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OUI OUI: Spotlight on French films
Posted by Kate Masters, Bachelor of Media & Communication (Public Relations) at Deakin University, Master of International Business graduate student at University of Melbourne, and MIFF 2016 Intern.
Bonjour, Francophiles! While you’re tucking into crepes, croissants and champagne for Bastille Day, we invite you to come storm #MIFF2016 later this month as we showcase new French films, as well as Australian premieres from France’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival – such as Bruno Dumont’s Slack Bay, a bizarro comedy with Chaplinesque humour and a dash of cannibalism.
With over 60 French and French-produced films in the MIFF 2016 program, we can only highlight a few here, but for the full slate visit the MIFF Country index.
Step into history with Albert Serra’s stunning The Death of Louis XIV, starring Jean-Pierre Léaud and reminiscent of a Renaissance painting, and in which Serra considers encroaching mortality after the longest reign in European history. Meanwhile, Alexander Sokurov (Faust, MIFF2012) freewheels through European history with Francofonia, asking what value we place on art, and the human cost involved in its preservation. He reimagines negotiations between the Lourve’s director and a German administrator over the fate of the museum collection following the 1940 Nazi invasion of Paris.
Get historically animated with Simon Rouby’s Adama, following a gutsy West African 12-year-old who ventures across combat-ravaged Europe and onto the First World War battlefields to find his older brother; and Long Way North, set in towards to the end of the 19th century and winner of the 2016 Tokyo Anime Award Festival Grand Prize.
For more contemporary-themed animation, try Claude Barras’ bittersweet stop-motion tale, My Life as a Courgette, the winner of the top prize and the audience award at the 2016 Annecy animation festival.
Have a glass of wine with Jerry Rothwell and Rueben Atlas’ Sour Grapes: part Catch Me If You Can, part Gatsby, it follows Rudy Kurniawan as he hoodwinks some of the wealthiest connoisseurs on the international wine scene.
Or follow Benjamin Millepied, best known as the choreographer for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, as he takes on the role of artistic director for the world’s oldest ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet. Come backstage with documentarians Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai as they shadow every step and misstep from initial rehearsal to opening night in Reset.
If all that dance works up an appetite, there is no better antidote than the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported Monsieur Mayonnaise, a lively, colourful, tasty and uniquely personal take on 20th-century history, art, food and family. The film follows artist and filmmaker Philippe Mora as he produces a graphic novel about his late father, Georges and his astonishing history as part of the French resistance during World War II, his friendship with renowned mime Marcel Marceau, and how together they saved thousands of Jewish lives with a fiendishly simple trick involving baguettes and mayonnaise!
What could be more French?