Francis arrives in Venice seeking peace and quiet to write his next novel. Looking to rent a small apartment, he meets Judith a real estate broker. For Francis, it’s love at first sight. Judith insists that he should see a remote house on Sant’ Erasmo island. Taking the plunge, Francis says “if we move in together, I’ll sign right away”. So begins their life as a couple. Totally euphoric, Francis can’t set his mind to writing. But, is his happiness so secure? While he isn’t working, what does Judith do with her day? Francis hires Jeremie, a young offender fresh out of jail, to tail her. What will Jeremie find out? [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
During the last days of Stalin’s reign, a doctor (Marina Hands) tries to go unnoticed in a society of mutual dread where a neighbour or colleague might “denounce” you to the authorities at any moment.But tales of her healing touch have spread and one night she is taken away, not to the infamous Lubyanka prison, but to the Kremlin to attend the ailing Comrade Stalin himself. Uncle Joe (André Dussollier), an old man racked with pain but still as watchful and deadly as a snake.
In the midst of rehearsals for a new play, amateur dramatics proponents Colin and Kathryn receive the shattering news that their friend George is fatally ill and only has a few months to live. Life begins to come apart at the seams – not just for Kathryn, who was once George’s partner, but also for her friends Tamara and Monica. The full force of the emotional turmoil they experienced in their youth and their long-buried dreams are rekindled. (Synopsis courtesy of the Berlin International Film Festival)
In the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then ‘only as a field of rubble’. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who already has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nothing should be left as a reminder of the city’s former glory. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan …
Based on the eponymous play by Cyril Gély, Volker Schlöndorff has created a psychologically elaborate battle of words between two highly contrasting characters. While Choltitz entrenches himself behind his duty to obey unquestioningly all military orders, Nordling tries everything he can to appeal to reason and humanity and prevent the senseless destruction of Paris. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]
Beauty and the Beast is the adaptation of a story by Madame de Villeneuve. Published anonymously in 1740 as La Jeune Américaine et les contes marins, it paints a portrait of Belle, a joyful and touching young girl who falls in love with the Beast, a cursed creature in search of love and redemption. In 1760, a condensed children’s version was published. It was from this version that Jean Cocteau and then Walt Disney drew their famous adaptations. Overshadowed, the original version by Madame de Villeneuve has never been adapted for the screen… until now!