Summer 1910. Several tourists have vanished on the beaches of the Channel Coast. Infamous inspectors Machin and Malfoy soon gather that these mysterious disappearances take place in Slack Bay. There lives a community of fishermen. Among them evolves a curious family, the Brufort, lead by the father “The Eternal”, who rules as best as he can on his prankster bunch of sons, especially the impetuous Ma Loute. Towering high above the bay stands the Van Peteghems’ mansion. Every summer, this degenerate bourgeois family stagnates in the villa, not without mingling during their leisure hours with the local people. As starts a peculiar love story between Ma Loute and the young and mischievous Billie Van Peteghem, confusion and mystification will descend on both families, shaking their foundations. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Over the last 20 years, Amos Gitaï has constructed a marvelous career making films that confront Israeli history, politics and memory. Be prepared for something entirely different with “Roses à crédit,” a film shot entirely in France, where evidence of contemporary society appears to be virtually absent (although there is indubitably a message for the present embedded in its tale). Israel is never mentioned; ditto the Holocaust. This is a brave, bold new step for Gitaï and the resulting film feels like the work of a master moving in a new artistic direction.
The film mercilessly but sensitively dissects the materialist, post-war world of the French lower middle-class. It starts with a radio broadcast from the Second World War, a piece of official Vichy propaganda, and soon moves to stirring Resistance speeches of patriotic exhortation. This is the backdrop for a wedding between Daniel and Marjoline, a relationship that we follow over the following years as it waxes and wanes, mirroring in many ways the fortunes of France itself at this time. Marjoline, an attractive but somewhat empty-headed girl, soon turns into a consumer par-excellence, eagerly devouring magazines and ads, looking for exciting new clothes or appliances for her house. Daniel, on the other hand, is more of a dreamer, in love with the roses that were a family business and which he has inherited along with his patrimony.
Gitaï proves extremely adept at following the emotional curves of this ill-fated marriage, as debt and credit begin to overwhelm the couple’s early romanticism. While everyday life plays out against a backdrop of post-war reconstruction and expansion, the ebb and flow of the relationship is beautifully circumscribed. Furthermore, the film is a paean to ’50s décor, clothes and design; as immense efforts have been painstakingly made to assure total faithfulness to the era. But underneath the immaculate surface lies a potent message. [Synopsis courtesy of Piers Handling/Toronto International Film Festival]
A tower block on an inner city estate. An elevator that’s not up to the job. Three chance meetings. Six peculiar characters with stories to tell.
Can Sternkowitz give up his wheelchair and find love with the night nurse?
Will Charly, a neglected teenager, succeed in helping Jeanne Meyer a once well-known actress from the 1980s get a part in a film?
And what will become of John McKenzie, the astronaut who just fell out of the sky and has been taking in by the trusting Mrs Hamida? [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Jérôme, a senior executive, has just left his company. Determined to never work for nobody else ever again, he attempts to set up his own company, come what may, even ignoring the reluctance of his wife Laura. Ugo, their 11-year-old son, is a tennis player and a promising champion. To reach his goal, he must make it into the Roland Garros national training centre. Just like his dad, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Together, Ugo and Jérôme will realize that not all rules can be bent in the quest for success.
The elections are approaching and the largest opposition party in the country do not look good. Its leader, Enrico Oliveri can not stand the pressure and disappears. Fearing a scandal, the eminence grise of the party had brought into play the twin brother of the politician. Even if looks like two drops of water with his brother Giovanni may have a different personality. His ideas are innovative and direct approach to get the party in the polls …
In Paolo Virzì’s refined three-chapter tale, we begin at the end. Approaching a snowy night from three vastly different perspectives, the lives of two generations overlap as they tumble toward an ill-fated event that inextricably links them. Starring two of Italy’s leading actresses, Valeria Golino and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Human Capital twists love, class, and ambition into a singular, true-life story that exposes the consequences of valuing certain human lives over others. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]