Monday, November 18, 2019

Cinemania Going Strong in its 25th Year

titles originally in French. All films have English subtitles

THE GIRL WITH THE BRACELET (Séphane Demoustier)) **

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This is a talking heads in-situ trial film which accuses a girl of killing her best friend for posting a sex scene of her. I was not enamored by this film, but the acting was great. Melissa Guers as Lise, the accused, was excellent. It is a true story.

 CAMILLE (Directed by Boris Lojkine) ****

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 A true story: the CARS war in 2012 in the Central African Republic involved many warring factions. Camille, admirably portrayed by Nina Meurisse is a photo journalist who is compelled to go straight into the heart fo the dangerous action. Muslim Selka fighters go against Christian anti-balaka alliance. Nothing good can come form this, and in fact, Camille is killed in an ambush. This is not shown but detailed at the credits. A brave woman who brought the tragedy moretot the forefront of the world than ever through her photographs.

LA VÉRITÉ (Directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda) **
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A family conflict film: Catherine Deneuve as the aging bitter and acerbic-tongued actress, Fabienne is filming a scene with a younger actress who reminds her of another actress she was very jealous of and ruined her career. Juliette Binoche as Fabienne’s daughter was exquisite. She soared in this understated role. Deneuve is not my favourite actress by all means, but she held her own with her beauty and subtle expressions. The film had so many superfluous scenes and it needed a different editor.

REBELLES (Directed by Alan Mauuit) ****

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A supberb comedy. Three women kill their boss in a canning fish factory for his raping ways, and he gets what he deserves in terms of losing his sex along with his lie. They find a gruesome but ingenious way to hide his body parts, but soon, a lousy rotten man is looking for the bag of cash the women took off with that the now dead boss was carrying. It’s a farce of twists and violence, but all’s will that ends well. The film proves family does not need to be your dad or mom.

FAREWELL TO THE NIGHT (Directed by André Téchiné) ***

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Catherine Deneuve welcomes her grandson back onto the farm after years, but he is a terrorist eager to learn what is needed and to go to Syria. His grandmother finds out and locks him up, but he escapes, and then is recaptured by the police. This was a very interesting film that shows family ties count for nothing when a fanatic is on the loose. Well acted by the cast, most of whom was unknown except for the grand dame herself. I liked this low-key film.


THE WOLF’S CALL (Directed by Antonin Baudry) ****

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A great thriller by this hard-working first-time director. On a rescue mission off Syria, submarine Titan’s brilliant sonar officer. A mysterious sound ends up being a Russian sub that was supposed to have been put out of service years ago. It is keen on launching a nuclear missile, and the other sub is ordered to blow it up, but things go very wrong. Suspenseful, yet hard to follow at times, the film made impact in an intense way. These errors of judgement can happen in war, and what happens to the hero of the film is truly amazing.



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Please actors, stop making debut films that put you as the lead and shows you in every shot. A soft prom film where a girl messes around with different guys over a 3-day period.  Lila, is the name of the silly girl played by the director. A useless story, but the actor who is gay and plays a gay guy was great. He was the only entertainment factor in this narcissistic film. The actress had no charisma and from what I could see, little acting experience.


 LES MISÉRABLES (Directed by Ladj Ly)***

In a project neighborhood in France A young black kid gets shot by a bad cop and they try to cover it up. But joining the new team is Stéphane, a cop with a heart and conscience. By chance, a drone flew over the incident, and do Chris, the horrible cop tries to find him to get rid of the evidence.  In the end, the kid and his gang of friends in the hood get their revenge. The ending is lame and ambiguous. A tale of corruption and victimization against blacks and Arabs.

More detail:
Stéphane joined the Anti-Crime Brigade of Montfermeil. He meets his new teammates, Chris and Gwada, and discovers the tensions between the different groups of the district.
Screened at Cinemania 2019

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