19th French Film Festival Manila

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Sound the alarm! French film fest is here and that only means, the rest of the film festivals are in tow.

Aside from its usual French film fare, this festival also celebrates our Independence Day on June 12 by screening local masterpieces that have been screened at the Cannes Film Festival: Lino Brocka’s “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” Erik Matti’s “On the Job,” and Lav Diaz’ “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.”

The festival runs from June 10 to 15, 2014 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati City. Tickets are at Php 100.

For inquiries, contact the Embassy of France to the Philippines at 0936 919 6097 or send an email to frenchfilmfest@gmail.com.

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french film line up

 

Film synopses: 

20 Ans d’écart (It Boy)Alice Lantins is 38 years old. She’s beautiful, ambitious, and her impeccable professional conscience makes her neglect her private life. In short, she has everything to become the next editor-in-chief of Rebelle magazine – everything except for her uptight image. But when the young and charming Balthazar, barely 20 years old, crosses Alice’s path, her colleagues’ attitude inexplicably changes. Realizing that the she holds the key to her promotion, Alice stages the comedy of an improbable idyll.

 

Une autre vie (Lovers)Jean, an electrician, installs alarms in the South of France. He encounters Aurore, a famous pianist. Despite their differences, they immediately fall in love with each other and envisage a life together. Jean wants to leave Dolorès, his longtime companion. But she’s prepared to do anything to hold on to him.

 

Amour et turbulences (Love is in the Air)On her way back from New York to Paris, where she’s soon to be married, Julie finds herself sitting next to Antoine, an attractive cad whom she dated 3 years earlier. She’ll do everything she can to avoid him, whereas he’s counting on the 7-hour flight to win her back! It’s an opportunity for us to travel back in time and witness their encounter, their love affair, their break-up… So many incredible, romantic, and caustic scenes that will make this journey the most moving one of their lives.

 

Les beaux jours (Bright Days Ahead)Bright days ahead? Caroline has retired, at last. A new life lies before her: time to take care of her children, her husband, and, most of all, herselfl. However, she soon comes to realize that this new freedom is synonymous with boredom and idleness. Especially when she receives a membership to her neighborhood’s senior club as a birthday present… Reluctant at first, she nevertheless decides to take the plunge. Oddly enough, she meets great people there, starting with the young computer science teacher, who is far from insensitive to her charms. Caroline gradually takes control of her life again and lives a second youth: taking a new lover, living new experiences, breaking the rules, not doing what’s expected of her… Who said that retirement was the beginning of the end and not a new beginning?

 

L’Écume des jours (Mood Indigo)This is the surreal and poetic story of Colin, an idealistic and inventive young man, who meets Chloé, a young woman who seems to be the incarnation of a blues by Duke Ellington. Their idyllic marriage turns to sorrow when Chloé becomes ill, due to a water lilly growing in her lung. To pay for her medical care, in a fantastical Paris, Colin must work in increasingly absurd conditions, while their apartment falls to bits around them and their circle of friends, including talented Nicolas, and Chick, a fanatic of the philosoper Jean-Sol Sartre, disintegrates.

 

La Vénus à la fourrure (Venus in Fur)Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas complains on the phone about the poor caliber of talent he has seen. No actress has what it takes to play his lead female character – a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theater when actress Vanda bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic – and, it turns out, erotic – energy.

At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting. She is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared – or so it seems. But when Thomas finally, reluctantly, agrees to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit (even sharing the character’s name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively – down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended “audition” builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession…

 

Mon âme par toi guérie (One of a Kind)Frédi has the gift of healing hands, transmitted to him by his mother. He wants nothing to do with this ’gift,’, but when his mother dies, he’s obliged to make use of it. Although he wonders where this ability came from, he can do nothing but accept it.

 

Quai d’OrsayAlexandre Taillard de Worms is tall, magnificent, a dashing man attractive to women and, incidentally, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the land of the Enlightenment: France. His silver mane and his robust athlete’s body are everywhere, from the United Nations tribunal in New York to the powder keg of Oubanga. He admonishes powerful men and invokes the finest minds in order to bring peace and calm the trigger-happy – and to justify his aura of a future Nobel Prize for cosmic peace.

Alexandre Taillard de Worms is a powerful thinker, fighting with the back-up of the holy trinity of diplomatic concepts: legitimacy, lucidity and efficiency. He fights against American neo-conservatists, corrupt Russians, and greedy Chinese. Although the world doesn’t deserve France’s generosity of spirit, Taillard de Worms’ art feels cramped within the nation’s borders. Arthur Vlaminck, a young academic preparing his PhD, is hired by the minister. To put it plainly, he must write the great man’s speeches. But first he must learn how to deal with the prince’s moods and his entourage, forging a place between his cabinet director and advisers who haunt the Quai d’Orsay, where stress, ambition and underhand tactics are all part of operations. Just when he glimpses the world’s fate, he is threatened by the technocrats’ inertia.

 

Situation amoureuse : C’est compliqué (Relationship Status: It’s Complicated)Thirty-year-old Ben is about to marry Juliette. His quiet, ordered life will fall to pieces when he meets up again with the person he secretly wants to see the most: Vanessa, the high school bombshell who never so much as looked in his direction. She’s back in Paris, and the only person she now knows is him…

 

Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng LiwanagThe story revolves around Julio Madiaga, a poor fisherman, who goes to the city to look for his long lost love, Ligaya Paraiso. His search leads to a radical shift in his character, from that of a naïve probinsyano (country boy) to angry man thirsting for justice.

 

On The JobOn The Job is about the ambitions passions of four men trying to make a living, for themselves and their families. It shows the parallels between two prison inmates who are contract killers, and the two agents of the law investigating the murders. As they get caught in a web of machination of corrupt government officials, their jobs lead them on a head-on collision against each other with their loved ones as collateral damage.

 

Norte: Hangganan ng KasaysayanThe lives of three people take a turn when one of them commits a crime. Joaquin (Archie Alemania) is failing miserably at providing for his family when his money lender gets murdered. The crime is pinned on him. Misery and solitude would transform him in prison. Left to fend for the family, his wife Eliza (Angeli Bayani) pours all of her strength to battling with despair and eking out a living for their children. The real perpetrator, Fabian (Sid Lucero), roams free. His disillusionment with his country – its history of revolutions marred by betrayal and crimes unpunished – drives him to the edge of sanity, of humanity.

 

Images and film synopses sourced from: http://www.ambafrance-ph.org/19th-French-Film-Festival

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