Toronto 2011 - French films represented by ADEF members

Jeudi 1 septembre 2011

 

 

Represented by ADEF members:

ALMAYER’S FOLLY

AMERICANO

THE ARTIST

BELOVED

A BETTER LIFE

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS

CRAZY HORSE

ELLES

FREE MEN

GOODBYE FIRST LOVE

GUILTY

A HAPPY EVENT

HOUSE OF TOLERANCE

INCIDENT

LAND OF OBLIVION 

LAST WINTER

LIVID

LOVE AND BRUISES

LOW LIFE

MONSTER IN PARIS

MY WORST NIGHTMARE

OUTSIDE SATAN

PREMIER HOMME

REBELLION

SLEEPLESS NIGHT

SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO

THAT SUMMER

THE LADY

TWIGGY

WHERE DO WE GO NOW

WOMAN IN THE FIFTH

 

Represented by other companies:

CARRE BLANC

J’AIME REGARDER LES FILLES

OMAR KILLED ME

 

To see all the current films sold by ADEF members in Toronto: please check the lines up section on our website  CLICK HERE

 

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ALMAYER’S FOLLY

Directed by Chantal Akerman                                      Masters 127 mins

Represented by Doc and Film

 

Almayer (Stanislas Merhar) came to Southeast Asia long ago to seek his fortune. He married the adopted Malay daughter of the wealthy Captain Lingard in the hopes of winning an inheritance, but Lingard’s fortune gradually dwindled after a series of ill-advised journeys in search of hidden treasure. Now Almayer is resigned to a meager existence, running a trading post where no one trades. Nina (Aurora Marion), his half-Malay daughter, is his sole source of hope and comfort. But Dain, the young man Almayer had enlisted to help him find the lost treasure his father-in-law fruitlessly sought, has eyes for Nina, and threatens to steal her away from this steamy backwater forever.

 

AMERICANO

Directed by Mathieu Demy                                       Special Presentations 105 mins

Represented by Bac Films

A mother’s death propels her grown son, Martin (Demy), across the Atlantic, from his native Paris to Los Angeles. Martin and his partner (Mastroianni) had decided to take a break from each other, anyway. His father, long-estranged from his mother, urges Martin to wrap up his mother’s affairs expediently and sell her apartment. Once in L.A., where he spent so much of his youth, Martin is quickly submerged in a flood of memories, but he is determined to make a clean break, tidy up and return home as soon as possible. An old photograph given to him by a friend draws his plan to a sudden halt; his mother was close to the girl captured in the picture, and perhaps wanted her to have the apartment. Compelled by a sense of loyalty to his mother, Martin sets out to track down Lola (Salma Hayek), who must now be a woman. His search takes him across the border to the flesh pots of Tijuana, where a tourist like Martin soon finds himself at sea in very unfamiliar territory. What he finds there changes his life.

 

THE ARTIST

Directed by Michel Hazanavicius                 Special Presentations 90 mins

Represented by Wild Bunch

 

Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, whose matinee-idol good looks and arrogant but good-natured charm evokes Douglas Fairbanks at his best. George is at the height of his career in 1927 when The Artist begins. While working the premiere of his new film, he accidentally bumps into a beautiful unknown, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), and the ensuing photo op sets her on the path to unexpected fame. George, however, quickly finds himself on the opposite track, as sound begins to dominate the screens. Refusing to accept this modern innovation, he finances his own silent feature in 1929 and loses it all. His wife leaves him and his fans forget him. Broken and alone, George fades into the shadows of old Hollywood. At the same time, new It-girl Peppy finds herself at the forefront of the sound phenomenon. As her star status rises, she never forgets the man who gave her the start she needed; she resolves to help George in any way she can.

 

BELOVED

Directed by Christophe Honoré                                   Gala

Represented by Celluloid Dreams

We begin in Paris in 1964, with a young Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier) committing a petit péché: she steals a gorgeous pair of Viviers from the shoe store where she works. While wearing her sexy spike heels, she’s mistaken for a prostitute — an error that signals the next direction her life will take: Madeleine starts sleeping with men for money. But this too takes a radical turn when she falls for a handsome Czech doctor (Rasha Bukvic, who will gradually mature into none other than Milos Forman), the man who will father Véra — though their love will fluctuate tremendously as the years pass. Decades later, Véra has grown into a lovely young woman, but her romantic life seems no simpler than that of her mother. She has a thorny relationship with Clément (Louis Garrel, yet another child of French cinema aristocracy; read about his father Philippe’s film, Un été brûtlant, on page 139), but begins falling for Henderson (lovable American actor Paul Schneider), a veterinarian who’s also a rock drummer… and who may be gay.

 

A BETTER LIFE

Directed by Cédric Khan                           Special Presentations 110 mins

Represented by Wild Bunch 

Yann (Guillaume Canet) trained as a chef and walks with the attendant swagger. It’s as easy for him to boast about his future plans as it is for him to pick up a woman in a bar — in this case, the beautiful Nadia (Leïla Bekhti). What he can’t seem to do is find the right job in Paris’ cutthroat restaurant world. As Yann falls into a passionate romance with Nadia, his dreams get bigger. He finds a grand old place in the woods that he wants to renovate and open for fine dining. He’s even ready to start a family with Nadia and her young son Slimane. What these two lovers lack is business sense. To finance renovations, Yann takes out a series of revolving loans that drag him into a spiral of debt. He and Nadia begin to squabble. Restless and impatient to find work of her own, she leaves France for a job in Montreal, promising to send for her son soon. Of course, soon stretches out indefinitely.

 

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS

Directed by Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud                Special Presentations 91mins

Represented by Celluloid Dreams

The year is 1958, the city Tehran. Celebrated violinist Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric) has an unexpected encounter with a long lost love, but she fails to recognize him.  He returns home, has an argument with his wife and, most troublingly, discovers that his prized violin has been broken. He’s unable to replace it, can’t conceive of life without the consolation of music, and soon finds that he can’t get out of bed, where he lies locked both in dreams about his childhood and projections of his own children’s futures. His reveries lay somewhere between fantasy and oblivion, and quickly assemble into a kind of thriller, riddled with flashbacks and flash-forwards (as well as a vision of a naked Sophia Loren), that illuminates his peculiar persona and the source of his despair.

 

CRAZY HORSE

Directed by Frederick Wiseman                                  Reel to Real 134 mins

Represented by Celluloid Dreams

Ah, Paris and its cultural splendours. Master documentarian Frederick Wiseman has already taken us behind the scenes of the city’s renowned institutions in films like La Comédie-Française ou l’amour joué and La Danse – The Paris Opera Ballet. In Crazy Horse, he pulls back the curtain on Le Crazy Horse de Paris, a landmark that has prided itself as “the best nude dancing show in the world” since 1951. Le Crazy Horse sets itself apart from the average strip club by adhering to exacting standards in choreography, lights and physiques. The erotic revue is composed of songs and sequences that blend traits of old-fashioned burlesque, Bob Fosse and Cirque du Soleil — designed not only for the enjoyment of men, but also couples.

 

ELLES

Directed by Malgoska Szumowska                                             Special Presentations 96 mins

Represented by Memento Films International

Anne (Juliette Binoche), a well-off Paris-based mother of two and investigative journalist for ELLE, is writing an article about university student prostitution.

Her meetings with two fiercely independent young women, Alicja (Joanna Kulig) and Charlotte (Anais Demoustier), are profound and unsettling, moving her to question her most intimate convictions about money, family and sex.

THE FIRST MAN

Directed by Gianni Amelio                                        Special Presentations 100 mins

Represented by Studiocanal

Choosing to render his film as reminiscence, Amelio first follows the middle-aged Jacques Cormery (Jacques Gamblin) as he returns to Algeria to visit his mother Catherine (Catherine Sola). It is 1957, and the country is seething with tension as the Europeans, known as the pieds-noirs, defend their interests against the demands of local nationalists. A series of startling and violent events triggers a string of memories for Jacques, and he casts his mind back to incidents from his boyhood. The usual shenanigans play out against an impoverished milieu where, at a certain age, Jacques is expected to get a job and become the breadwinner. It is only through the intervention of a sympathetic teacher that a different path opens up for the bright boy, allowing him to grow into the famous novelist he would become. Of equal importance is the story between Jacques and a proudly independent Arab boy, which gradually works itself into the present. 

 

FREE MEN

Directed by Ismael Ferroukhi                        Contemporary World Cinema 99 mins

Represented by Pyramide Intl

Paris, 1942. Younes (Tahar Rahim), a young Algerian immigrant, survives by hawking goods on the black market. When German occupation forces crack down on recent immigrants, Younes is picked up and agrees to become an informant. As he delves deeper into the hidden dealings of the Great Mosque of Paris, meeting its charismatic rector (Michel Lonsdale) and befriending an alluring Algerian singer (Mahmoud Shalaby), Younes discovers a world of devout men and women committed to resistance.

 

GOODBYE FIRST LOVE

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve                                                                      Contemporary World Cinema 110 mins

Represented by Films Distribution

Camille’s boyfriend Sullivan is a few years older but no less engaged in the emotional outpourings that come with discovering a soul mate. However, not wanting to tie himself down while still a teenager, he is determined to travel and experience new things. It doesn’t mean he cares about her any less, but the lovestruck Camille finds it difficult to reconcile their ostensible need to be together all the time with his need to see the world. Despite her entreaties, Sullivan chooses to leave, sparking a long fit of depression in Camille, just a schoolgirl who has seen the possibilities offered by the universe stolen away from her. The core of the film focuses on her growth as a young woman, overwhelmed by the powerful emotions ignited by love, but left without a focal point after Sullivan’s departure. What ensues will inspire instant recognition.

 

GUILTY

Directed by Vincent Garenq                            Contemporary World Cinema 101 mins

Represented by Films Distribution

When we first meet Alain he is being questioned by the young Judge Burgaud and is already a broken man. He once lived a routine life — long work hours balanced by his love for his wife and three children. But any semblance of normality was torn away when a police squad charged into his home and arrested him and Edith. Terrified and confused, Alain is thrown into numerous interrogations that seem designed to trap him into corroborating the testimonies given by his accusers: two couples responsible for prostituting their own children, who are complete strangers to Alain. Living a nightmare that spirals out of control as the allegations become wilder, he finds himself sinking further into a legal structure that doesn’t seem to care about the circumstantial nature of their flimsy evidence. Philippe Torreton delivers a powerfully emotional performance as Alain, a man who must stand with his hands cuffed and watch his life shatter around him. Guilty immerses us in the world of prison cells, judges’ chambers and hospital rooms that define Alain’s tortured existence, and asks us not just to empathize with a man trapped in an inhuman system, but to recognize the human error behind this miscarriage of justice and demand accountability.

 

A HAPPY EVENT

Directed by Rémi Bezancon                                                                           Gala 107 mins

Represented by Gaumont

Barbara (Louise Bourgoin), a young graduate student, is madly in love with her boyfriend Nicolas (Pio Marmaï) and deep into writing her thesis when she learns she is pregnant. Reeling from the initial shock, Barbara alternates between excitement and trepidation. Amidst a flurry of congratulations, she tries in vain to conform to the image of the happy expectant mother, but is instead exasperated by the tedious yogic breathing classes, and finds herself complaining to her girl­friend about her suffering sex life. Once her baby is born, everything becomes alarmingly real. She’s faced with a helpless little being who needs everything from her — love most of all. But despite the support of those around her, including that of her devoted partner, Barbara struggles to connect with her child. Any mother will relate to Barbara’s newborn storm of guilt, exasperation, resolve and sudden eruptions of laughter. Any father will understand Nicolas’ sheer bewilderment.

 

HOUSE OF TOLERANCE

Directed by Bertrand Bonello                               Visions 125 mins

Represented by Films Distribution

In the nineteenth century, much of the Parisian sex trade was confined to grands maisons, populated by elegant madams and a vetted clientele.  They were akin to social clubs, with the gentleman participants expected to be as charming and witty as they might be in more respectable draw­ing rooms.  The ladies were provocatively dressed and, upstairs, occupied numerous boudoirs ready for carnal pleasures.  Even in such a controlled environment, dangers still lurked: disease was rampant and lethal, and sometimes even a gentleman might lose his temper and harm one of the women.

 

THE INCIDENT

Directed by Alexandre Courtes                                           Midnight Madness 85 mins

Represented by SND / GROUPE M6

George (Rupert Evans), Max (Kenny Doughty) and Ricky (Joseph Kennedy) play in a band together, struggling to record their first album and performing small gigs between shifts cooking for the inmates of the high-security asylum where they all work. Their kitchen is separated from the cafeteria by a large window with a small slot, through which they’re able to observe the patients from a safe vantage point. Except for the dispatching of food and medication, their average workday requires little interaction with the disturbed men, who veer between violent outbursts and near catatonia. This banal routine is interrupted just before dinner one evening, when a storm knocks out the power in the hospital, trapping the three young men in the kitchen and disabling the security systems that keep them safe from the precarious lunatics on the other side of the glass. Help should be on its way, but until it comes, the band mates must protect themselves from the raging psychopathy that threatens to crack the barrier.

 

THE LADY

Directed by Luc Besson                                                                                  Gala 145 mins

Represented by Europacorp

In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to her native Burma from Oxford, where she had lived for many years. Her visit was prompted by news of her mother’s dete­riorating health, but the country was in an uproar. Burma’s military leader, General Ne Win, stepped down, and protestors quickly filled the streets of Naypyidaw to demand democratic reform. Those protestors were beaten and their message suppressed. The charismatic and politically engaged Suu Kyi, whose father was a martyr for Burmese independence, found herself called upon to lead Burma out from under the shadow of military dictatorship as the General Secretary of the newly formed National League for Democracy. In 1990, a general election was held and the NLD won, but Suu Kyi was held under house arrest by the military junta. She remained a prisoner in her own home for most of the next fifteen years.

 

LAND OF OBLIVION

Directed by Michale Boganim  Contemporary World Cinema 115 mins

Represented by Le Pacte

Anya (Olga Kurylenko) and Piotr (Nikita Emshanov) are about to be married, but news arrives of an accident at the nuclear power plant, and Piotr, a firefighter, is summoned away from his nuptials. Soon rain begins to fall — black rain — and the disaster’s full dimension starts to percolate into the consciousness of the people of Pripyat, a town only a few kilometers away from the power station. A few years later, Anya is now a local guide for curious tourists who don radiation-proof suits and bus through the town snapping photos of a transformed world. Like many others, Anya finds herself caught between leaving and staying. As her heroine struggles with her demons, Boganim depicts a community that, despite the dangers, refuses to leave its history behind. The residents’ houses — derelict, abandoned and overgrown with weeds — nestle within an area still contaminated with too much radioactivity to be safe, but the lure of the place they call home is like a siren.  Squatters move in to family houses while relatives of those killed find themselves trapped and unable to make sense of it all. The aftermath of Chernobyl is fully exposed, forcing us to imagine what a nuclear future might look like — something the people of Fukushima have only just recently contemplated.

 

LIVID

Directed by Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo                              Midnight Madness 88 mins

Represented by SND / GROUPE M6

As she copes with the suicide of her mother, Lucie (Chloé Coulloud) takes a job assisting housebound seniors lost in varying states of dementia. One of her charges is very different from the rest: a renowned dancer, Madame Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla) now lies comatose in a decrepit mansion. A wizened crone hooked up to a life-support system in a room surrounded by old books and arcane artefacts, Jessel is rumoured to have a small fortune stashed somewhere in her dark and dusty home. Tempted by this tale of hidden treasure, Lucie and her two friends break into the estate in search of their ticket to a new and better life. The mysterious mansion is a gorgeously detailed labyrinth of locked doors that seems to hold no reward for the threesome — until their curiosity opens a Pandora’s box of unspeakable horror that twists their night into a demented punishment for their greed. The friends find themselves tormented by Jessel and her long-dead, mute daughter in a grotesque and macabre ballet of terrors danced inside a creepy puzzle box of a home.

 

LOVE AND BRUISES

Directed by Lou Ye                                                                Vanguard 100 mins

Represented by Wild Bunch

Hua (Corinne Yam) is a young teacher from Beijing. She is fluent in French, and journeys to Paris in the hopes of abandoning her former life back home. Mathieu (Tahar Rahim) is a construction worker who lacks culture and sophistication. The two literally meet by accident — Mathieu involuntarily hits Hua with a pole he is carrying at work — and seem to instantly recognize each other as misplaced children of society. An inexplicable drive pushes Hua towards this man who represents the unknown, and they fall into a frenzied relationship comprised of passion, sex and verbal abuse.

 

LOW LIFE

Directed by Nicolas Klotz & Elisabeth Perceval       Special Presentations 129 min

Represented by Les Films du Losange

Setting their tale amidst the squats of Lyon, the film revolves around a group of disenchanted, mildly rebellious youths who could easily be modern-day versions of Rimbaud and Verlaine or Sartre and Beauvoir. Their concerns are both immediate (they protest the forced eviction of a group of squatters and get caught up in the issue of illegal immigrants) and abstract (love, poetry and philosophy are the beats to which this particular group moves). The languid, mesmerizing Carmen (Camille Rutherford) is struggling to resolve her feelings for her present lover, but soon finds herself falling in love with a passionate Afghani student. Both are poets, and indeed much of the film’s discourse is not conversational; verse and studied theatricality replace idle chit-chat. This gives the film a unique, other-worldly tone that exquisitely matches the hermetic, claustrophobic feel of many of its situations and locations.

MONSTER IN PARIS

Directed by Bibo Bergeron                                                     TIFF Kids 89 mins

Represented by Europacorp

Paris, 1910. The streets of the city are flooded. The Eiffel Tower looms over a temporary lake and certain streets sport makeshift bridges so Parisians can go about their daily routines. But spirits are high for the citizens of this romantic city, including those of Emile (Jay Harrington), a lovelorn cinema projectionist, and his madcap friend Raoul (Adam Goldberg), a delivery man by day and inventor by night. Raoul is equal parts brazen attitude, affectionate demeanor (mostly towards Catherine, his trusty truck) and limitless energy. His unbridled enthusiasm for discovery and breaking the rules lands him and Emile in the perfect setting for unintentional mischief: an eccentric scientist’s greenhouse. Explosions follow. Once the clouds of smoke clear, Raoul and Emile realize that a monster has been let loose onto the soggy streets of Paris. Feeling some responsibility but mostly filled with a sense of adventure, the friends plunge headlong into a chaotic monster hunt. Only after the intervention of Raoul’s former classmate Lucille (Vanessa Paradis), now a celebrated cabaret singer, do they consider the possibility that the terrifying monster may not be as menacing as he appears. But can the group save the beast from the corrupt police chief (Danny Huston), an ambitious mayoral candidate who needs to prove he’s doing something to keep the waterlogged streets of Paris safe? Throughout their adventures, the ragtag gang of monster hunters encounters many colourful characters, including a sweet cinema ticket agent, a saucy nightclub owner and an irritable monkey who may be the best communicator of them all.

 

OUTSIDE SATAN

Directed by Bruno Dumont                                                                     Masters 109 mins

Represented by Pyramide Intl

 

OUTSIDE SATAN focuses on a true outsider, a drifter who lives in the woods outside a small village where he strikes up a strange and unique relationship with a young woman. Both remain nameless throughout the film. The Guy acts as protector to the Girl, unemotionally killing a couple of people whom she claims are tormenting her and making her life a living hell. Their communication is virtually wordless and nothing is ever made explicit, the meaning left to the viewer. As the local police start to investigate the murders, we are led to believe that it will not be long before the Guy is apprehended. However, Hors Satan is far from a crime drama, its director more interested in the inexplicable as he nudges his film in another direction.

 

REBELLION

Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz                                Special Presentations 135 mins

Represented by Kinology

Mathieu Kassovitz’s new film incisively dissects an incident that roiled France in 1988 and unsettled the country’s presidential elections. The incident in question centers on a group of local Kanak separatists who attack a French police post, killing three gendarmes and taking another twenty-six hostage. The French respond by sending their elite counterterrorism group, the GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group), who operate under Captain Philippe Legorjus (Kassovitz). Arriving after a thirty-hour flight, Legorjus and his small band of men are horrified to discover that the French army has also been deployed in considerable force. The captain is determined to negotiate a peaceful and bloodless resolution to the crisis, but it soon becomes evident that numerous forces threaten to undermine him. An election in France that pits left against right, Mitterrand against Chirac, means that the hostage crisis half a world away gets turned into a political football. A minister arrives, French generals hem and haw, and decisions are changed and revised, throwing Legorjus’ delicate negotiations with the Kanak leader into constant jeopardy.

 

SLEEPLESS NIGHT

Directed by Frederic Jardin                                  Midnight Madness 89 mins

Represented by Bac Films

A gunshot shatters the early-morning silence on the streets of Paris as two men in balaclavas intercept a car on a drug run.  In the rushed heist that follows, one of the drug carriers in the vehicle is shot. The other escapes, but not before getting a glimpse of one of the men unmasked.  The next day, one of the thieves, Vincent (Tomer Sisley of Largo Winch), is addressed as lieutenant in the bathroom at work. This reveal — that the robbers are really cops — is the first of many in Frédéric Jardin’s Sleepless Night, which peels back layers of deceit one by one as the film plunges forward. Vincent’s bag of coke belongs to a nightclub owner named Jose Marciano (Serge Riaboukine). When Jose learns he’s been double-crossed by the police, he kidnaps Vincent’s son, using the boy as a means to reclaim his stolen property. He tells Vincent the stash must be returned to his club by the end of the night. No drugs, and the cop will never see his son again. Vincent enters Jose’s club — a dizzying complex that heaves with music and crowds — unaware that he’s being tailed by a rookie female officer working the drug robbery. From here, he is plunged into a perverse labyrinth of corruption and betrayal as he races against the clock to save his child.

 

SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO

Directed by Robert Guediguian                               Masters 90 mins

Represented by Films Distribution

Michel is a hard-working, doggedly hon­est union rep who has the unenviable job of deciding who among his workers will be laid off. Settling on a lottery system, he puts his own name in the box and ends up out of a job. Michel finds himself facing the consequences of his moral position when he struggles to adapt to his new reality at home with his wife and to his dealings with his ex-workers. Family life keeps him going, but when Michel and his closest friends are subject to a violent home invasion and robbery, he finds his world turned upside down. The trauma of the incident ripples through his life, and he sets out to discover the identity of his assailants. What he uncovers takes him back to his former workplace and forces him to confront his entire belief system. As the narrative unfolds, Guédiguian endlessly surprises us with a series of revelations, none of which feel contrived and all of which splendidly serve the issues raised by the film.

 

THAT SUMMER

Directed by Philippe Garrel                                         Special Presentations 95 mins

Represented by Wild Bunch

Philippe Garrel turns his piercing gaze to the relationship between what appears to be a happy young couple. Both are artists: Frédéric (Louis Garrel, the director’s son) is a painter and Angèle (Monica Bellucci) is an Italian film actress. Very quickly they befriend Paul (Jérôme Robart), who is eking out a living as a film extra; he in turn gets romantically involved with another extra, Élisabeth (Céline Sallette). Frédéric and Angèle are garrulous and friendly, and when Angèle’s work takes her to Rome, they ask their new friends to join them. Living in the same apartment brings the group closer together, and soon the two men strike up a solid friendship. The women, on the other hand, find themselves struggling with their own complex issues: jealousy, resentment, abandonment, rejection and infidelity. What ultimately transpires in Rome marks the lives of all four people in very different and profound ways.

 

TWIGGY

Directed by Emmanuelle Millet                                                             Discovery 82 mins

Represented by Fims Distribution

Working as an intern in a posh art gallery, Sarah (Théret) unexpectedly collapses one day while hanging some paintings, and is taken to hospital for tests. To her shock, she learns that she’s six months pregnant. Showing no visible signs, Sarah at first refuses to accept the diagnosis. An abortion is her initial solution; when that’s ruled out due to the lateness of her term, she decides to give the child up for adoption as soon as it’s born. A downward spiral is set in motion. Laidoff from her gallery job, too proud to tell her mother (who lives in another city), and ultimately finding herself homeless, Sarah reluctantly checks in to the local family clinic, which is full of other single young women in similar predicaments, though with one big difference: they all want their babies.

 

WHERE DO WE GO NOW

Directed by Nadine Labaki                       Special Presentations

Represented by Pathe Intl

As the looming spectre of strife threatens to seep into their village again, Amale (Labaki), Takla (Claude Baz Moussawbaa), Afaf (Layla Hakim), Yvonne (Yvonne Maalouf) and Saydeh (Antoinette Noufaily) are determined to protect their families from more violence and grief. To distract the men from succumbing to antagonism, they hatch schemes with zeal, beguiling the men with a cast of Ukrainian casino showgirls and serving hash cookies at a dance party. From one plot to the next, these women defy conventions and taboos — until a young man’s accidental death from crossfire outside their village calls for a more radical and decisive tactic.

 

THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH

Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski   Special Presentations 83 mins 

Ethan Hawke plays Tom Ricks, a novelist who comes to Paris to be closer to his young daughter. Robbed upon arrival, he sets out with nothing to his name to find a place to stay. To add insult to injury, his estranged wife turns her back on his plight. Eventually Tom finds himself installed in a small, dingy hotel, whose owner offers him a job so he can pay his way. Events begin to take another turn when Tom falls into the clutches of the beguiling Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas). She seems eager for distraction, and Tom is keen to make friends, but life becomes even more complicated when the voluptuous young hotel chambermaid starts to turn her attention to the by now genuinely confused American.

 

For films other than French represented by ADEF members screened in Toronto, please check the lines up section on our website : CLICK HERE

 

OTHER FILMS:

 

 

CARRÉ BLANC Directed by Jean-Baptiste Léonetti                             Special Presentations 80mins

A young boy ekes out an existence with his mother in an austere, unidentified city where loudspeakers make strange announcements and proclamations, a rapidly declining po­pulation resides in grim high-rises and the weak are killed and likely used for meat. In the wake of a suicide attempt, the boy undergoes a harsh rehabilitation in a state-run school.  When we next see him, he’s a productive adult member of society (Sami Bouajila), estranged from his wife (Julie Gayet) and working for a nameless organization, where he puts other employees through a series of humiliating and bizarre performance tests.

 

J’AIME REGARDER LES FILLES Directed by Frédéric Louf                                                        Discovery 92 mins

One half of the equation is the slightly irresponsible Primo (Pierre Niney), who is preparing to write the baccalaureate that he has already failed once. He’s a middle-class kid from a respectable provincial family, the son of a florist — all in all, nothing special. The other half is Gabrielle (Lou de Laage), sleek and sexy, definitely haute-bourgeoisie; she hangs with a haughty, self-confident group of preppy youngsters who drive fast cars and vacation in Saint-Tropez. This unlikely romance — is Gabrielle really in love with Primo, or is he just the latest in a long line of admirers? — plays out against the bohemian lifestyle of our self-styled hero, who pretends to be something he isn’t to impress his new girlfriend. Primo finds himself biting his left-wing tongue as Gabrielle’s friends casually air their right-wing views with hauteur and arrogance. And to top it all off, things are getting real in the streets. As the election heats up, Primo finds it harder and harder to conceal what he really thinks.

 

OMAR KILLED ME Directed by Roschdy Zem                          Contemporary World Cinema 85 mins

Represented by Elle Driver

What if you woke up one day and found the police at your door? What if they told you that the woman you had always thought of as a mother was murdered and that, moments before she died, she wrote in her own blood that it was you who killed her? Those were the bewildering facts presented to Omar Raddad (Sami Bouajila) on June 23, 1991, when the body of a rich widow — 65-year-old Ghislaine Marchal (Liliane Nataf) — was found brutally stabbed and beaten to death in the basement of her villa in the south of France. Marchal’s gardener Omar, a young Moroccan who spoke little French, was immediately arrested for the crime.  Despite a complete lack of forensic evidence and gaping holes in the investigation — one of the only clues was the inscription “Omar m’a tuer,” written in incorrect French with the blood of the victim — Omar was ultimately convicted of the murder and sentenced to eighteen years in prison.