The San Francisco Film Society, in association with the French American Cultural Society, the Consulate General of France in San Francisco and Unifrance, presents the fifth annual French Cinema Now, October 24–30 at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema. The weeklong festival brings the most significant new work from international francophone cinema to discerning Bay Area audiences. Covering a broad spectrum of subject matter and genres, it offers a comprehensive snapshot of the current moment in French language cinema.
From the comedic delights of Mobile Home and My Worst Nightmare to more dramatic portraits of modern life such as Sister and Donoma, French Cinema Now 2012 has something for Francophile cineastes of all tastes. Gallic stars like Isabelle Huppert, Léa Seydoux and Pierre Richard—along with celebrated American actors Jane Fonda and Gillian Anderson notably appearing in French-language roles—come together with directors including Anne Fontaine, Noémie Lvovsky and newcomer Djinn Carrénard to present compelling stories of aging gracefully, sibling relationships and the difficulties encountered when trying to leave home.
For complete program information, visit: http://sffs.org/Exhibition/SF-Film-Society-Cinema/French-Cinema-Now.aspx
Wednesday, October 24
6:30 pm Camille Rewinds
Camille, a 40-something mother in the midst of a painful divorce from her high-school sweetheart, passes out at a New Year’s Eve party and wakes up back in the ’80s where everyone reacts to her as if she were 16 again. Noémie Lvovsky’s delightful take on Peggy Sue Got Married-style time travel features a charming cast and makes full comic use of the garish fashions and music of the era.
9:00 pm Opening Night Party A chic postscreening soiree with rustic Italian bites and sponsored drinks at Credo Restaurant, 360 Pine Street (at Montgomery).
9:15 pm Donoma
Impressively made with a very low budget, this bold and confident first feature from Haitian filmmaker Djinn Carrénard layers issues of race, class, religion and gender within a variety of intersecting storylines involving youngsters in Paris.
Thursday, October 25
6:30 pm Aliyah
Low-level drug dealer Alex wants in on his cousin’s plan to open a restaurant in Tel Aviv, even if he lacks the spiritual motivation that spurs many Jews to make Aliyah—a return to the Holy Land.
8:45 pm My Worst Nightmare
Opposites collide to humorous effect in Anne Fontaine’s satire of the Parisian bourgeoisie. Agathe (Isabelle Huppert) is a demanding, uptight gallerist whose partner François (André Dussolier) works in publishing. When a boorish Belgian named Patrick is hired to do a remodeling job for them, he manages, through numerous amusing circumstances, to thaw Agathe out a bit and show François the pleasures of playing the romantic field.
Friday, October 26
4:00 pm All Together
Set against the backdrop of France’s economic crisis, this trenchant crowd-pleaser depicts a group of elderly friends who decide to live out their sunset years under the same roof.
6:30 pm Mobile Home
Simon and Julien are handsome girl chasers, handicapped by the fact that they are out of work and living with their parents. Using money that his folks had set aside for his future, Simon decides to buy the titular vehicle and asks his best pal to leave the Belgian countryside and join him on the road toward new adventures and locales.
9:15 pm A World Without Women U.S. Premiere
Patricia and her daughter Juliette have rented a cottage in a lazy beachfront town. The former is flirtatious with men, verging on desperate, while her pretty and intelligent child is more timid and careful with her affections. The film is accompanied by the director’s earlier short film Stranded (Le naufragé, 24 min, 2009), which offers another story featuring the character of Sylvain.
Saturday, October 27
1:15 pm All Together see 10/26
3:30 pm Camille Rewinds see 10/24
6:30 pm My Worst Nightmare see 10/25
9:00 pm Hors Satan
Suffused with elemental images, Bruno Dumont’s latest provocation concerns an unnamed drifter disturbing the balance in a seaside town. The mysterious man becomes involved with a young villager, also nameless, but his interest lies more in protecting her from men he sees as predatory than anything romantic.
Sunday, October 28
1:30 pm Donoma see 10/24
4:30 pm Louise Wimmer
This devastating portrait depicts a woman in a desperate situation: Louise is living out of her car, her marriage has collapsed and she has few marketable skills. She trudges through several cleaning jobs, cadges food from buffet restaurants and tries to hide her present situation from her ex-husband and child.
6:30 pm A World Without Women see 10/26
9:00 pm Mobile Home see 10/26
Monday, October 29
6:15 pm Hors Satan see 10/27
9:00 pm Aliyah see 10/25
Tuesday, October 30 CLOSING NIGHT
6:15 pm Sister
From director Ursula Meier comes this powerfully acted story of two siblings living near a Swiss ski resort: 12-year-old Simon, a petty thief who takes advantage of the tourist influx to ply his trade, and his older sister Louise (Léa Seydoux). With no parents in sight, Simon is the main breadwinner but looks to Louise for support and love, responses she is frequently unable to give.
9:00 pm Louise Wimmer see 10/28
Film tickets $11 for SFFS members, $13 general, $12 seniors, students and persons with disabilities; Opening Night film and party $20 for SFFS members, $25 general; Film Society CineVoucher 10-Packs $105 for SFFS members, $125 general. Fall Season Cinevisa $450. Tickets available: http://sffs.org/Exhibition/SF-Film-Society-Cinema/French-Cinema-Now.aspx