Wednesday, April 22, 2020



Every human life is precious in the war against COVID-19.

No man is an island
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent
A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.

Each man's death diminishes me
For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls...
It tolls for thee.

John Donne, 1624

Thursday, April 09, 2020





A NOTE FROM Films at Lincoln Center FLC) -- "Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, an annual presentation with UniFrance, was unfortunately cut short due to the unexpected theater closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why we are especially excited to announce that a selection of festival titles are being made available online, including many of the films from the final weekend!

This exciting lineup made available on Festival Scope includes the Rendez-Vous Air France Audience Award winner The Dazzled; Prix Jean Vigo winner Burning Ghost; the latest films from French masters such as Bruno Dumont's Joan of ArcIsadora's Children, which won Damien Manivel Locarno's Best Director prize; and more!
Tickets for each title are limited.  As a courtesy to others, please only reserve a ticket if you intend to watch."
Burning Ghost / Vif-argent
Stéphane Batut, France, 2019, 104m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Winner of the prestigious Prix Jean Vigo, this smoldering feature debut from Stéphane Batut—a renowned casting director whose credits include Let the Sunshine In and Stranger by the Lake—is an entrancing tale of love and loss. Juste (Thimotée Robart) drifts through a liminal Paris: able to see spirits of the dead, he guides them into the afterlife, while at the same time he’s unsettled in his own personal purgatory. Entirely by chance, he runs into long-lost acquaintance Agathe (Judith Chemla of A Woman’s Life), and falls into an entanglement that’s not quite compatible with his ethereal world. Burning Ghost locates an aching romanticism that precariously exists on the precipice between life and death.

Isadora’s Children / Les enfants d’Isadora
Damien Manivel, France/South Korea, 2019, 84m
French with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Dance legend Isadora Duncan responded to the tragic death of her children by choreographing a three-part piece called Mother. In Isadora’s Children, Damien Manivel depicts a trio of characters engaging with Duncan’s work of art: an introspective choreographer (Agathe Bonitzer) feeling her way through the piece’s movements; a dance teacher and her student rehearsing the dance for a recital; and a member of the audience (played by renowned dancer and choreographer Elsa Wolliaston), who carries the memory of the performance through a solitary evening. Manivel, who won Best Director at the Locarno Film Festival, makes something hypnotic out of precisely timed gestures, and explores how to infuse a choreographed routine with a shared, intimate humanity.

Joan of Arc / Jeanne
Bruno Dumont, France, 2019, 137m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Ten-year-old Lise Leplat Prudhomme commands the center of Bruno Dumont’s inventive reimagining of the story of Joan of Arc, a sequel to Dumont’s musical Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (2017) that’s singular and entrancing enough to stand on its own. Joan, compelled by visions of God, leads the French charge against invading English forces, and is later captured and put on trial for heresy. Although this chapter is cinematically well-trod, Dumont turns it into an uncanny, absurdist mood piece, strikingly shot amid rolling hills and vaulted cathedrals. As legendary singer-songwriter Christophe’s synthesizers slice through the droll stillness, Joan comes into her own, gaining a gravitas that makes her a force to be reckoned with. As always, Dumont proves his mastery with this enthralling, witty, and deeply rewarding work. A KimStim release.

Perfect Nanny / Chanson douce
Lucie Borleteau, France, 2019, 100m
French with English subtitles
New York Premiere
Seeking a nanny, young parents Myriam (Leïla Bekhti) and Paul (Antoine Reinartz) think they’ve found the perfect solution in Louise (Karin Viard). She comes with glowing references from multiple families, and she immediately takes a shine to their two young children. But as Myriam reimmerses herself in her legal job, Louise entrenches herself deeper and deeper into their family life, her behavior growing ever stranger. Under the watchful eye of director Lucie Borleteau (Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey, Rendez-Vous 2015), this adaptation of Leïla Slimani’s best-seller becomes a vividly detailed, unsettling thriller that probes our tendencies to trust those we barely know. A Distrib Films release.

Spellbound / Les envoûtés
Pascal Bonitzer, France, 2019, 90m
French with English subtitles
North American Premiere
An uncanny triangle emerges in this update of Henry James’s short story “The Way It Came,” directed by Pascal Bonitzer (Right Here Right Now, Rendez-Vous 2017). Book critic Coline (Sara Giraudeau) is assigned a profile of a reclusive, brooding painter (Let the Sunshine In’s Nicolas Duvauchelle), who claims to have seen his mother’s spirit just before her death. Curiously, Coline’s close friend (Anabel Lopez), also an artist, says she witnessed an apparition of her father on the brink of his sudden passing, as well. An ethereal brew of lust, grief, and jealousy propels this transfixing story of invisible frequencies and mortal hungers.

The Dazzled / Les éblouis
Sarah Suco, France, 2019, 99m
French with English subtitles
New York Premiere
Actress-turned-director Sarah Suco’s debut feature is a mesmerizing slow burn set in an insular Catholic community. When promising 12-year-old acrobat Camille (a breakout Céleste Brunnquell) performs in a sketch that seems to make light of prayer, the church’s leader—known only as “The Shepherd” (Jean-Pierre Darroussin of Le Havre)—asks her parents to withdraw her from circus training. Her mother (Camille Cottin) has become emotionally dependent on the parish, while her father (Éric Caravaca, Lover for a Day) seems brainwashed; amidst this, covertly secular Camille and her younger brothers must come into their own.

For the full program of RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA 2020 Please see:

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