Tag Archives: AFI fest

AGNÈS

“Each film has its history, its beauty or not beauty, and its meaning.  The meaning can change over the years for people who watch the film, because there is a lot of evolution in the sense of history, the sense of understanding.  But when you speak about 35 millimeter or DCP or video, it’s unimportant. The film is what it is, but what is different are the people who made the film…

“I change.  I wouldn’t do the same film today about Cuba or about the Panthers or about women.  Each film has a date glued to it.  And what we try is to overcome the date and make a meaning that can be more than 1962 or 1961 or whatever.” — Agnès Varda

Varda—mother of the nouvelle vague—was born outside Brussels, made some of her most important films in California, and died this morning at her home in Paris.

Active into her late eighties, local audiences remember many of her recent trips to Los Angeles, presenting retrospectives at the American Cinematheque and LACMA, giving talks at the AFI festival, and receiving a Governor’s Award from the Academy in 2017.

Varda—who directed Cléo de 5 à 7 in Paris in 1961—and her husband Jacques Demy (1931–1990) first came to Los Angeles in 1966, Demy eventually directing Model Shop (1969) and Varda making shorts—Uncle Yanco, Black Panthers—in preparation for her first California feature, the remarkable Lions Love (… and Lies) (also 1969). Varda’s final completed work is the soon-to-be-released documentary Varda par Agnès.

From top: Agnès Varda on the set of Lions Love (… and Lies); Varda shooting her second feature Cléo de 5 à 7 in Paris in the early 1960s, photograph by Roger Viollet; Anouk Aimée (left), Jacques Demy, and Varda in Los Angeles during the shoot of Demy’s Model Shop; scene from Varda’s Black Panthers (1968), shot in Oakland; Sabine Mamou (right) and Mathieu Demy—Varda and Demy’s son—in Varda’s feature Documenteur (1981), shot in Los Angeles; Venice Beach scene from the documentary Mur Murs (1981); Varda and Jane Birkin on set, Jane B. par Agnès V. (1988), photograph by Jean Ber; Varda in Varda par Agnès (2019). Images courtesy Ciné-Tamaris.

AFI FEST — GENESIS

The title of GENÈSE (Genesis)—writer and director Philippe Lesage’s beautifully considered take on the adolescent trials of a pair of Quebecois siblings—reminds us that the depredations of youth are part of a process and not (despite on-screen evidence to the contrary) an irrevocable fall.

For most of its running time, GENÈSE (Lesage’s second feature) details, with intelligence and plausibility, the social-sexual explorations of Charlotte (Noée Abita)—an uncommitted college student—and her slightly younger brother Guillaume (Théodore Pellerin, Boy Erased), who is enrolled in an all-male boarding school.

A third-act coda revisits characters from Lesage’s first feature, Les Démons. Perhaps,in an upcoming film, Lesage will return to where the filmmaker and his deeply invested audience leave Charlotte and Guillaume, simultaneously stranded yet irresistibly propelled into the unknown.

This World Cinema selection premieres in Hollywood this evening as part of the AFI Fest 2018, with an encore screening tomorrow.

 

GENESIS

Monday, November 12, at 5:45 pm, with director Philippe Lesage in attendance.

Tuesday, November 13, at 6:30 pm.

Chinese Sixplex

6801 Hollywood Boulevard, LosAngeles.

The AFI Fest is presented by Audi.

Top image credit: Be For Films.

Above: Théodore Pellerin (seated center) in Genèse. Photograph by Marco Abraham.

Below: Pellerin and Noée Abita.

NEVER LOOK AWAY

Inspired by the youth of a colossus of contemporary art, NEVER LOOK AWAY is Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s fictional take on the early life of Gerhard Richter, who grew up under the Nazis (and in the GDR after the war), studied and practiced Socialist Realism at Dresden’s Art Academy, and escaped to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf just before the Wall went up.

Tom Schilling stars as Kurt Barnert, and Oliver Masucci plays a character based on Joseph Beuys. The cast includes Paula Beer and Sebastian Koch, who was in Henckel von Donnersmarck’s remarkable debut feature The Lives of Others.

The AFI Fest 2018 presents the Los Angeles premiere of NEVER LOOK AWAY this weekend at the Egyptian, with an encore screening on Wednesday at the Chinese. The director will be present on Sunday in Hollywood, as well as at LACMA for a January, 2019 screening.

 

NEVER LOOK AWAY

Sunday, November 11, at 7:30 pm.

Egyptian Theatre

6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, November 14, at 2:45 pm.

Chinese Sixplex

6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

 

Friday, January 18, at 7:30 pm.

Bing Theater, LACMA

5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

 

See Dana Goodyear on the Richter-Donnersmarck dynamic; and Morgan Falconer, “Photo-Painting,” in Painting After Pollock (London: Phaidon, 2015), 232–247.

Top: Tom Schilling in Never Look Away.

Above: Shilling and Paula Beer.

Below: Schilling. Image credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

AFI FEST — KNIFE + HEART

“Each man kills the thing he loves… the coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword.” — Oscar Wilde

The black-leather-masked murderer in Yann Gonzalez’s KNIFE + HEART—set in a gay porn milieu in late-1970s Paris—employs both methods.

With dialogue like “Okay, darlings, it’s business time; I want you all naked and stiffer than Giscard,” and a fluffer named Bouche d’or (“Mouth of Gold”), this psychosexual drama is a delicious heir to the camp exploits of John Waters and the thrillers of Brian De Palma.

The film stars Vanessa ParadisNicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet, Khaled Alouach, Thomas Ducasse, Jacques Nolot, Romane BohringerBertrand Mandico, Jules Ritmanic, and Félix Maritaud.

Artist Simon Thiébaut and choreographer Ari de B (plus dancers) are also featured.

The film will premiere tonight in Hollywood at the AFI Fest, with an encore screening early tomorrow afternoon.

 

KNIFE + HEART

Friday, November 9, at 11:59 pm.

Saturday, November 10, at 12:15 pm.

Chinese Sixplex, 6950 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top:

Vanessa Paradis and Nicolas Maury in Un couteau dans le cœur/Knife + Heart.

Paradis (center).

Félix Maritaud (left).

Paradis.

Image credit: Memento Films Distribution, France.

OLIVIER ASSAYAS’ NON-FICTION

How our habitual engagements with writing, reading, performance, publishing, and politics have been transformed in the internet age are some of the concerns addressed in NON-FICTION (Double vies), the new film from writer-director Olivier Assayas.

The film—Assayas’ seventeenth feature, and one that carries a strong echo of Rohmer—stars Juliette Binoche, Guillaume CanetChrista ThéretVincent MacaigneNora Hamzawi, and Pascal Greggory as denizens of the Parisian culture-media complex, and its Los Angeles premiere this week is part of the annual AFI Fest.

NON-FICTION

Friday, November 9, at 6 pm.

Thursday, November 15, at 12:30 pm.

Chinese Sixplex, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

See Will Self on the tyranny of the virtual.

Top: Guillaume Canet in Non-Fiction.

Above: Vincent Macaigne (right) and Canet.

Below: Juliette Binoche and Canet.