French Film Festival 2018

CAIRNS: 11TH, 12TH AND 13TH MAY 2018



Festival pass: $99

Members of the Alliance Francaise de cairns or End Credits: $69

Festival passes are available to purchase only at the counter of Event cinema on Grafton Street.



Festival Line-up






Friday 11 May 2018


Session 1: Special screening school students - 12pm 

The session is not included in the festival pass.

Tickets: $10
Anyone is welcome. Book tickets here



THE SCHOOL OF LIFE - L'ÉCOLE BUISSONIÈRE



FRANCE • COMEDY, DRAMA • 116 MINS • 2017 • PG
Directed by: NICOLAS VANIER
Starring: François Cluzet, Éric Elmosnino, François Berléand, Jean Scandel

Filmmaker Nicolas Vanier (director Belle and Sebastian 2013; see Belle and Sebastian 3 in this year’s Festival)borrows from his own childhood experiences growing up in Sologne to inform The School of Life – a gratifying, feel-good story about a boy whose miserable existence in a Parisian orphanage is changed forever when he is taken to live in rural France.

Paul (Jean Scandel) has only ever known the dark, prison-like world of high walls, fear and melancholy of the orphanage in which he lives. When entrusted to the care of Célestine (Valérie Karsenti) and Borel (Éric Elmosnino,The Bélier Family, AF FFF2015) Paul is whisked away to leafy forests, misty ponds and vast fields of Count de la Fresnaye for whom Célestine and Borel work.

When he befriends an eccentric poacher, Totoche (FrançoisCluzet, The Intouchables, 2011), Paul learns about life, the many secrets of the Count’s mysterious forests and that his coming to Sologne was more than just pure chance.

Breathtakingly photographed, Vanier’s film is a loving child’s-eye ode to the beauty of the natural world – and what it can teach us about life and death – that cannot help but make everyone who sees it smile.

French with English subtitles

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Session 2 : Opening night - 7pm

Tickets: $25 with a glass of champagne on arrival.

$5 off for members of Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits.

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DR. KNOCK - KNOCK




FRANCE • COMEDY, DRAMA • 113 MINS • 2017 • PG

Directed by: LORRAINE LÉVY
Starring: Omar Sy, Ana Girardot, Alex Lutz, Pascal Elbé

Lorraine Lévy takes Jules Romains’ much-loved satirical play from 1923, Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine, and turns it on its head (racially and generationally) by presenting Dr.Knock in a different manner to the traditionally older, white gent.

This time, set in country 1950s France, Dr. Knock (Omar Sy; Monsieur Chocolat, AF FFF2017) is a former conman-turned-GP who arrives in the sleepy village of St-Maurice with a plan to make himself rich: persuade healthy people they are ill and simply don't realise it.

Knock’s strategy is coming together just as planned, until he falls for the beautiful Adèle (Ana Girardot, True Friends, AFFFF2014 and Back To Burgundy in this year’s Festival). The suspicions of the local priest (Alex Lutz) are raised, and the darker elements of his past inevitably catch up with him and his idyllic new life.

Taking the role made famous on stage and screen by Louis Jouvet, Omar Sy breathes new life into the character of Dr.Knock, adding additional layers of complexity to one of France’s most enduring performance pieces.

French with English subtitles

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Saturday 12th May 2018



Session 3 :  2pm

Tickets:

Members: $12 (Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits)
Non Members: $15

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LET THE SUNSHINE IN - UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR




FRANCE • DRAMA, COMEDY • 94 MINS • 2017 • MA15+
Directed by: CLAIRE DENIS
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Gérard Depardieu, Josiane Balasko

A film that perfectly mirrors the inner turmoil of older female singledom, Let the Sunshine In shines bright in star-power.

Not only does the whole storyline orbit around a radiant Juliette Binoche (The Wait, AF FFF2016; Polina, AF FFF2017) at her very best, but this is a women’s film behind the camera too. Iconoclast Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 1999; Trouble Every Day, 2001; Friday Night, 2002) sits in the director’s chair,having penned the script with novelist-playwright Christine Angot, and ably assisted by her frequent cinematographer, Agnès Godard.

Denis introduces us to Isabelle; a 'divorcée' with a child who is searching for love but finding only callous suitors whose actions lend her experiences an acid-laced comedic edge.

Fans of Denis will note that her hot-blooded sensuality and precision-point scrutiny of human nature take this film beyond regular rom-com territory into something far more prescient; reality without the pessimism.

Giants of the screen – including Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Gérard Depardieu – make colour cameo appearances throughout, but in the end, Let the Sunshine In is Juliette Binoche’s film, and one in which she is an absolute pleasure to behold.

Time Out review

French with English subtitles

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SESSION 4:  4pm

Tickets: 

Members: $12 (Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits)
Non Members: $15

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BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) 120 BATTEMENTS PAR MINUTE




NB: This movie has strong homosexual scenes.

FRANCE • DRAMA • 142 MINS • 2017 • MA15+
Directed by: ROBIN CAMPILLO
Starring: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel, Antoine Reinartz

Writer-director Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute) throws us into the milieu of sexual and political activism during François Mitterrand’s Government of the early 90's. As seen through the prism of the ACT UP movement in Paris, this film passionately illuminates the fight for social acceptance by people living with HIV in the face of drug manufacturers reluctant to expedite treatment breakthroughs.

Nathan (Arnaud Valois) joins the ACT UP collective and is immediately drawn to the radical and somewhat militant Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), a 20-something man living with HIV. As their relationship develops, and Sean’s condition deteriorates, BPM evolves skilfully from documentary-style to intimate drama, in a way that has captured the hearts of audiences across France.

Evoking Larry Kramer’s pivotal The Normal Heart, Campillo draws on his own experiences as a member of ACT UP to imbue BPM with a sensuous depiction of the compromised – but still active – sex lives of the group. He adds an undeniably visceral human aspect to their ideological 'raison d’être': access to fair medical and social treatment in the public eye, and to love sans fear.

French with English subtitles

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SESSION 5:  7pm 

Tickets: 

Members: $12 (Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits)
Non Members: $15

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C'EST LA VIE! - LE SENS DE LA FÊTE



FRANCE • COMEDY • 117 MINS • 2017 • M
Directed by: OLIVIER NAKACHE, ÉRIC TOLEDANO
Starring: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Macaigne, Hélène Vincent

The dynamic directorial duo behind the 2011 smash The Intouchables – Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache – reunite for the Opening Night film C’est la vie!, in which a wedding threatens to erupt into an utter nightmare for the party’s cantankerous planner, Max.

Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Max Angély (Jean-Pierre Bacri, for whom the role was penned) has enjoyed a celebrated career as a caterer and event organiser. Today, it’s all hands on deck for Pierre and Héléna’s nuptials in a breathtaking 17th century French chateau.

As per usual, Max has everything precisely organised but, as the celebrations get underway, Murphy’s Law takes over, and his perfectly planned occasion risks disintegrating into a chaotic farce. Can Max and his team pull together to make Pierre and Héléna’s special day memorable for all the right reasons?

The Closing Night film at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, C'est la vie! is a carefully crafted, character-based rom-com loaded with witty zingers. A hypnotically jazzy soundtrack and top-notch ensemble cast – including Gilles Lellouche (The Connection, AF FFF2015) as the scene stealing DJ James – seals the deal on what is shameless fun from go to whoa.

French with English subtitles

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Sunday 13th May


SESSION 6 :  2pm

Tickets:

Members: $12 (Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits)
Non Members: $15

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MR STEIN GOES ONLINE - UN PROFIL POUR DEUX



FRANCE, BELGIUM • COMEDY, ROMANCE • 100 MINS • 2017 • CTC
Directed by: STÉPHANE ROBELIN
Starring: Pierre Richard, Yaniss Lespert, Fanny Valette, Gustave Kervem

In a riotous new millennial twist on the Cyrano de Bergerac story, writer-director Stéphane Robelin (All Together, 2011) creates a dream role for one of France’s supreme elder farceurs, the formidably talented Pierre Richard (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, 1973; The Fugitives, 1986).

Pierre is a retired widower who hasn’t left his house for two years. On the insistence of his daughter, he learns how to indulge in the delights of the Internet, thanks to some patience from a young man, Alex (Yaniss Lespert, What’s in a Name?, 2012), who is hired as Pierre’s computer tutor.

On a dating site, Pierre meets the young and gorgeous ‘flora63’ (Fanny Valette, Little Jerusalem, 2005) who wants to meet him. But, given Pierre has used Alex’s head shot for his profile, he needs to convince Alex to take his place at the rendezvous.

From Brussels to inner city Paris, Mr Stein Goes Online serves up generous helpings of laughter, not to mention giving a nod of approval to the older generation and the powers of verbal seduction. The joke of including a string version of Daft Punk’s hit ‘Get Lucky’ will not go unnoticed.

French with English subtitles

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SESSION 7 :  4pm

Tickets: 

Members: $12 (Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits)
Non Members: $15


Book tickets here

CUSTODY - JUSQU'À LA GARDE




FRANCE • DRAMA • 93 MINS • 2018 • M
Directed by: XAVIER LEGRAND
Starring: Léa Drucker, Denis Ménochet, Mathilde Auneveux, Florence Janas

One of the most astonishing film debuts in recent memory, Xavier Legrand’s heart-stopping drama charts a family’s struggles with the fallout of divorce, and the resulting arrangements for (and impact on) the two children.

Miriam (Léa Drucker, The Blue Room) and Antoine (Denis Ménochet, The Returned) have recently separated. While she’s willing to permit their 17-year-old daughter Joséphine (Mathilde Auneveux) to decide living arrangements for herself, Miriam is desperate to keep her youngest, 12-year-old Julien (Thomas Gioria), away from his father. But the magistrate rules in favour of joint custody, and suddenly the boy is thrown directly into the middle of an escalating parental conflict, where it seems inevitable that sides must be chosen.

Superbly observed and flawlessly acted (the heart-rending performances of the two children are more than worth the price of admission), Legrand’s precise dissection of this family dynamic masterfully builds into a pulse-pounding thriller. Honest, yet still evoking profound sympathy for all its protagonists, Custody is sure to be remembered as one of the most important and vital films of 2018. Don’t miss it.

David Stratton's review

French with English subtitles

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SESSION 8 :  7pm

Tickets: 

Members: $12 (Alliance Francaise de Cairns or End Credits)
Non Members: $15

Book tickets here

BACK TO BURGUNDY - CE QUI NOUS LIE



FRANCE • DRAMA • 113 MINS • 2017 • M
Directed by: CÉDRIC KLAPISCH
Starring: Pio Marmaï, Ana Girardot, François Civil, Jean-Marc Roulot

In his latest work, screenwriter Cédric Klapisch (My Piece of the Pie, AF FFF2012; and best known for The Spanish Apartment, 2002) perfectly captures the transfixing beauty of seasonal change across one of France’s most famous winemaking regions.

With the death of his father looming, Jean (Pio Marmaï) returns from his Australian winery to his childhood 'domaine' in Burgundy after a 10-year absence. He takes over the family’s vineyard along with his siblings Juliette (Ana Girardot, A Perfect Man, AF FFF2016; and Dr. Knock in this year’s AF FFF) and Jérémie (François Civil, Bus Palladium, AF FFF2011). Over the course of a year, Jean, Juliette and Jérémie put aside their lingering resentments about the past as they seek to maintain their father’s legacy and defy expectations – financial, emotional and professional – of those around them.

A heart felt love letter to what could be argued are France’s greatest passions – 'cinéma et vin' – Back to Burgundyis a nuanced parable of sibling camaraderie and imploding familial tension but ultimately one that arrives at the inevitable conclusion that love is like wine... it needs time.

French & English with English subtitles

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