The 2017 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at the Film Society of Lincoln Center opened on March 1, and by March 12 -- the final day -- members of FF2 Media's NYC team had seen NINE of the TEN new women-directed films on the schedule.
Speaking for myself (FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner), the annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema has become one of my favorite NYC events. This was my fifth Rendez-Vous since the move from Chicago in 2012, and each one has been memorable. Not only have I seen many wonderful films, I have also been able to track the artistic progress of French women in front of the camera as well as behind it.
For example, in my first Rendez-Vous in 2013, I encountered a young actress named Soko in her debut performance as Augustine. Since that time, Soko's career has really exploded. This year she is in two films. She plays the lead in The Dancer (a BioPic about Loïe Fuller... who knew) and she also co-stars in The Stopover. The lead role in The Stopover is played by Ariane Labed who I also loved as "Alice" in Fidelio, Alice's Odyssey two years back.
Sometimes, however, even I can be surprised. I've never been a big fan of Marion Cotillard, and yet she thoroughly won me over me as "Gabrielle" in From the Land of the Moon, a romantic melodrama in which she co-stars with Alex Brendemühl (who I last saw as The German Doctor in a film about Joseph Mengele). I was not only amazed, I was mesmerized!
Without doubt, the person to watch after the 2017 Rendez-Vous is clearly Lily-Rose Depp, who co-stars with Soko in The Dancer and also with Natalie Portman in Planetarium. Her poise and confidence as Isadora Duncan in The Dancer is uncanny. I had never seen this ethereal beauty before, but as soon as I saw her name in the final credits everything fell into place. Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of Johnny Depp, and although still just a teenager, she is sure to be a future star.
Here is our Who Saw What list (in alpha order)
The Dancer directed by Stéphanie Di Giusto: Jan (with Richard)
Daydreams directed by Caroline Deruas: Jan (with Richard)
From the Land of the Moon directed by Nicole Garcia: Jan & Isabell (with Richard & Fernando)
Heal the Living directed by Katell Quillévéré: Jan & Rachel (with Richard)
In Bed with Victoria directed by Justine Triet: Jan (with Richard)
Planetarium directed by Rebecca Zlotowski: Jan (with Richard)
Raw directed by Julia Ducournau: Jan, Giorgi & Peier
The Stopover directed by Delphine & Muriel Coulin: Jan
The Together Project directed by Sólveig Anspach: Jan, Isabell, Kimi & Peier
Raw has already opened in a New York theater, so you can find Giorgi's review of Raw here.
Unfortunately we did miss one -- Emmanuelle Bercot's 150 Miligrams -- hopefully we will get another chance! Based on past experience, most (if not all) of these films will also open sometime in the next year. When that happens, you can be sure that we will have full reviews on our Penny Blog 🙂
Top Photo: Daydreams (directed by Caroline Deruas) stars Jenna Thiam as "Axèle."
Middle Photo: Rachel, Richard & Jan after Heal the Living (3/2/17).
Middle Photo: With composer Martin Wheeler after The Together Project (3/3/17). Wheeler did the Q&A because filmmaker Sólveig Anspach died of breast cancer in 2015. This was her last film, so the Q&A was very emotional. Kudos to Wheeler for being such a mensch!
Bottom Photo: "José" (Alex Brendemühl) and "Gabrielle" (Marion Cotillard) in From the Land of the Moon (directed by Nicole Garcia).