We all know how time flies… but it’s crazy how it can soar past you sometimes! It seems to me that this French Cinema Magic has put a spell on Time and that those 11 days of Film Frenzy in Auckland have speeded the big clock. It has come and is now already gone. But somehow not completely: it is still there, somewhere, echoing in all us as we look back at the films that have thrilled us, as we relive our own private experience of the festival.
I, for one, will not forget this week-end when I brought separate members of my family with me into the “salles obscures” (we did not miss the usual outdoor activities, the weather was terrible anyway).
I first went with my both my daughters on a Saturday morning to watch La guerre des boutons. 50 years after Yves Robert’s famous black and white version that, like all French kids, I had seen and enjoyed when I was their age, it felt like sharing a part of my childhood memories with my own offspring. Yann Samuel’s rendition of Louis Pergaud’s book, if set in a different timeframe, is very faithful to its spirit while not trying to mimic the original film. A l’évidence le défi est relevé, ne serait-ce qu’à en juger par le sourire béat de tous ces enfants (petits …et grands) à la sortie de la séance.
On the same evening, my wife and I enjoyed Cédric Klapisch’s Ma part du Gateau. Like any great movie, it succeeds at all levels: it is a great story, a purely entertaining picture, while providing food for thought and being intellectually stimulating. Klapisch avoids the clichés and the manichean approach that characterize so many social satires to offer a deeper vision of a modern Society where the world of finance and the “real” world we live in are, paradoxically, both planets away and closely connected. Chacun tirera ses propres conclusions sur les relations complexes entre l’homme et l’argent (qui est l’esclave, qui est le maitre ?) mais on comprendra que nous sommes tous victimes (que ce soit du système ou de nous-mêmes).
I ended this special family program on Sunday afternoon watching Le fils à Jo with my 12-year old son. That was obviously a very apt choice since the father-son relationship is at the core of Philippe Guillard’s movie. We just loved it. We enjoyed the insight into this small-town rugby-driven community where the game is bigger than life and life is nothing but a game. We also got caught into the emotional journey of the film’s characters. La présence de plusieurs anciens du XV de France est un beau clin d’œil et les références à “l’autre pays du rugby” sont, bien entendu, d’autant plus croustillantes vu d’ici…
Et maintenant ? Well Auckland has now passed the ball to Wellington and Nelson, Dunedin, Palmerston North, Havelock North and Hamilton are set to receive it. The ball keeps flying… and so does Time.
Directeur, Alliance française Auckland
Délégué général de l’Alliance française en Nouvelle Zélande et aux Iles Cook
Tomorrow we start an exciting new chapter of our film festival journey – we open in the magnificent Garden City. After cancelling the Christchurch opening night in 2011 (which was planned for February 22), we are thrilled to be launching the whole festival in down there. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a shake-free festival!
It’s certainly been an adventure preparing this year’s event, and we’re looking forward to sharing this wonderful selection of French films with you all. Our picks would have to be Valérie Donzelli’s Declaration of War, Cédric Klapisch’s new comedy My Piece of the Pie, and the hilarious Julie Delpy film called The Skylab.
We hope you will bring along your friends and family to the screenings so you will be able to voyage briefly to France for the mere price of a movie ticket.
Nous vous souhaitons un très bon festival!
Sarah and Florence
Welcome to the official Festival Blog for the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2012.
Over the coming months the Festival Team will share with you various anecdotes, reviews, and festival highlights with you on this blog.
After having lived, studied and worked in Paris, it is clear to me that cinema is ranked as a necessity of life. Much like food, wine, and friendship, the spirit of cinema is something which pulses through the veins of everyday life in France, creating a huge film industry and movie-going public.
Film-making is seen as a way of not only protecting and documenting French culture, but advancing it as well. The French inject their values, history and sense of humour into their films, creating a memorable cinematic experience for all involved. The Alliance Française French Film Festival is New Zealand’s way of showcasing this French talent, and celebrating their dedications and achievements to the international film industry.
We look forward to welcoming you on board as a Festival follower, and are sure you will enjoy being a part of this exciting annual cultural event for 2012 and the years ahead.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more updates in the following weeks.