Le Redoutable

Taking the 'God' Out of Godard

October 18, 2017 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

The title of the film Le Redoutable comes from a radio play Jean-Luc Godard (played by Louis Garrel) listens to every morning in his kitchen. He repeats its catchphrase in a voice dripping with radiophonic drama from time to time … Read More

Visages Villages

Seeing the Power of the Imagination

July 26, 2017 | Documentary | By Nick Hammond

What a surprising pleasure to see the new documentary Visages, Villages, by 89-year-old Agnès Varda, made with 34-year-old artist JR and first shown out of competition at this year’s Cannes Film festival. Throughout the course of the film, both Varda … Read More

Les Fantômes d’Ismaël

Hitchcock, Bergman, Truffaut? Non!

May 24, 2017 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

The popular French film director Arnaud Desplechin is back with a new movie, Les Fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael’s Ghosts), which opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival. This is another one of the director’s sprawling, apparently autobiographical, angst-ridden psychodramas, so sprawling that … Read More

L’Opéra

Backstage at the Opera (And the Ballet)

April 12, 2017 | Documentary | By Heidi Ellison

The Opéra National de Paris is a big, unwieldy machine that encompasses not only the French national opera company but also the national ballet. Jean-Stéphane Bron’s new documentary, L’Opéra, like Frederick Wiseman’s recent documentary on the National Gallery in London, … Read More

Victoria

American Touch for French Comedy

September 21, 2016 | Comedy | By Heidi Ellison

Director Justine Triet admits that for her third film, Victoria, she set out to make an American-style comedy. Being French, however, she chose as her chuckle-generator the subject of depression, not everyone’s idea of a barrel of laughs. But what … Read More

Rosalie Blum

The Stalker Stalked

April 6, 2016 | Comedy | By Heidi Ellison

Rosalie Blum, the directorial debut of screenwriter Julien Rappeneau, is a feel-good film in the tradition of Amélie, with its quirky storyline and many twists and turns of plot. Those twists and turns make it difficult to write about it … Read More