From some of the cream of the Cannes crop to restored classics and mainstream hits, the French Film Festival is a much-appreciated annual event for the UK’s Franco-cinephiles. The 27th edition is packed with new works from heavy hitter directors like Bruno Dumont, Céline Sciamma, Quentin Dupieux, Arnaud Desplechin and Christophe Honoré, which feature such onscreen favourites as Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Léa Seydoux, Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel and Fabrice Luchini.
The entire programme’s worth checking out, but here are five we’re particularly keen to see…
Full feature for The Skinny
Though only a few of his films have received UK distribution (see 2009’s The Portuguese Nun), US-born, France-based director Eugène Green has accrued a significant arthouse fanbase across the world, via a steady run of eccentric dramas, each driven by a rigid commitment to Baroque theatre techniques. No one behaves quite like a human being in his filmography, but their humanity shines through the mannered delivery.
Although still reliant on that same performance style, Green’s more overtly comedic new film, The Son of Joseph, offers a considerably more accessible, playful distillation of his filmmaking. It’s a beguiling riff on the Nativity story, as a young boy (Victor Ezenfis) becomes determined to uncover the identity of his absent father. His search leads to Mathieu Amalric’s brash publisher, who offers limited appeal when it comes to being a proposed patriarch. As such, Vincent’s attentions gravitate towards the publisher’s brother (Fabrizio Rongione) as a more suitable substitute, only for a funny farce of misplaced paternity to ensue from there.
With the film released in UK cinemas this Friday, ahead of a Christmas Day streaming debut on MUBI UK, we chat with Green about his direction of actors and collaborating with producers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne…
Full interview for VODzilla.co