2016 French Film Festival Preview

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Mar 022016

Tournage Boomerang

The 2016 Alliance Française French Film Festival will screen 42 features and 1 classic as part of this year’s dynamic programme. To aid with your selection here’s a preview of 4 of the films playing at this year’s festival.


BOOMERANG– Dir. François Favrat. Starring: Laurent Lafitte, Mélanie Laurent, Audrey Dana

Based on ‘A Secret Kept’, a novel by best-selling French author Tatiana De Rosnay, Boomerang is about a tragedy that happened 30 years earlier, and the details that may or may not have been keep from brother and sister, Antoine (Laurent Lafitte) and Agathe (Mélanie Laurent) who were children at the time. Antoine becomes obsessed with the details, and encouraged by his therapist to seek closure, he begins to dig into his family’s past. This is a thrilling film which becomes quite tense as Antoine becomes unhinged the further and further he explores. This film is: shocking, tense, and entertaining. Will appeal to: fans of mysteries, fans of the supremely talented Mélanie Laurent.


THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT – Dir. Jaco Van Dormael. Starring: Pili Groyne, Benoît Poelvoorde, Catherine Deneuve

In The Brand New Testament God lives in Brussels with his wife and young daughter Ea (Pili Groyne). He created humans to amuse himself, and is constantly inventing new laws to make their life difficult (such as, ‘the other line will always move fast’). Ea is sick of her father toying with humans, and after a discussion with her brother JC, she decides to escape the home and find 6 new disciples to create a new testament with. This film has a fantastic sense of humour and wonderful comedic timing, but at it’s heart it is a very sweet story about a young girl who wants to make the world a better place. This film is: satirical, funny, and weird. Will appeal to: fans of surreal adventures, people wanting to see something really different.


IN THE SHADOW OF WOMEN – Dir. Philippe Garrel. Starring: Clotilde Courau, Stanislas Merhar, Lena Paugam

At 69 minutes it risks being such a minor work that it drifts away almost immediately, but legend of contemporary French cinema Philippe Garrel puts the complexities of love, the pains of infidelity, and the bruised male ego under the microscope with such confidence and focused attention that this will surely strike a chord with many viewers. Thoughtfully shot in black-and-white, and incorporating the city of Paris into the romantic and professional relationship of documentary filmmakers Pierre (Stanislas Merhar) and Manon (Clotilde Courau), it details their rocky relationship and the passion and jealousy spawned by their individual affairs that threaten to completely crush their world. This film is: nuanced, melancholic and pure. Will appeal to: fans of elegant, aesthetically innovative human dramas and Garrel’s repertoire.


TAJ MAHAL – Dir. Nicolas Saada. Starring: Stacy Martin, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Gina McKee

18-year-old Louise (Stacy Martin, Nymphomaniac), in a state of idle complacency as she awaits a transition into a new life in India, finds herself alone in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai as her parents dine across town. When she hears a struggle and gunfire outside of her room she realises that it is being attacked by terrorists. With nothing but her instinct, and calming instructions from her father via mobile phone, she desperately tries to survive under the escalating threat. While the film isn’t particularly compelling either side of its intense and smartly executed middle hour – the attack – it is a vital film that probes into contemporary fears. Still, considering most of the film is set within a single hotel room it is very well photographed and does maintain palpable tension. Martin is an impressive talent, while Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, who plays Louise’s father, adds terrific support. This film is: suspenseful, unnerving and claustrophobic. Will appeal to: viewers interested in the dramatisation of true events and gripping, nerve-wracking cinema experiences.


You can explore the full line-up of films at the Alliance French Film Festival website.

Vincent [SFF2015]

 2015, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Vincent [SFF2015]
Jun 062015


The shortest film competing for the 2015 Sydney Film Prize, Vincent is not short on heart. A French superhero story with a refreshing minimalist take and a realist twist, this is a very entertaining watch. Review after the jump.

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Alliance Française French Film Festival Preview

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Mar 022015

saint laurent


The Alliance Française French Film Festival is back for its 26th season, this time with 49 features, which will take place across 8 cities at Palace Cinema venues from early March until mid-April. The festival is packed with a variety of films, from easy-watching romances, to relationship dramas, and action-thrillers. We have taken a look at five of the films screening at the festival: Girlhood, Love At First Fight, The New Girlfriend, Saint Laurent and The Last Diamond. Check out our thoughts after the jump.

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Love at First Fight (AFFF2015)

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Feb 212015


Les Combattants [The Fighters] or Love at First Fight internationally, is a French indie romantic comedy/drama with brains and ideas, despite the corny alternative title. It won the FIPRESCI Prize after screening to critical acclaim in the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Find out why we recommend it at the upcoming Alliance Francaise French Film Festival after the jump: Continue reading »

2014 Alliance Française French Film Festival Preview

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Mar 032014

The 25th edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival kicks off next week, with yet another wonderful array of laughs, love, drama, action and fashion. After the jump, check out our preview of four of the films playing at this year’s festival; 11.6, Bright Days Ahead, Domestic Life and Mademoiselle C..

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2014 Alliance Française French Film Festival

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Jan 222014

The full programme for the 25th Alliance Française French Film Festival has been announced, with tickets going on sale from 31st January.

The 2014 Alliance Française French Film Festival will screen across seven cities throughout March and April, launching in Sydney on 4 April. The festival will this year feature an exciting, adventurous and romantic line-up of 46 feature films and documentaries. To mark the ‘silver’ anniversary of the festival, Australian entertainer, Julia Zemiro will be coming onboard as the Festival’s inaugural Patron.

A slate of French-themed special events, international guests and Première screenings will dominate Palace Cinemas for a glorious two-month period and will include a tribute to François Truffaut, the master of French New Wave Cinema and a Closing Night that will honour the comic genius of Jacques Tati. The Finishers, a poignant drama with characters inspired by a true story, will take centre stage on Opening Night in each city. Directed by Nils Tavernier and starring Jacques Gamblin and Alexandra Lamy, The Finishers follows the journey of an embittered, former Ironman champion, and his disabled son who join forces to compete in a triathlon. Other highlights of the 2014 festival include: Michael Kohlhaas, Möbius, Camille Claudel 1915, Folies Bergère and Mademoiselle C.


Festival Dates & Locations

SYDNEY: 4 – 23 March Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
MELBOURNE: 5 – 23 March Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema, Como, Palace Westgarth & Kino Cinemas
CANBERRA: 6 – 25 March Palace Electric Cinema
BRISBANE: 6 – 25 March Palace Barracks & Palace Centro
PERTH: 18 March – 6 April Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema
ADELAIDE: 20 March – 8 April Palace Nova Eastend
BYRON BAY: 24 – 28 April Palace Byron Bay


For more information about the festival & tickets, please visit the official website at:

The Best Films Set In…Paris

 Features, The Best Films Set In...  Comments Off on The Best Films Set In…Paris
Mar 212013



This is the ninth post in the “The Best Films Set In…” series. The setting can be a place (like Tokyo), a location (like the beach), or a time (like Winter). In these posts I’m going to pick my 5 favourite films that are set in that particular place/location/time and explain why I like them.

In honour of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival which is currently happening around Australia, the location for this group of films is Paris, France.

After the jump, check out my picks for The Best Films Set In…Paris!

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