At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm
The Alliance Française shows its series of French films in a small room in their building at 138 Charoen Prathet Road. The building is directly opposite Wat Chaimongkhon, near the Chedi Hotel. Tell your taxi "Samakhom Frangset" and/or "Wat Chaimongkhon."A contribution of 30 baht is requested; you pay outside at the information desk of the Alliance Française proper.
At Alliance Française on Friday, January 29: Mon petit doigt m'a dit... / By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2005) by Pascal Thomas – 105 mins – France, Comedy/ Mystery. English subtitles. Adapted from the mystery thriller by Agatha Christie.
With Catherine Frot, André Dussolier, Geneviève Bujold.
An elderly woman who disappears. A village that, behind all its gossip, hides a dark secret, a house split in half, tombs that are better left untouched, a doll that reappears from the past, a terrifying lawyer who wears a death mask. It will take some doing for Prudence and Bélisaire Beresford, who have Hercule Poirot’s patience and Agatha Christie’s humor, to uncover the astounding truth...
– Alliance description
Films de France: Shortly after visiting their elderly aunt in a luxury retirement home, Bélisaire and Prudence Beresford are surprised by her sudden death. Prudence becomes convinced foul play is at work when she learns that one of the other old women she met in the home has mysteriously disappeared. In her aunt’s possessions, Prudence comes across a painting of a country house, a painting which awakens some dormant memory. Despite her husband’s objections, Prudence sets out to unravel the mystery...
IMDb viewer: All you can expect from an Agatha Christie novel you will find here: thrills, plot twists, mysterious clues, a surprising final resolution. But, thanks to Pascal Thomas' talent you will be given even more: social comment (old age, family ties, the 2003 heat wave), black humor (jokes about death, madness, etc.), brilliant dialog, plus a wonderful cast of either well-known character actors typed against cast (Geneviève Bujold, Valérie Kaprisky, Maurice Risch, Laurent Terzieff), of talented beginners (Pierre Lescure) or little known but excellent actors (André Thorent, Anne Le Ny). To say nothing of the sizzling leading couple of the always perfect Catherine Frot and André Dussollier.
However what is most enjoyable is the offbeat tone that imbues the whole film. The atmosphere, although apparently realistic, constantly borders on the fantastic.
At Alliance Française on Friday, February 5: Fanfan la tulipe (2003) by Gérard Krawczyk – 95 mins – France, Adventure/ Comedy/ Romance. English subtitles. Mixed or average reviews: 51 out of 100.
With Vincent Perez, Penélope Cruz, Didier Bourdon, Hélène De Fougerolles, Michel Muller.
In this 2003 remake of the classic 1952 French film, Fanfan la Tulipe (Perez) is a swashbuckling lover who is tricked into joining the army of King Louis XV by Adeline La Franchise (Cruz), who tells Fanfan that by doing so, he will eventually marry one of the king's daughters...
– Alliance description
Plume-noire, Sandrine Marques: To escape marriage, Fanfan (Vincent Pérez), a womanizer, joins Louis XV's army, foils a plot, and finds love with Adeline (Pénélope Cruz), a fortuneteller thirsty for freedom. A remake of a Christian-Jaque film shot in 1952, this Fanfan la Tulipe, from the Luc Besson stable, has neither the epic dimension, nor the panache of the original version, even though the "Besson method,” flanked by long-time drudge Gerard Krawczyk, has proven to be durable.
IMDb viewer: Not the most intelligent film ever made, but for those wishing to see a fun, swashbuckling movie then I would certainly recommend this to them.Fanfan himself is difficult to warm to to begin with but once you get past the cheeky arrogance Vincent Perez makes a fantastic Fanfan and although Penelope Cruz can be difficult to understand for non fluent viewers, due to her strong accent, her performance is still enjoyable enough.
It was obviously never intended to be the most technically brilliant movie ever created but I honestly believe anyone who knows a bit of French should give it a chance. Great for a rainy day!
At Alliance Française on Friday, February 12: Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé / Not Here to Be Loved (2005) byStéphane Brizé – 93 mins – France, Drama/ Romance. English subtitles.
With Patrick Chesnais, Anne Consigny, Raymond Pellegrin.
Fifty-year-old Jean-Claude Delsart, worn out by his police work, gave up on the idea of life offering any sweet surprises some time ago. But he hadn't counted on just what would happen when he finally got up the nerve to learn the tango...
– Alliance description
Neil Young’s Film Lounge: Still waters run persuasively deep in Not Here To Be Loved, a startlingly dry - and ineffably "French" - comedy/ romance in which almost every word, gesture, and shot is expertly weighted for maximum effect. The story of an unlikely relationship which blossoms between divorced, Prufrock-ish, 50-year-old bailiff Jean-Claude (suitably hangdog Patrick Chesnais) and Francoise (spirited Anne Consigny), the significantly younger woman he meets at a tango class - despite the latter's impending marriage to pudgy would-be novelist Thierry (Lionel Abelanski) - may be, if anything, a little too restrained, slow-burning and subtle for some. Patient (older?) viewers, however, will find many rewards in this deliciously poised, impeccably-observed fable of lonely lives redeemed by the possibility of a second chance.