Arts & Leisure

Festival spotlights French and Filipino films

Posted on June 06, 2017

THIS YEAR marks the 70th year of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and the friendship between France and the Philippines. To celebrate these two milestones, the 22nd edition of the annual French Film Festival features films fresh from the Cannes. The festival, which runs from June 9 to 17, is headlined by Personal Shopper, starring Kristen Stewart.

Bastille Day
Directed by Olivier Assayas, Personal Shopper casts Ms. Stewart as Maureen, personal shopper to celebrities. An American woman in Paris, she finds herself in the City of Love doing a job she hates. As she juggles shopping for clothes and accessories, she communicates with spirits, including her twin brother’s, Lewis. While the movie received cheers from critics, which had Mr. Assayas winning the Cannes’ Best Director last year, it also got some boos following a press screening, according to a report from Variety.

Mr. Assayas and Ms. Stewart have worked together in the 2014 film Clouds of Sils Maria, which earned the Twilight star a Cesar Award, making her the first American actress to win the prestigious French prize. The Cesar Award is France’s national film award.

But not only will the festival showcase 13 French movies on values, culture, and language, but it will also pay homage to Filipino films that have been selected at the Cannes Film Festival in the past years. On view on Independence Day, June 12, are films Ma’Rosa by Brilliante Mendoza (Best Actress Award 2016); On the Job by Erik Matti (Director’s Fortnight, 2013); Anino by Raymond Red (Best Short Film, 2000); and Nakaw by Noel Escondo and Arvin Belarmino (Short Film Corner, 2017).

All the films are on view at Greenbelt 3 Cinema at P100 per movie, and, for the first time, will also be available for an outdoor screening at Circuit Makati on June 17 and 18 for free admission.

According to the French Embassy, the annual festival gathers over 15,000 moviegoers every year. -- Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman

Bastille Day (2016)
Director: James Watkins

Michael Mason, an American pickpocket living in Paris suddenly finds himself as the CIA’s most-wanted after stealing a bag, which apparently contains more than a wallet. But Sean Briar, the agent handling his case, soon realizes that there is a bigger conspiracy behind the stealing and that Michael is just a pawn. As the two men discover they are both targets, they forge a friendship to outwit and fight the powerful organization behind the mess.

Les Chevaliers blancs
(The White Knights) (2016)
Director: Joachim Lafosse

The head of Sud Secuors, an NGO, Jacques Arnault is in a high impact operation of exfiltrating some 300 orphan victims of the Chadian civil war to bring them to French adoption applicants. Françoise Dubois, a journalist, is invited to cover the operation. As the plan rolls out, Jacques and his NGO colleagues start losing their convictions.

Tour de France (2016)
Director : Rachid Djaïdani

Far’Hook, a twenty-year-old rapper, is obliged to leave Paris and lay low for a while. His producer, Bilal, suggests that he should take his place in accompanying his father, Serge, on a tour of all the ports of France, following the path taken by the painter Joseph Vernet. Despite the generation gap and their cultural difference, an improbable friendship develops between the rapper and father during an adventure that will lead them to Marseille for a final concert.

Nocturama (2016)
Director: Bertrand Bonello

It is morning in Paris. A group of young people from different lifestyles launch into a ballet along the streets and metro tunnels. Their gestures are precise, yet seemingly dangerous. Then their dance leads them toward a point, a department store, at the moment it is about to shut. The night in Paris begins.

Les Malheurs de Sophie
(Sophie’s Misfortunes) (2016)
Director : Christophe Honoré

Sophie lives in a castle and does no-good things with her cousin, Paul. Her parents decided they should to go to America, but a year later, they are back in France, now with her stepmother, Madame Fichini. Together with her friends, Sophie tries to escape her stepmother.

Géronimo (2014)
Director: Tony Gatlif

When Nil Terzi, a teenage Turkish girl, flees from an arranged marriage to come running at the arms of her gypsy lover, Lucky Molina, their elopement triggers hostilities between the two clan. As the musical battles begin between the two, Geronimo, a young social educator, finds himself in the middle of the fight.

21 Nuits avec Pattie
(21 Nights with Pattie) (2015)
Director: Arnaud Larrieu
and Jean-Marie Larrieu

At the height of summer, the 40-year-old Parisian and mother, Caroline, arrives in a small village in south of France to organize the funeral of her mother. She is welcomed by Pattie, a local who likes to talk about her love life to anyone who will listen. While the whole valley continues with life and gets ready for the traditional summer dance, the corpse of Caroline’s mother mysteriously disappears.

L’Ombre des femmes
(In the Shadow of Women) (2015)
Director: Philippe Garrel

The couple Pierre and Manon are poor. They make ends meet with odd jobs and make documentary films for free. Soon, Pierre meets an intern, Elisabeth, who becomes his mistress. One day, Elisabeth discovers that Manon has a lover, too. When she tells Pierre, he realizes he loves his wife and decides to win her again and then neglects his mistress. Manon then breaks off with her lover. How does this complicated love story end?

Jamais de la vie
(The Night Watchman) (2014)
Director : Pierre Jolivet

Ten years ago, Franck was on top of his game: a union delegate and a skilled worker, but these were before. He is now living a boring life. At his early 50s, he is a night watchman in a suburban mall. One night -- as in another boring night as a watchman -- he finds an SUV in a parking lot when he notices something looming. His curiosity leads him to an opportunity that lets him take control of his life again.

Le Dernier diamant
(The Last Diamond) (2014)
Director: Eric Barbier

A thief released on parole, Simon, accepts yet again another job -- the biggest in his “career” -- to steal the mythical diamond called “Florentin.” But in order to do his job, he must befriend Julia, a diamond expert. As Simon carries his plans, he leads Julia to a destiny she never would have imagined.

Un Château en Italie
(A Castle in Italy) (2013)
Director : Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi

A man and a woman meet. This is a story of a budding romance, and also a tale of a family falling apart.

Je suis un soldat (I Am a Soldier) (2015)
Director : Laurent Larivière

Sandrine is forced to return to live with her mother in Roubaix. Jobless at 30, she accepts to work for her uncle in his kennels, which turns out to be a hub for trafficking dogs from Eastern Europe. She rapidly takes control, wins the men’s respect, and starts earning money. But sometimes, good soldiers cease to obey.