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, February 26, 8 pm: Voisins, voisines (2005) by Malik Chibane – 90 mins – France, Comedy. English subtitles.
With Anémone, Jackie Berroyer, Frédéric Diefenthal.
A rapper searching for inspiration in a Paris suburb at "la Résidence Mozart.” He has three days to write his songs for his record company...
– Alliance description
FrenchCulture.org: Mixing a hip-hop sound-track with gritty and at times surrealistic images, Voisins, Voisines explores the multi-ethnic world of the French banlieues, the disadvantaged urban spaces that gained world media attention during the riots of 2005. Director Malik Chibane, the son of Algerian immigrants, reveals in these seemingly dead-end spaces human depth and global resonance that transcend social and ethnic divides.
Ventnorblog: A keenly observed, bittersweet ensembler, Malik Chabane’s Voisins, Voisines is a small triumph of writing and acting. Framed as the timeline during which a noted rap musician goes about composing the capsule-portrait tunes on his second album, the film fol-lows the lives of select inhabitants of the Residence Mozart, an ugly concrete apartment building designed as low-income public housing, later converted to affordable co-ops. A mix of young and old, Christian, Muslim and Jew, and black and white, the Mozart brims with enough emotional counterpoint to make its namesake proud.
Billing itself as a “hip hop fable,” Voisins, Voisines suggests that, at the moment, life in the low-income ‘burbs near Paris is being best chronicled by writer-directors with some gray in their hair. Thanks to the central premise, the film is also a low-key rap musical whose fine lyrics, set to rhythmic but unaggressive beats, embellish and advance the action.
At Alliance Française on Friday, March 5, 8 pm: Prénom Carmen / First Name: Carmen (1983) by Jean-Luc Godard – 85 mins – France, Drama/ Crime. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 77 out of 100.
With Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Villeret.
Her name is Carmen. She borrows her uncle’s flat to shoot a film with friends. But at the same time, she is in a terrorist group. After a bank hold up, she runs away with a young policeman in love with her and tells him the film is a pretext to kidnap a powerful businessman…
– Alliance description
Louis Schwartz, All Movie Guide: First Name: Carmen tells the parallel stories of a quartet rehearsing Beethoven and a group of young people robbing a bank, supposedly to get the funds to make a film. Director Jean-Luc Godard attempts to make a film that resembles a string quartet, each of whose parts serves an abstract whole. The film is a meditation on the difficulties of youth in the 1980s, the relations between cinema and capital, and how to film the human body. Godard fills the film with carefully composed shots of bodies playing music, making love, and acting violently. His attention to bodies in First Name: Carmen makes the film's images very close to sculptures, particularly those of Rodin. The film's engagement with painting and sculpture continues Godard's ongoing investigation of the relationships between cinema and other arts.
At Alliance Française on Friday, March 12, 8 pm: Le sauvage / Call Me Savage / Lovers Like Us / The Savage (1975) by Jean-Paul Rappenau – 105 mins – France/ Italy, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance. English subtitles.
With Yves Montand, Catherine Deneuve, Luigi Vannuchi, Tony Roberts, Dana Winter.
Screams, gunshots, escapes, car chases, punches and pain, laughs and tears. The French Connection? No! A love story between one woman, several men and a enchanting island. Martin left Nelly for that island. He is “Le Sauvage”, a proud man in his forties, in peace in his loneliness. But everything is going to change...
– Alliance description
Time Out Film Guide: A commonplace toujours l'amour tragi-farce whose only justification lies in the decorative presence of its two stars. The urbane Montand as a self-sufficient sauvage on the run from the unacceptable face of his wife's cosmetic empire, growing vegetables on an island retreat, is a strain on the imagination. But for credibility he has the edge on Deneuve. Her divine sang-froid hardly lends itself to a role that requires her to be part Doris Day, part Claudia Cardinale. The runaway pace is maintained by operatic slapstick, tempestuousness verging on insanity, hysterical dialogue that occasionally lurches into Spanish and American, and a dazzling range of locations (Venezuela, New York, Provence).
Film4: A clever and classy screwball comedy, with Deneuve and Montand the eye-catching couple who leave their respective partners and end up running off around the world with each other. There is not much of substance here: it is not the most original story, and there are some lame plot contrivances that make it a little pedestrian. But the settings are well filmed, and the two leads are utterly charming, attractive and funny. Deneuve in particular shines, displaying a genuine gift for comedy, which has not exactly been her trademark. Flimsy but likeable.