For the twenty-second year in a row, The Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance have lined up a sparkling slate for their Rendez-Vous with French Cinema screening series, which aims to showcase “the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking.” The series runs from March 1 – 12. This year’s programming, including the selected films, panels, and events, includes a special focus on the myriad of ways that French culture influences the arts in America, and vice-versa.
The series will open with the North American premiere of Étienne Comar’s “Django,” starring Reda Kateb as the legendary jazz musician and Cécile de France, and will close with the U.S. premiere of Jérôme Salle’s “The Odyssey,” with Lambert Wilson as explorer Jacques Cousteau and co-starring Audrey Tautou and Pierre Niney.
This year’s series also boasts a number of attending filmmakers and talent, a hefty lineup of special events and a special exhibition from the esteemed photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles, which will be on view in the Walter Reade Theater’s Furman Gallery.
The lineup features 23 diverse films, comprised of highlights from international festivals and works by both established favorites and talented newcomers, including François Ozon’s Lubitsch adaptation “Frantz,” set after World War I; Bertrand Bonello’s “Nocturama,” a provocative exploration of a Paris terrorist attack carried out by young activists; Bruno Dumont’s oddball slapstick detective story “Slack Bay,” starring Juliette Binoche; Rebecca Zlotowski’s visually arresting “Planetarium,” with Natalie Portman as a touring psychic who catches the eye of a movie producer in 1930s Paris; Jean-Stéphane Bron’s “The Paris Opera,” a documentary that peeks behind the scenes of the famed institution; and, for the first time, a Film Comment magazine presentation within Rendez-Vous with French Cinema: Julia Ducournau’s cannibal thriller “Raw,” which titillated audiences at Toronto and Cannes.