' Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Director's Fortnight). She's just finished shooting the much anticipated Benedetta by Paul Verhoeven.
It's often said that living in fear breeds a people's docility. It's surely to prove this point that Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty edited dozens of hours of diverse images - ads, TV shows, educational films, government archives - testifying of the threat of possibly imminent nuclear warfare and the fear of the atom bomb.
You like musicals, gas masks, pinups, fallout shelters? Then you shouldn't miss "The Atomic Café" ! Every historical period has its own psychosis. The years 2010-2030 will be remembered for our fascination with economic breakdown and climate change. In the shape of a "cut-up" of propaganda films, newsreels, and adverts, "The Atomic Café", supported by a dynamic soundtrack, takes a humorous, sharp, cruel and irreverent look at the American obsession with nuclear annihilation in the 50s.
It's often useful to look back to better understand our present times and how their perception is manipulated, and this is achieved by this great "horror comedy".
Philippe Decouflé is truly a lover of the body and its motions. After studying with Isaac Alvarez, then with mime Marceau, he turns to the circus arts with Annie Fratellini before turning his sights to dancing with Merce Cunningham. This French contemporary dance choreographer gained fame by directing the 14th of July 1989 parade and the opening and closing ceremonies for the Albertville Olympic Games three years later. He also tried himself at publicity and directed many ads for Butagaz or Polaroïd, then also numerous music videos, notably one for New Order, or more recently for Beyonce, and directed the short film Le P’tit bal, an award winner the world over. Two years ago, Bruno Dumont called upon him for the choreographies in Jeannette, the Childhood of Jeanne d'Arc. All that doesn't stop him from pursuing his own creations such as Cyrk 13, the Revue of Desires, presented at the Crazy Horse, or Iris, in Japan, both daring and singular and acclaimed by audiences and professionals.
Two pretty young girls, Marie 1 and Marie 2 fight their boredom by seducing old men to be invited to the restaurant. But that doesn't really do it. They don't like the world they live in? Very well. They choose to spread chaos and mayhem.
I've chosen to present Vera Chytilova's Daisies, a Czech movie from 1966 that I discovered in 2012 in the racks of a video store in Brazil.
It tells the wild and improbable adventure of two young girls left to fend for themselves in a big empty house.
Chloé Delaume, "an authoress in general, a feminist in particular" was born in 1973. This lover of words practices many artistic activities, such as novels, autofiction, poetry, theater, chronicles for Arrêt sur images, when she isn't publishing other writer's work in her collection Extraction with Joca Seria Editions or leading writing workshops. Add to that the creation of the modern literature review Tina in 2008, followed two years later by her literary event À vous de lire. And that's not the half of it, she's also a performer, a singer and a musician, and so much more. In 2014 she directed The Contribution, a short anticipation film. A very rich and eclectic career, always driven by a taste for experimentation and the search for new forms, starting from her first novel Les Mouflettes d’Atropos, published in 2000 and in her following novels (over 20 today), she works on autofiction notably in the very intimate Le Cri du Sablier. Her last production, Mes bien chères soeurs, was published by Le Seuil in 2019.
In a not too distant future, a computer scientist invents a super-computer capable of performing huge calculations that could help solve many problems. But when its creator begins to question his work's finality, the computer chooses to emancipate itself and transfers its conscience directly into the scientist's home processor and proceeds to sequester his wife Susan.
This film had a great impact on me as a student. AI taking over, is a theme much more terrifying to me than zombies or forces of evil. Proteus IV is a much worse AI than HAL, it embodies itself through its robotic extensions and wants to reproduce itself. This is a domotic horror film, in which Julie Christie is held captive and abused in her own home. A rarity I wanted to share.
A major figure of French science-fiction, Sylvie Denis caught the genre's virus as a child in the 70s when she discovered the Cosmos 1999 series. Then the Fleuve Noir Anticipation book collection, that she gobbled up with immense pleasure, acted as a revelation. As well as writing the short stories that will make up the anthology Jardins virtuels (Virtual Gardens), she's translated other science fiction authors like Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter or Greg Egan, and founded the Cyberdream review, a reference in the genre. An english teacher until 2002, she abandoned this activity to start full time writing and translation. Her first novel Haute-École (Higher Schooling) is published in 2004, a sort of anti Harry Potter that questions the concepts of education. Will follow La Saison des singes (Monkey Season) in 2007 and two novels for kids : Les îles dans le ciel (Islands in the Sky) in 2008 and Phénix futur (Phoenix Future) in 2009. The same year sees the publication of Pèlerinage (Pilgrimage), her latest short story collection. Three years later she gives a sequel to La Saison des singes, with L’Empire du sommeil (Empire of Sleep), that furthers her brilliant literary career.
Françoise Monier, an astronaut, reluctantly leaves her husband for a space journey, accompanied by Lucien, the father of a young boy. After a few problems, they finally land. In the space ship, only a fortnight has gone by, but on Earth, as required by relativity, 25 years have passed.
Science fiction authors are often asked if they're not afraid that their writings inspired by the state of their times' science and technology, won't seem dated later. Sometimes they are, but they shouldn't.
Take Croisières Sidérales (Space Cruise), shot during the Occupation. Lorentz's equations and restrained relativity aren't dated yet. The explorers of the stratosphere pushed out into space by an accident are subjected to the normal effects of relativity, making this film an authentic work of science fiction.
This is a comedy with sharp dialog, that sometimes sounds a bit eerie considering when it was shot. With its upbeat tempo and the pleasure it takes at lampooning the media, greed and the search for celebrity, this movie, brimming with timeless cocky characters, is enchanting through its succession of wacky situations filmed with great inventivity.
It also features a scientist heroine who is her husband's equal and finds him to have aged 25 years when she returns from her space accident. Melancholy caused by the passing of time then sets in. But we're overjoyed to see that 1966 fashion trends imagined in 1941, would fit rather well in David Bowie's 1972 wardrobe.
Australian composer and musician Warren Ellis came to public attention with the band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He's collaborated to many albums by Marianne Faithfull, Catpower, Kim Salmon, playing piano, guitar or mandolin and founded the bands These Future Kings in 1986, then The Dirty Three in 1992, and finally Grinderman from 2006 to 2011. But nowadays his musical activities are focused on the silver screen. Since 2005, he's become a film score composer, first with Nick Cave for John Hillcoat's The Proposition, followed in 2007 by Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. In 2016 he won the César for best film score for Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. That same year, he composed the score for Comancheria by David McKenzie. This inspired and singular musician has since multiplied scores for demanding filmmakers from all over the world, who appreciate the savage beauty of his work.
A teenager and her young brother, alone in the Australian bush, meet a young aborigine performing an initiation ritual. They choose to follow him.
I must have seen Walkabout in the late 70's growing up in rural Victoria Australia on television . I remember being transfixed by the beautiful David Gulpilil and Jenny Agutter and the fébrile ambience of their dance. The transformation of the young boy in a school uniform into a dot-painted cosmic explorer. I had no references for such a film. Silent for the most or a one way conversation,and yet it's very much about communication on the deepest level. The image of the indigenous people ran at odds to what was being taught in schools at the time of its release in 1971. Repatriation was decades away. That it was directed and shot by Europeans impacted enormously on the result. A beautiful embracing open-armed and sumptuous meditation. It still blows my mind.
Born in 1982, MATI DIOP is a filmmaker and actress. She lives and works in Paris and Dakar. Her short and medium length films Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns) (2013), Big in Vietnam (2011), Snow Canon (2010) and Atlantiques (2009) win the Martin E. Segal Emerging Artist Award from the Lincoln Center (USA) in 2016. They have been selected and received awards in many international festivals like the Venice Mostra, Toronto Film Festival, Rotterdam Festival, Viennale, Indie Lisboa, or Marseilles FID. They've also been shown at the MOMA and the Moving Image Museum (USA).
In 2019, her first feature film Atlantique won the Grand Prize in the official competition at Cannes.
As an actress, Mati Diop has played in Claire Denis' 35 Rhums (2008) , Antonio Campos' Simon Killer (2012), Benjamin Crotty's Fort Buchanan (2014) and Matias Pineiro's Hermia y Helena (2015).
Australia, early 19th century. The students of a posh high school headed by Mrs Appleyard go off to a picnic at Hanging Rock, a forest in a rocky area. The youngs pupils are elated, but for no reason all their watches stop working. Later three students and their math teacher go missing.
For the last 40 years, Philippe Grandrieux has built a fascinating, troubling and stimulating body of work that always foils our expectations. After studies at INSAS, the filmmaker creates a series of artistic installations and some documentaries (Jogo do Bicho, Retour to Sarajevo). But true recognition comes in 1999 with the astounding Sombre (Dark), the dark wanderings of a killer hunting down his preys. Three years later he returns to fiction with La Vie nouvelle (A New Life), again bubbling with formal and narrative inventivity. After a music video for Marilyn Manson and a series of installations in 2007, he is celebrated in Japan. His new feature film, Un Lac (A Lake) receives ecstatic reviews at the Venice Mostra, winning a special mention, and in other festivals. In 2011 he signs a documentary about Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi. In 2015, comes a new fiction Malgré la nuit (Despite the Night), a "Hitchcock on drugs" experimental fantasy. Two years ago, he reverted to a shorter format with the sumptuous drama Unrest.
Belarus,World War II. As the German army advances on the Russian front, two Russian partisans go into a forest to ensure supplies for a battalion.
I only saw this movie once. I was dazzled. Tears came to my eyes when the bells rang at the very end. I couldn't hold them back. Something gave in and I cried like a child. I staggered out of the theater. The snow charged sky lit men's dark path with its exhausted glow. Their brutal and confused actions, their all driving fear, imposed the images, unless it was the other way round, that it was precisely the images that had made this uncertain world possible, in which men, the duration of a movie, struggling against death, choosing abjection or courage, were our kin. If this man, hauled to his death in a cart across the great plains of Belarus, seems carried away, it's because his face is upside down in the scenery, while the sky, the river and the snow fields fade away, dripping from his head, in the tremors of a hazy dream. This peculiar image, wanted, desired, welcomed by Larissa Chepitko more than anything else, takes this man, wrapped in his heavy coat, towards his fate. Thus inside us, the time of a film, one image after another, what we do not know is assembled. This is where cinema stands. Through the sentient world it projects before our eyes, it lets us feel our own darkness. Then we can in turn, otherwise, elsewhere, be the one who is carried away, and in the returning light, stand up streaming in tears.
After studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Arthur Higelin forged his own musical style taking from rock, jazz, French chanson and electro. Returning to France, he starts touring with Brad Scott and Paul Jothy. He's only 24 when his first album is released in 1999, and captures the critics' attention. Two years later he develops the ambitious musical project Magic Mirrors and releases Bachibouzouk, his second LP. The following year he's elected Male Revelation of the year at the Victoires de la Musique (the French Grammys). From then on, he'll convince audiences by always reinventing his style. From Trouble fête (1996) to Amour chien fou (2018), or Madame X (2000) and Négresse blanche (2003), each album is a step forwards in his perpetual search for new sounds and new styles. More awards at the Victoires de la Musique for the music video Est-ce que tu aimes ? with M, and three years later Pop/rock Album of the year for L’Homme du monde. A lover of the written word, his first novel (Le Cauchemar merveilleux), is published in 2015, followed by the very elegant Fugue.
During the medieval era, knight Brancaleone clumsily leads a little army of crusaders set on conquering the Holy Sepulchre, through Italy. On the way he accumulates blunders and meets a princess, a witch and even Death...
A metaphysical, anarchist, eminently subversive farce, Brancaleone at the Crusades is an atypical film spawned by the incredible vitality and creativity of Italian cinema in the 60s and 70s. Like a dynamite stick casually dropped on the foundations of Italian society, of religion in general and hypocrisy in particular. Nothing resists Brancaleone's destructive innocence, played by the brilliant Vittorio Gassman, who summons and reveals chaos wherever he goes. A film for those, who like I do, appreciate joyful innocence and poetic freedom.
With her first feature film Jessica Hausner captured the attention of every cinema lover conscious of the birth of an outstanding artist. This Austrian filmmaker, born in 1972, grew up among a family of artists. At a very young age she discovers and is amazed by Akira Kurosawa's Dersu Uzala. After studying at the Vienna Film Academy, she directs short films (Ruth's Birthday, I often wish I was a Butterfly, Flora or Interview), followed by Lovely Rita in 2000, a portrait of a lost young girl coping with her family entourage. Along with Barbara Albert, Ulrich Seidl, Ruth Mader and of course Michael Haneke (for whom she was a script girl for a while), she's part of the emerging Austrian new wave. A few years later Hotel destabilises by exploring the psychological thriller genre. Will follow Toast, Lourdes and a very personal take on the suicide of poet Heinrich von Kleist, Amour fou. This year she's presenting Little Joe, shown at l'Étrange, a dissonant science fiction film, that left Cannes with the Best Actress Prize.
Inspired by the surrealists and the films of Jean Cocteau, Maya Deren starts her career in 1943 with Meshes of the Afternoon. Strengthened by this first success, in 1944 she directs At Land, a roam on New York beaches that may have inspired Bergman for his Seventh Seal. From 1947 to 1954 in Haiti, she shoots voodoo rituals, underlining her passion human choreography. Prematurely deceased in 1961 at the age of 44, the film remained unfinished until 1985, when some close friends decided to finish her project Divine Horsemen.
Maya Deren has for a long time been a filmmaker that inspires and fascinates me.
A filmmaker with a transcendental style - precisely with the signification Paul Schrader mentions in his manifesto-book on the work of Ozu, Bresson and Dreyer. Her films touch the unthinkable, the imperceivable, the spiritual abstractions we cannot put into words. I'll go even further : she embodies things beyond our understanding - like eternity, death, non-being, nothingness.
Her cinema is the opposite of the one we know, almost its negation. It makes us lay a finger on a reality foreign to our own existence.
It's as if she gave us a glimpse of a play from the backstage and that we discovered an empty stage. Or as if the main character didn't know his lines anymore, nor the part he's supposed to play. This strange sensation is something I try to create in my own films and that I frequently find in Maya Daren's work.
The spiritual dimension of her cinema has never been so present as in Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. We know the importance of rituals in Voodoo ceremonies and Deren's films work exactly on the same level : they move forwards following their own rules, they are like rituals of their own.
Likewise, Meshes of the Afternoon and At Land - with their discontinuous narration, visual composition and editing - make up a sort of curious puzzle, once again obeying its own mechanics. Nothing is a coincidence, everything is symbolic. But where is the meaning?
To be overtaken by something that keeps escaping from you is a feeling with which I am extremely familiar. In a way I feel quite at home with Maya Deren.
Born in 1975, Antony Hickling spent part of his childhood in England. Influenced by Nick Zedd et Richard Kern's transgressive films, he studies at Vincennes University, which he leaves with a furious longing to shake up conventions. And so he does in 2001 with the triptych Birth in 2010 and with Q.J. the following year, his first two short films. Pursueing this underground tradition, in 2013 he releases Little Gay Boy, a dreamlike poem full of dark humor, starting another trilogy. Waiting for its second installment Where horses go to die (2016), he finds time to direct the bittersweet One deep breath (2014) and the short film P.D. (2014). The second installment increases his popularity as his work starts touring the festivals. But don't go thinking that Antony, now living in France, has quietened down: the conclusion of his trilogy, Frig, shown last year in our festival is itself split into three parts (Love, Shit and Sperm). This love declaration to Sade, Bataille and Pasolini made the Classification Commision blush, and they restricted the movie to adults.
After an opera show, a bourgeois couple invites a few spectators to their home for dinner. Despite some strange incidents (the servants leave, a feeling of déja vu affects some of the guests), everything goes for the best, until it's time to leave : impossible to get out of the house !
The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador) is Mexican film by Luis Buñuel released in 1962 and it remains one of my favorites by this mythical director. Buñuel had planned shooting it in London but lacking the means to do so (despite Viridiana's large success in 1961), he chose to film it in Mexico. The original screenplay entitled "The Castaways of Providence Street" became a film that not only marked my youth but that continues to impact my filmmaking.
Even if several readings of the movie have been suggested by different critics over time, as Silvia Pinel (Buñuel's fetish actress and Mexcian star in those days) put it : "To this day I don't know what this film is about." It's a joy to finally see it on a big screen. Thanks to L’Étrange !
We could, as critics have done for so long, sum up the career of Hervé-Pierre Gustave, a.k.a. HPG, to his incredible longevity in over 600 gonzo movies, a genre he contributed to import to France. But that would be overseeing a fascinating figure, who, in the way of Bukowski, has built an extremely personal and lucid body of work, that he calls his "permanent diary". The first piece of this work, his documentary HPG, son vit, son oeuvre (HPG, his dick and his works) is deprogramed after its first screening in 2001 and deemed scandalous by numerous pressure groups. Five years later his first conventional feature film On ne devrait pas exister (We shouldn't exist), a meta exercise, is selected by la Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. In 2011 Raphaël Siboni gets his hands on the numerous reels HPG filmed himself during his hard core shootings, and out of this material he cut Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel, (No Sexual Relation), a poignant documentary and an ode to freedom.While still pursuing his autofiction work with Les mouvements du bassin (Hip Motions), Fils de (Son of) or Marion, the actor contributes to projects by filmmakers as iconoclastic as he is (Breillat, Bonello, Despentes).
Chinaski, a notorious alcoholic, fighter and provocateur, wanders from bar to bar before regaining his shabby hotel room. One day, he meets the beautiful Wanda, also an alcoholic, and moves in with her.
He holds out his glass, I hold out my cock...well sometimes... I think?
What a pleasure to write it. To act as a free man !
Like Buk and his pen. To dare to fail publicly, thanks to you the humiliation is lessened. And nothing is said of the best of us ! I love you in this film and I love you Hank !
This alias in fact conceals two cinema lovers, Raphaël Hernandez et Savitri Joly-Gonfard, who, from a remote part of the High Alps, decided in 2003 to make a wild dream come true: to create an expansion of the Matrix universe. Started totally independently in 2003 on a shoestring and with a great sense of detail, everything being carefully crafted - 6 years later they completed the medium length film Kaydara, quickly attracting attention, and sending a salvatory signal to French genre cinema : it was possible to make formally credible science fiction films in France. Recognized from then on, they start a professional career in advertising and also sign the Turbo Killer music video for Carpenter Brut. They get along so well with the band that they launch a crowdfunding campaign to produce a sequel. The result is Blood Machines, a dazzling retro-futurist trip tainted with mysticism, that we are proud to show here. The duo is currently developing their first feature film, simply called Seth Ickerman...
An astronaut brings home a green sphere called the Locnar, that reveals some of its adventures.
Choosing a film gives me the opportunity to speak of the French magazine from the 70s and 80s, 'Métal Hurlant' and more generally of a time of mad creativity when artists like Druillet, Caza, Moebius, to name a few, gave science fiction a new more grown up graphic representation, and unlimited artistic freedom. Without having the pretension to compare myself to these illustrious creators, with Blood Machines I've tried to create a film that ignores norms and that remains as artistically free as possible. This desire had a human cost because institutions are not too happy to financially support this sort of endeavour... In the same way, Metal Hurlant and all the artists around it, suffered much criticisms and difficulties in their day to bring their ideas to life, but are today running through the veins of many major science fiction works. The movie Heavy Metal gives a glimpse of this spirit of freedom... It's sometimes violent, with no sexual taboos, narratively unsettling, but always graphically and artistically powerful.
After studying at the Beaux Arts, then at the National Superior Photography School, Emilie Jouvet wandered off towards all the directions offered by the language of images : photography, film direction, production, this ever since 2003 with her first short film : Etre Femme (Being a Woman). In 2004 she joined the art group Queer Factory in Paris and two years later, directed her first feature film, One Night Stand. In 2010 she finds recognition wih the documentary Too Much Pussy, "a colorful and orgasmic road movie about post-pornography and the feminist sexpositive movement" as she describes it, winner of numerous awards everywhere. The next year sees the release of a second more explicit version called Much More Pussy! She doesn't give up photography, showing her work in the world's most prestigious exhibitions. After a documentary about Ovidie, in 2017 she directs My Body My Rules, a testimonial documentary about the struggles of the author and our times, winner of the Berlin Jury's Special Prize. Her last feature film to date, Mon Enfant, Ma Bataille (My child, My Battle), 35 Years of Homoparental Struggles was released in 2019.
As the world is about to celebrate the arrival of the year 2000, an ex cop has become a dealer of a technodrug called SQUID that enables the user to live and feel another person's life and feelings. One day he receives a disc made using this drug that shows the murder of one of his friends.
A twisted love triangle between Mace, Lenny and Faith, a superb soundtrack (Skunk Anansie)... Just before the year 2000, a city on the brink of civil war, a violent racist police, a depressive character obsessed by memories of his ex, a woman cop in love with a loser... A visionary 80s film, denouncing racism and the then nascent addiction to technology.
A radical and provocative figure, Mathieu Kassovitz joyfully stands out in French cinema. Born in 1967 he started as an assistant in 1985 and in 1991 signed his first short films : Fierrot le Pou, Cauchemar blanc, Assassins.... In 1993, his first feature film Métisse, that he directed and acted in, is saluted by the profession. Two years later he once more teams up with Vincent Cassel for La Haine, winner of three Cesars and of Best Director's Prize in Cannes and a great critical and public success. He then directs the much anticipated Assassins, a blunt unsettling film written with Nicolas Boukhrief (Made in France). The press is divided, but today the film is accepted for what it's worth. He follows by adapting for Gaumont Grangé's The Crimson Rivers, a French noir film that opens the doors to Hollywood (Gothika, Babylon A.D), but he is not comfortable in Tinseltown. Returning home he pursues a faultless actor's career but also directs the excellent Rebellion and he'll soon be back behind the camera to direct a few episodes of the fifth season of the series Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau) in which he also holds the lead part.
The fight between Hong Kong police and drug traffickers. Chan, a police agent, sets up a complex stratagem to force boss Chun Tu to commit a mistake.
There's no greater homage to cinema and its spectators than risking one's life for a good shot. This love of cinema is present in every frame in Police Story.
In the world of contemporary photography, Xavier Lambours has imposed his work by capturing his subjects with humor and poetry. In 1974, this fan of Orson Welles, Fritz Lang and Piet Mondrian joins the Hara Kiri team, where he explores photo novellas and portrait photography, his main field of interest. In 1983 he covers his first Cannes Festival and turns to the world of cinema. He soon earns numerous awards: the 1984 Kodak Prize, the 1992 Kujoyama Villa Award in Kyoto or the Niepce Prize for his work in Japan two years later. Simultaneously, he multiplies exhibitions from Arles to Lille, and is discovered by mainstream audiences, notably for his famous portrait of Robert de Niro in his bath for Globe Hebdo magazine, and for the campaigns entrusted to him by Louis Vuitton for the last 15 years. In 2015 the Maison Européenne de la Photographie shows a retrospective of his works.
Just released from jail for a bank robbery, Macklin learns that his brother who was his team mate in the heist, has just been murdered. He soon understands the bank was part of an organisation, and along with Cody, another member of the gang, sets off on a bloody vengeance spree.
The Outfit, like Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway or Don Siegel's Charley Varrick to name but those two, is one of those American movies where well to do morality is forgotten, where the beloved woman is often sacrificed, and her body must be disposed of, it's all very macho. They're movies to be eaten, just to tell the doctor and his diet to go to hell, movies totally made for the joy of feeling immortal.
Born in 1957, multimedia and transmedia artist Yann Minh calls himself a noonaut, an explorer of the noosphere and of virtual worlds. Since 1983, his immersive multimedia installation Media ØØØ was shown at the museum of modern art at the Georges Pompidou Center and travelled around the world. His artistic creations in the field of contemporary art and cyberculture mixing transhumanism, cyberpunk, erotica and BDSM, receive several awards. Yann Minh is also the author of Thanatos, Les Récifs (The Reef), a cyberpunk science fiction novel exploring the themes of persistent worlds and avatars, transexuality and BDSM, body modifications and heroic fantasy. In 2004 he founds the Noomuseum, a real time 3D virtual museum dedicated to cyberculture's prehistory, and to hidden sexual metaphors in art and cinema. Two years later he directs Noogenesis, an experimental short film, a sequel to a series of bizarre documentaries on the poems of Verlaine and Rimbaud and Terry Gilliam's Brazil. This unclassifiable artist continues, through his conferences and exhibitions, to share the most beautiful memories from his virtual voyages.
Prospero, the former duke of Milan, has been living in exile on an island with his daughter for the last 12 years. Surrounded by strange creatures, he foments a plot to take revenge on his enemies.
Around 2008, I met the avatar of artist Saskia Boddeke in the persistent world of Second Life where she showed her virtual art immaterial creations. Her avatar told me on a chat that her husband Peter Greenaway had said that "Since Second Life exists, cinema is dead". I then remembered his 1991 film Prospero’s Books, formally very much inspired by the Renaissance's experiments with perspective. The invention of perspective transformed the canvas into an open door into the virtual space of make believe, and the Renaissance blossomed into a generous profusion of immersive conceptual hyper-realism inhabited by gods, sorcerers, and fantastic demons, that also inspired Peter Greenaway's Prospero’s Books. In the 21st century, metaverses, by opening wide the doors of an infinite cyberspace, have given, via digital avatars, a massive access to a new kind of interactive and immersive dramas, of which Prospero’s Books is for me the machinima herald of our daily dystopian concentrationary future, dematerialized in wide open utopian baroque spaces inhabited by excessive virtual and bombastic chimeras.
Born in england in 1939, Michael Moorcock is one of the most famous european heroic fantasy writers, and certainly one of the most prolific. The Elric of Melniboné series (10 volumes), the Dorian Hawkmoon series (7 volumes), the Erekosë series 3 volumes) are high points in his career and classics of the genre. He also signed the three books that make up the Kane of Old Mars series under the alias Edward Powys Bradbury, a noted success both in fantasy and science fiction. His three cinema experiences are alas tainted with bitterness : after a disagreement with filmmaker Robert Fuest on The Final Program, he has his name removed from the credits. The movie adapted from his master Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Sixth Continent receives a mixed welcome, and the one for Stormbringer will never make it to the screen. But no matter, this Stakhanovite of the imaginary, recipient of numerous awards, and idolized by his fans, is a living legend and he honors us greatly by accepting our invitation.
In june 1940, nazi Germany invades England after the British retreat at Dunkirk. Brtitish resistance gradually vanishes.
In the late 1950s, in London's Soho, then the artist and sex trade area of London, a call would go out to the coffee bars and pubs in the area for unpaid extras in a new movie being made. As a young blues musician and writer I was particularly interested in the film's subject, which echoed themes beginning to mature in my own mind. The film was being made on a tiny budget over several years by a teenager only a couple of months my elder, Kevin Brownlow. Now an admired film restorer and historian, Brownlow was working in the lowlier end of the film business (also based in Soho) when he heard two men speaking German in the street as he passed. Like me, Brownlow was somewhat disgusted by the smug triumphalism of some British media which suggested Nazism could never flourish in Britain. Meanwhile he also found a book of photographs from occupied Paris, published by French liberation forces in 1944. This gave him the idea for a film in which Britain had capitulated in 1940 and, apart from a Resistance, been thoroughly compliant with her Nazi conquerors. Over the next few years, with the specialist historian Andrew Mollo and scores of us recruited as volunteer actors, Brownlow struggled first to get his film made, then struggled to get it back from United Artists, who 'buried' it. Censored by UA and the BBC, attacked from left and right, called anti-semitic because of its accurate showing of real British fascists spouting their garbage and effectively condemning themselves, the film has been vigorously defended as 'knowing thy enemy as thyself'. Made on a miniscule budget by enthusiasts, this film's message is perhaps even more urgent now than it was in the 1950s.
Writer, musician, filmmaker... With great ease F. J. Ossang switches from one to another. At the end of the 70s, he founds the literary magazine Cée, then Céeditions to publish writers such as William Burroughs, Robert Cordier, or Claude Pélieu. Simultaneously he joins punk bands DDP and then MKB-Fraction Provisoire, and starts directing films inspired by German expressionism. In 1982 his first short, La Dernière Énigme (The Last Enigma) launches the onslaught. Two years later, his first feature film, L’Affaire des Divisions Morituri (The Case of the Morituri Divisions) already features his particular style of violence and punk rock energy. He follows with Le Trésor des îles Chiennes (Treasures of the Bitch Islands). He continues his musical and publishing activities, for other writers, or his own first novel Génération Néant (Blank Génération). In 1997 he returns to cinema with Dr Chance, played by ex-Clash Joe Strummer. Finally his last feature films Dharma Guns and 9 Fingers, both shown here, add to his deliciously iconoclastic and very stimulating career.
Artavazd Peleshian is surely the most unknown master of Soviet cinema. His career stretches over four decades ; thirteen films with a total length of less than three hours. His elegiac cine-poems, edited from archive footage, are singular interpretations of reality. A plotless narration, characters without actors, and wordless speeches collected into fascinating and hypnotic films, that address Armenia's history (The Seasons, We) or future threats (the conquest of space in Our Century, shown here in a new version).
The missing link between Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera and the films of Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi).
“Peleshyan’s films fix, record and repeat time in a visual musical poetry that is timeless. Unique in the world of cinema, his films may have all the impact of an emotive asteroid. His speechless narratives have more to say than can be spoken. They are stories to behold: like the stars of the night, his lights from the past are in our presence.
The two films offered, while sharing the same form, are vastly different in their subject of observation: THE SEASONS OF THE YEAR, a beautiful grounding in the terra firma of nature and tradition; OUR CENTURY, the world of modernity going off-planet in the chariot of technology. He, like Paradjanov, has created an original cinema that invites us to the screen of our vivid unknown.”
Director, writer of scripts, lyrics, essays... Vincent Ravalec is a storyteller who switches from one mode of expression to another with great ease. Born in 1962, this self-taught lover of words multiplies menial jobs before reaching success thanks to Un pur moment de rock’n’roll (A Pure Rock'n'Roll Moment (1992)), a short story collection that will later become a film with Samy Naceri and Vincent Elbaz, and Cantique de la Racaille (Melody for a Hustler) (1994), his first scathing and largely autobiographical novel directed by himself for the screen in 1998. Will follow in 1992 La Merveilleuse odyssée de l’idiot toboggan (The Marvelous Odyssey of Idiot Toboggan), and few experiments in virtual reality. He hasn't given up writing and along with short story anthologies (like the two volumes Nouvelles du monde entier (Stories from all over the world)), he publishes the incredible Bonbon Desespéré (Desperate Candy) and begins two sagas : Sainte-Croix les Vaches, a hilarious picaresque portrait of pot dealers in the country, and Sekt, the Venom's Origin, a dark portrait of the world of sects. A body of work resembling its author, unexpected and thus enthralling.
To complete his reinsertion, Adam, a neonazi just out of jail, has to complete his sentence by living with a pastor blinded by faith and convinced of the goodness of Mankind, specialized in lodging convicts.
Do you believe in God? Forget it. Adam's Apples was made for you. At the end of the screening you will know God doesn't exist.
You're not a believer? No problem. Rush to see Adam's Apples. You might change your mind!
This totally self taught lover of Philip K. Dick started directing films at the early age of 19, with the short film Quartier Sauvage (Wild District, 1984) mixing fantasy and adventure. Will follow The Voice of the Desert (1987), a mystical post-apocalyptic film with Howard Vernon, Dominique Pinon and Catherine Frot, then Too Near the Gods, a sci fi gem with Tcheky Karyo, Richard Bohringer and Féodor Atkine, that will be the matrix for his first feature film : The Thousand Wonders of the Universe (1997), again with Tcheky Karyo, and winner of the Best European Film Prize at the International Mostra in Rome. The same year he turns to esoteric documentaries with Elfland about elves in Iceland. Fascinated by the country and its beliefs, he shoots Investigation into the Invisible World (2002), then The Heart of the Earth and the Mysteries of Snæfellsjökull (2009). A year ago we showed you Angel of the North, a film essay mixing confessions and symbolic visions. He's currently preparing Crystal, a fantasy tale co-written with Lucile Hadzihalilovic.
In order to cure patients suffering from amnesia, Professor Humlum decides to take them to the seaside. Having noticed that people saved from drowning had seen their lives flash by just before the fatal moment, he has the idea that trying this on his patients might help them recover.
Amnesia : Despite its title, I still remember this short film seen... 30 years ago and invisible since. It was before the web. The malicious director explored the fake documentary genre so well, that I believed this scientific experiment to be real. It's troubling and ambiguous, using a bizarre photographic texture coming from old outdated negatives of unknown origin.
While his older brother Ilkka enjoys his last hours of freedom before going to prison, 14 year old Simo falls under his sibling's bad influence and seals his fate.
I discovered this unusual cinema proposition thanks to a DVD gift I received in Finland. It's a mysterious drama for which we don't hold all the codes. Imagine a fusion between the first Visconti films and Orson Welles' The Trial. The story takes place today in an industrial suburb of Helsinki, but the film is like a timeless fascinating dream. Discovering this cinema Grail is also a dream ! The black and white photography reaches Raging Bull or Persona levels with its sensory inventiveness thats blow out our eyes and references. An unusual fact: the director co-signed the images with the lead camera operator. When shall we see a Pirjo Honkasalo retrospective, a filmmaker since fifty years ?
Romain Slocombe, a fan of World War 2, Japan and bondage, joins artist group Bazooka in 1974, then signs comic strips and illustrations for magazine Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal). In 1983 his first novel Phuong-Dinh Express is published by Les Humanoïdes Associés. Recognition comes with Crucifixion en jaune (Crucifixion in Yellow) a saga in four volumes about photographer Gilbert Woodbrooke. Next come L'Océan de la Stérilité (The Sterility Ocean) trilogy, and more recently the unsettling adventures of Inspector Léon Sadorski, a ruthless agent of the Renseignements Généraux during the Occupation. Simultaneously to this literary career, recipient of many awards (Prix Mystère de la critique, Prix Arsène Lupin du meilleur roman policier), he regularly shows his photography series such as Sugar Babies or Femmes de plâtre (Plaster Women), and even finds the time to direct some short and medium length films (Un monde flottant (A Floating World), Week-end in Tokyo, Kinbaku, La forêt des arbres bleus (The Forest of Blue Trees).
Goro Hanada is ranked number 3 in the professional hitmen's hierarchy. Recognized and sought after, he nevertheless misses a mark and is hunted down by his employers, but also by the mysterious Number 1 that nobody has ever seen.
Seijun Suzuki was fired from Nikkatsu after this movie's release, because the producers judged his script to be "incomprehensible" and "uncommercial". This ultraviolent series of murders among yakuzas (one of them is shot through a wash basin syphon!), set to a jazz soundtrack, marked me for eternity since I first saw it around 1970.
Born in 1975, Pacôme Thiellement began at 13 years of age by publishing the fanzine Reciproquement featuring amongst others J.C. Menu, Placid, Muzo and Mattt Konture, and in 1991 received the prestigious Alph’art Fanzine award in Angoulême. He also creates the micropublishing company Vitrine where he publishes celebrated alternative authors like Edika or Gilbert Shelton. In 1998, he creates the magazine Spectre, until 2002, the year Poppermost, his first book was released. With Thomas Bertray, he signs a collection of 52 experimental videos under the global title Dispositif (Device). Will follow Rituel de Decapitation du Pape (Pope Beheading Ritual) and Les Hommes qui Mangèrent la Montagne (The Men who Ate the Mountain), the first two volumes of his Stupor Mundi trilogy. On top of his books mystifying pop culture (Les Mêmes yeux que Lost (The same eyes as Lost), Pop Yoga, Cinema Hermetica) he contributes to diverse magazines (Les Cahiers du cinéma, Rock & Folk, Chronic’art, Fluide Glacial) and to the radio show Mauvais Genres on France Inter.
After her father's mysterious disappearance, Rynn ,13 years old, lives alone in a large manor and tries to conceal his absence. But Frank Hallet, the landlord's son, is clearly very interested by Rynn...
A strange feature film adapted from a strange short novel, melancholic and bewitching : when you watch The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, you can't tell if you're watching an apprenticeship film, a horror film, a thriller, a teenage love movie, a feminist movie...You don't know what you're seeing, but it's very upsetting. Rynn; a 13 years old girl, (played by Jodie Foster) lives alone in a large house. Her father is dead but she pretends he's still alive. People mean her harm - especially Frank, the landlord's son (played by Martin Sheen) and the landlord herself, Cora, whom Rynn decides to get rid of... She also meets a young magician, Mario, who wants to help her. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, is neither Catcher in the Rye, Carrie or Sans Famille (Nobody's Boy), but its plot takes a bit from all of these and in turn generates its own imprint and its own mythology. It's the kind of film you talk about 15 years later still not understanding what it meant.
Still a teenager, Vincent Paronnaud, a.k.a. Winschluss, meets Cizo who becomes not only a friend but also a partner in creation. With Cizo and later alone, he becomes a regular artist for comic magazines Jade or Comix 2000. Already his iconoclastic style pokes fun at the great figures of American comic book art. His favorite target : Disney's imagery that he twists with his brilliant irony. He does this from 1999 with Super Negra, or the very cult Monsieur Ferraille and Pinocchio. Well known by fans of Les Requins Marteaux, that he joins in 2000, he contributes to their magazines Ferraille Illustré and Supermarché Ferraille. In 2003 with Cizo they start making short films like Raging Blues, O’boy, What Nice Legs! and Hollywood Superstars with Mr Ferraille, a mockumentary celebrating his antihero. In 2007 he co-directs Persepolis with Marjane Satrapi followed in 2011 by Chicken with Plums. In 2009 he directs the hilarious Villemolle 81 and in 2014, Il était une fois l’huile (Once upon Oil time) tours the festivals. He since multiplies projects such as Smart Monkey and Death, Father and Son.
Director Carl Denham sails to Skull Island with a film crew to make film featuring native tribes and their ancestral rituals. But his female star is kidnapped by a giant creature. The film crew sets off in pursuit through the hostile jungle...
NO GOD NO MASTER...
JUST GOD KONG!
I must have been 12 when I discovered the 1933 version of King Kong... At the time I was in the habit of creeping out of bed to watch the late night movie. My parents were sleeping in the next room so I kept the volume really low... Every Sunday night I'd gobble up the classics of the 7th Art with the same kind of guilty pleasure you get from watching porn.
I lived in a little provincial town.
This soulless place's only purpose was to make you evil or depressive. I already felt in my mouth the metallic taste of boredom and defeat...What a shitty world!
Then suddenly drums are beating, trees come crashing down with sinister cracks, the beautiful half naked blonde screams in terror.. The ground shakes...The King himself leaps into my parents' living room... And I can tell you the hairy mofo was a real badass !
King Kong is first of all a surprising narrative structure. The movie starts as a social drama then switches to an adventure story to finally end as a zoophile melodrama...
Beauty, poetry, violence, rhythm. Everything is there, (a bit like The Night of the Hunter, in a different register). Anyway, on that Sunday night, a long time ago, the Kong seed was sown into my not quite finished brain...
As I went to bed, I knew the giant ape was now by my side. Together we would destroy these fucking buildings that brought me down...
And travel far away.