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March 2008
Fifteen French Films Premiere at Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2008


Fifteen French Films Premiere at Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2008
by Leslie (Hoban) Blake, Special Correspondent for BlackFilm.com
Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance USA

Feb. 29 – March 9

With Marion Cotillard's well deserved but none-the-less surprise Oscar for "La Vie en Rose" plus several nods for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," audiences may well be looking to France for the next BIG THING. And it just might be found at the 13th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at the Walter Reade Theater and the IFC Center, Feb. 29 – March 9. The R-V roster of 15 films making their U.S. or New York premieres is co-hosted as always by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance US.

Several familiar Gallic names will be in attendance beginning with Oscar winner Claude ("A Man and Woman") Lelouch, whose 49th film, "Roman de Gare" opens the 2008 R-V. Fellow directors Claude Miller - his " Un Secret" won 10 Cesar (the French Oscar nominations including Best Film and Best Director - and director Cedric ("L'Auberge Espagnole") Klapisch will also be on hand, as will two actors-turned-directors: Sandrine Bonnaire with her documentary titled "Her Name is Sabine," about her sister's autism and Sophie Marceau's "Trivial" starring original "Highlander," Christopher ((now called Christope) Lambert.


Among the newcomers also expected to attend are 23 year-old director Audrey Estrougo with her first film, "Ain’t Scared" about violence in the multi-cultural Parisian housing projects and actress Mia Hansen-Løve changing roles to direct a Cesar nominated first film, "All is Forgiven," dealing with drug addiction. Following in the wake of "The Triplets of Belleville and "Persepolis," France's latest work of animation, "Fear(s) of the Dark" features the work of no fewer than six graphic artists.

Several of the R-V films already have general release dates including "Roman de Gare" starring Fanny Ardant as a mystery writer whose fiction is a little too close to the actual crimes of a serial killer. Several other stories also criss-cross to the songs of famed chansonneur, Gilbert Bécaud. The film is scheduled for release on April 28.

"Diving Bell..." star, Mathieu Almaric, appears in two films about buried war crimes. In " Un Secret," he plays Francois, whose family secrets about the German invasion in WWII have grim repercussions all through his life and in "Heartbeat Detector," Almaric plays an industrial psychologist who uncovers shocking war crimes in his company's past. "Hearbeat Detector" has a March 14th opening date.

Christophe Honore follows up "Dans Paris" - his nod to the Nouvelle Vague - with "Love Songs" featuring that film's hunky co-star Louis Garrel in a contemporary musical about love, loss and a menage a trois between Garrel and the gorgeous Chiara Mastroianni and Ludivine Sagnier. It opens here on March 21st.

"Paris" marks director Cedric Klapisch's sixth film with Romain Duris (who also co-starred Honore's "Dan Paris"), this time as a heart transplant recipient staying with his sister, played by Juliette Binoche in a return to her native tongue.

Tickets for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema went on sale Feb. 14 and are available at both the Walter Reade Theater and IFC Center, as well as online at http://www.filmlinc.com/wrt/onsale/rendezvous08.html and www.ifccenter.com. Tickets for Walter Reade Theater screenings are $12; $8 for Film Society members; $8 for students; and $8 for seniors at weekday screenings before 6 p.m. Tickets for IFC Center screenings are $12 for the general public and $8 for members and seniors all day. For more information, call the Film Society at (212) 875-5600 or the IFC Center at (212) 924-7771.


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