French Film Festival
Undoubtedly the biggest and strongest line up for a while, this year’s FFF UK selection is a feast of ancient and modern for Francophiles and cineastes alike. New film highlights include Anne Coco Before Chanel Fontaine’s comedy thriller The Girl from Monaco, Jacques Audiard’s outstanding prison drama A Prophet, Christophe Honore’s lovely and thought provoking displacement of Madame de La Fayette’s novel La Princesse de Cleves to a modern day school The Beautiful Person. On top of this there are good retrospectives of Jacques Tati and the great Jean Eustache, many of who’s films from the 1960s and 70s are totally unavailable on DVD. With accompanying shorts and loads of Q&As this is one festival where a season ticket has to be a mandatory consideration.
GFT, Glasgow and Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Thu 12 Nov.
Jour De Fete
- Directed by: Jacques Tati
- Cast: Jacques Tati, Guy Decomble.
A rural French postie sees a film about the efficiency of the American mail service and decides to smarten up his act. This debut feature by Tati, effortlessly builds visual set-pieces and establishes the amiable duffer of a central role that was later to become the unforgettable M Hulot.
The Girl from Monaco (La fille de Monaco)
- Directed by: Anne Fontaine
- Written by: Anne Fontaine, Benoît Graffin
- Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Roschdy Zem, Louise Bourgoin, Stéphane Audran
Anne 'Coco Before Chanel' Fontaine presents a comic thriller about a middle-aged defence lawyer's entangled love affair with his body guard's ex.
- 150 min
- Directed by: Jacques Audiard
- Written by: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit
- Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif
Naïve youth Malik (Rahim) enters prison with a view to keeping his head down, but murderous circumstance see him aligned to the Corsican mafia who run the prison. As prison population demographics begin to shift, the cunning Malik uses all his resources to elevate his financial and hierarchical status. Plotted and…
Lads & Jockeys
- Directed by: Benjamin Marquet
Equestrian documentary following thirty 14-year-old boys and girls who enter a boarding school in Chantilly specialising in the education of jockeys and stable lads and girls.
- 100 min
- Directed by: Philippe Muyl
- Cast: Marie Gillain, Cali, Antoine Dulery
An old-fashioned musical about a single mother struggling to raise her son on an isolated farm. Having never known his father, the young lad imagines him to be an astronaut and watches the sky longingly anticipating his return.
- 96 min
- Directed by: Jacques Tati
- Written by: Jacques Tati, Jacques Lagrange, Bert Haanstra
- Cast: Jacques Tati, Tony Knepper, Franco Ressel, Mario Zanuelli, Maria Kimberly
Tati's comedy sees Monsieur Hulot drive a camper car decked out with wild and marvellous gadgetry from Paris to Amsterdam in his usual disastrous fashion.
Neuilly sa mère!
- Directed by: Gabriel Julien-Laferrière
- Cast: Samy Seghir, Rachida Brakni, Jérémy Denisty, Joséphine Japy, Mathieu Spinosi
Mocking President Sarkozy's pompous home-town of Neuilly-sur-Seine, this coming-of-age comedy centres upon a rebellious 14-year-old who is sent to the swanky Parisian suburb to live with his aunt and uncle.
- 102 min
- Directed by: Pierre Scholler
- Cast: Guillaume Depardieu, Max Baissette de Malglaive, Judith Chemla
Homeless single mother Nina (Chemla) leaves her son in the care of hermit Damien (Depardieu), who lives in an isolated shack in the forests of Versailles. Although Damien is devoted to little Enzo (Baissette de Malglaive), as a former criminal, he's not sure that he is cut out to be his guardian.
- Directed by: Josiane Balasko
- Cast: Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca, Isabelle Carré
Striking an intriguing balance between drama and comedy, Balasko's film sees Baye give a classy performance as a successful divorced woman who pays young male escorts for sex.
The Pig (Le Cochon)
- Directed by: Jean Eustache & Jean-Michel Barjol
Proffering an appreciation of the farmer's work, Eustache and Barjol document the process by which a pig is slaughtered and converted into sausage.
- Directed by: Robert Guèdiguian
- Cast: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gèrard Meylan
When fifty-something Muriel's (Ascaride) son is taken hostage by an unseen kidnapper, she is forced to face her shady past - part of a criminal gang decades before, which the now vulnerable Muriel must now regroup as a member.
- 110 min
- Directed by: Jean Eustache
Eustache conducts a personal interview with his grandmother Odette Robert, who brought him up in the wake of his parents' divorce.