Giving millionaires the boot: why Cahiers du Cinéma editors quit en masse

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[…] In their statement, the writers and editors rebuffed the notion that Cahiers was ever chic or convivial, before declaring: “Cahiers has always been a politically engaged outlet, taking clear positions.” They point out that one of the magazine’s most famous articles, François Truffaut’s “A certain tendency in French cinema” from 1954 was a fierce critique of bourgeois French cinema.

Full article on The Guardian

Interview – Céline Sciamma on Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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[…] How do you write the process of falling in love without it appearing too sudden or too slow?

Writing this film took me a lot of time. Not so much in the actual writing of it, but in the conception of it. The dream of it. It’s a film I’d long dreamed about, because I had two desires which might have initially appeared contradictory. The first was to communicate, step by step, the process of falling in love – the visual style of delay and frustration, patience, reciprocity, and doubt. There was this desire to show the birth of longing, of an inner turmoil.

And there was a second desire, which was to show the breadth of a love story in time. Its trace. The philosophy of love. So I wanted to make a film about a romantic dialogue, but also about the lovers’ discourse. Finding that balance was decisive before starting to make this film. I had to conjure up the visual set-ups that could do both things. There are effects in time, effects in acceleration, but it’s also a film constructed around rituals and variations, as opposed to big contrasts.

Full interview on Little White Lies

Report from the 2020 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival

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[…] Attending the festival for the first time as a professional critic this year confirmed what countless others have told me over the years: Clermont ISFF is the best place to discover original and innovative filmmaking talent. In 2013, Xavier Legrand won the Grand Prix of the National Competition for Just Before Losing Everything, later nominated for an Oscar; the breath-taking short preluded his equally thrilling debut feature Custody. Likewise, before Ladj Ly seduced Cannes with his first full-length film, Les Misérables, he was awarded for his short of the same name in Clermont in 2017. This year, Yves Piat’s Audience Award-winner Nefta Football Club was among the nominees at the Academy Awards. Not for nothing is the festival regarded as the world’s most important event dedicated to short-form cinema.

Full article on Little White Lies

Review – The Call of the Wild

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[…] As indicated by the title, this is a film about an animal recovering its wild side. But until Buck finally does so, he latches on to various human characters and with them, as Harrison Ford’s John Thornton mentions, he does not act like a beast. Rather, he behaves as man’s best friend, boundlessly enthusiastic and curious – in short, throughout most of the film, he acts like a domestic animal. This is key to the film’s success: while the discovery that so often defines adventure films is typically tied to child characters, in The Call of the Wild it is a dog who reflects our own sense of wonder.

Full review on Little White Lies

Interview – Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant on Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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[…] Héloïse spends a lot of the film being a subject of our gaze and of Marianne’s gaze. How did you deal with playing a character that we can’t access for quite a long time?

Adèle Haenel: That was intentional. It was a lot of fun for me. I do everything very seriously and I believe in what I do very deeply. I love art, I love cinema more than anything else. But I always work in a playful way, so I feel like I’m making jokes or pranks. So I told myself I would make a character who wouldn’t be a psychological unity, the way characters usually are – where they come from often leading to Freudian stuff, like, ‘I was traumatised my mum and dad and that’s why I am the way I am.’ It’s not that that’s not interesting, but it’s a bit annoying after a while. So I thought I’d make a character who didn’t have an internal principle, except for the joy of shooting the scenes, except for the emotions born from acting. No internal logic. It’s a character who is distorted by being looked at.

Full interview on Little White Lies

Review – Make Up

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[…] Something seems to be off from the very start, when Ruth (Molly Windsor) arrives in the middle of a pitch-black night in a caravan town in Cornwall, meeting her boyfriend of three years. Besides the inherent creepiness of a deserted town during the off season, these empty and identical houses also give off a distinct sensation of apprehension. They seem to be waiting with bated breath for the tourists to come and bring them back to life. This feeling of constantly being on tenterhooks pervades the entire film as the young Ruth, despite all her efforts to appear cool and relaxed, seems anxious and impatient about something – when we first see her, she is biting her nails. But Oakley purposefully delays the revelation of what exactly is bothering the young woman, and Windsor’s naturally peaceful expression goes a long way in sustaining the suspense.

Full review on Cineuropa

Review – The Lighthouse

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[…] There is, of course, more to The Lighthouse than meets the eye, even if a quick glance is enough to hook us in. Jarin Blaschke’s gorgeous, almost square-framed black-and-white images evoke early-days photography, but the set-up is no gimmick: Eggers is a director in the full sense of the word, and while his compositions are visually striking – almost obviously so, in a #OnePerfectShot kind of way – they also hint at our hero’s anxieties and mysterious past.

Full review on Little White Lies

Interview – I Love You So Much It Hurts: Fabrice du Welz discusses Adoration

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[…] NOTEBOOK: The film also feels like a fable or a fairytale, and often, films that evolve in that genre eventually become comfortable and we can just sit back and admire the style. But here, beside the sense of wonder, there is also fear, which really keeps us on our toes.

DU WELZ: Something that was really important for me was to avoid all forms of cloying cuteness, of prettiness. Most films for children are cute and pretty, and I hate everything cute, pretty and sweet. I wanted to make a children’s film about children who are overwhelmed by feelings that are too big for them. When you’re 14 years old and you fall in love, you’re devastated, because you’re not used to it, and it’s a new sensation… It’s like a state of possession where you are haunted by the other. That is sort of what happens to Paul, he falls very deeply in love, that’s why there is a sense of the absolute that is almost mystical.

Full interview on Mubi Notebook

Interview – John Chester, director of Biggest Little Farm

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[…] Picturehouse: Do you feel that the adaptability that being a documentary filmmaker requires — being able to catch reality as it happens and to adapt to what is happening outside of your control — helped you when you started working on the farm? It seems the two things call for similar instincts.

John Chester: Yes, and I often wondered how the two would play. I heard a quote once which said that, in scripted film, the director is God, but in documentary, God is the director. And if you don’t get out of the way of circumstance and start to look at the story unfolding the way it is, even though it’s not the way you envisioned, then you miss the opportunity to tell a really deep and meaningful story. And obviously, farming is the same way: you have to be willing to look at how failure can shift your opportunistic eye, to capture that failure and turn it into something that is producing a farmable good. We had to constantly take advantage of the failures to either learn something or to shift how we were managing the land. There was a bit of adaptability in that I’m used to films not wanting to be made, and farms essentially don’t want to be farmed! It’s the same thing.

Full interview on Spotlight

Review – The Nightingale

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[…] Kent emphasises the specificity of Clare’s story throughout, most clearly when she shows us the assault in a long, uninterrupted sequence, rendering both its moment-to-moment terror and the details which make it unique. As such, the director does not reduce Clare’s rape to a mere narrative device – a break, a demarcation without consistency. But perhaps more importantly, the length and specificity of that sequence also challenge our desire to “relate”: though we certainly feel bad for Clare, her assault and story are hers alone.

Full review on Little White Lies