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by Brian Brooks
January 29, 2011 10:03 AM
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Lincoln Center & Unifrance Unveil 16th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Series

François Ozon's "Potiche."

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance unveiled details for the 16th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series, taking place at the The Film Society, the IFC Center, FIAF and BAMcinématek and March 3 - 13 in New York. François Ozon's comedy "Potiche" will open the event at the Paris Theater.

Nominated for four Césars, "Potiche" reunites French cinema legends Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu in Francois Ozon’s new comedy about a submissive, housebound "trophy housewife" (or "potiche") who steps in to manage her wealthy husband's umbrella factory after the workers go on strike and take him hostage.

Other highlights at this year’s festival include "A Conversation with Claude Lelouch" and a tribute to the late Alain Corneau. Lelouch is a winner of the Cannes Palme d'Or and Academy Award for "Un Homme et Une Femme" (A Man and a Woman). All films in the series will have their New York premieres.

Filmmakers who will be in attendance at this year's festival include Catherine Breillat, Claude Lelouch, Benoit Jacquot, Eric Lartigau, René Féret, Martin Provost, François Ozon and Bertrand Tavernier. Among the actors/actresses attending are Catherine Deneuve, Judith Godréche and Gaspard Ulliel.

"The goal of our Rendez-Vous festival has always been to provide an incisive and broad ranging look at contemporary French cinema and this year’s selection of films is exceptional in that regard," commented Richard Peña, Program Director at The Film Society in a statement.

Added says Régine Hatchondo, Executive Director of Unifrance, "We're happy to provide such a rich selection of new French films for this 16th edition. "The impact of this film festival is underscored by the partnership and efforts of Film Society, IFC Center, BAM and FIAF this year to offer New York City fans of French cinema greater access to see these wonderful films."

Films screening in the 16th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series with descriptions and credits provided by the Film Society of Lincoln Center:

"Potiche"
Director: François Ozon
Running time: 103m
Set in 1977 in a provincial French town, "Potiche" is an adaptation of the 1970s eponymous hit play. Catherine Deneuve delivers a glorious, career-crowning performance as a submissive, housebound ‘trophy housewife’ (or "potiche,") who steps in to manage her wealthy and tyrannical husband’s umbrella factory after the workers go on strike and take him hostage. Gérard Depardieu plays a former union leader and Suzanne's ex-beau who still holds a flame for her. "Potiche" is a Music Box Films release.

"The Big Picture" (L’HOMME QUI VOULAIT VIVRE SA VIE)
Director: Eric Lartigau
Running time: 115m
A frustrated lawyer and family man (played by one of France’s hottest young stars, Romain Duris) makes the most out of one moment of violence, which forces him to assume a new identity. Adapted from Douglas Kennedy’s acclaimed novel, the film also stars Niels Arestrup and Catherine Deneuve.

"Deep in the Woods" (AU FOND DES BOIS)
Director: Benoit Jacquot
Running time: 102m
Jacquot’s jaw-dropping, feverish tale concerns a young villager (Isild Le Besco) who literally falls under the spell of a fierce, svengali-like vagabond (Nahuel Perez Biscayart).

"Free Hands" (LES MAINS LIBRES)
Director: Brigitte Sy
Running time: 100m
Barbara is a filmmaker who is in the process of making a film about prison life. Twice a week, she visits a prison in the suburbs of Paris to interview inmates who will both write and act in the film. It is through these meetings that Barbara meets Michel, one of the prisoners who will help her prepare the film. Their love for one another will lead them to break the law...

"From One Film to Another" (D’UN FILM Á L’AUTRE)
Director: Claude Lelouch
Running time: 104m
On the occasion of his 50th year in cinema, Oscar-winning "A Man and a Woman" director Claude Lelouch turns his famously swooping, pirouetting camera on himself for this uncommonly revealing auto-portrait.

Followed by:
A Conversation with Claude Lelouch
Where A MAN AND HIS FILMS leaves off, Lelouch will continue in person in this career-spanning dialogue with the Film Society’s Scott Foundas, featuring clips and a Q&A.

"Hands Up" (LES MAINS EN L'AIR)
Director: Romain Goupil
Running time: 90m
A tender, engaging and bracingly militant drama from director Romain Goupil: a story of youth, solidarity and contemporary France, with Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and a terrific cast of children. A Chechan woman named Milana, recalls the story of her near-deportation from France at the age of ten and the plan her young classmates hatched to save her.

"Happy Few"
Director: Antony Cordier
Running time: 103m
Two Parisian couples agree to swap partners in Cordier’s psychologically sharp and slyly sexy take on changing the rules. The film stars Elodie Bouchez ("The Dreamlife of Angels") and Marina Foïs.

"Leila" (TOI, MOI, LES AUTRES)
Director: Audrey Estrougo
Running time: 87m
With clever, color-saturated numbers, this catchy musical love story about a pampered slacker and an ambitious Arab law student is a West Side Story for the 21st century set to the songs of the 60s and 70s in France and against the backdrop of the “sans papiers” protests that end with the occupation of Saint Bernard Church in Paris.

"Living On Love Alone" (D’AMOUR ET D’EAU FRAÎCHE)
Director: Isabelle Czajka
Running time: 89m
One of French cinema's vital new voices delivers an outlaw romance and social critique starring terrific newcomer, Anaïs Demoustier as a smart bored twentysomething who finds an alternative to lackey work and high rents—running off with a guy and a gun.

"The Long Falling" (OÙ VA LA NUIT)
Director: Martin Provost
Running time: 105m
Martin Provost is re-teaming with "Seraphine" star Yolande Moreau for this heartfelt drama, based on Keith Ridgway’s novel. The film follows the story of a long-suffering wife who takes revenge and bonds with her gay son in this suspenseful one-of-a-kind story of sin and salvation.

"Love Crime" (CRIME D'AMOUR)
Director: Alain Corneau
Running time: 106m
Corneau’s last film, LOVE CRIME is a delicious thriller of rivalry, seduction and humiliation set against office politics starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier as mentor and ingénue that results in murder. "Love Crime" is a Sundance Selects release.

"Love Like Poison" (UN POISON VIOLENT)
Director: Katell Quillévéré
Running time: 92m
This award-winning debut from young French director, Katell Quillévéré, is a true discovery with a title taken from a Gainsbourg song. Fourteen-year-old Anna comes home from Catholic boarding school to family turmoil and becomes caught between her own religious belief and sexual stirrings, awakened by a precocious choirboy friend.

"Mozart's Sister" (LA SOEUR DE MOZART)
Director: René Féret
Running time: 120m
MOZART’S SISTER is a dynamic biopic centering on the other musical prodigy in the Mozart family.14-year-old Nannerl lives in the shadow of her famous younger brother as they travel throughout Europe performing for royalty. However, with the encouragement of the handsome French Dauphin, she finds her own ways of challenging the established sexual and social order. "Mozart's Sister" is a Music Box Films release.

"The Princess of Montpensier" (LA PRINCESSE DE MONTPENSIER)
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Running time: 139m
Master director Bertrand Tavernier makes a grand return to large-scale period filmmaking with this sexy, powerful saga of unrequited love and diabolical intrigue in the French religious wars of the 16th century, based on a short story by Madame de La Fayette. "Princess of Montpensier" is an Sundance Selects release.

"The Queen of Hearts" (LA REINE DES POMMES)
Director: Valérie Donzelli
Running time: 84m
Donzelli directs, writes and also stars in "The Queen of Hearts," a quintessentially French screwball romantic comedy about a freshly dumped hopeless romantic juggling three suitors (all played by Jérémie Elkaïm!). With Béatrice de Staël.

"Série Noir" (1979)
Director: Alain Corneau
Running time: 111m
"Série Noir" follows a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman (extraordinary, wild-eyed Patrick Dewaere) in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets a teenager, who's been made a prostitute by her own aunt. Wanting to change his life and also save the girl from her aunt, he arrives at murder as the only solution.

"Service Entrance" (LES FEMMES DU SIXIÈME ÉTAGE)
Director: Philippe Le Guay
Running time: 104m
A stockbroker (marvelous Fabrice Luchini) lives a peaceful, boring existence in 1960s Paris with his socialite wife (Sandrine Kiberlain)—until some exuberant Spanish maids move in upstairs. With Carmen Maura and Lola Dueñas.

"The Sleeping Beauty" (LA BELLE ENDORMIE)
Director: Catherine Breillat
Running time: 82m
In Catherine Breillat’s continually surprising take on the classic fairy tale where three scatterbrained fairies manage to alter a curse of death placed upon a little girl. Now fated to fall asleep for 100 years after the girl’s hand is pierced in her sixteenth year, the fairies further bestow upon her the possibility of wandering far and wide in her dreams during those 100 years of sleep. "The Sleeping Beauty" is a Strand Releasing release.

"Think Global Act Rural" (SOLUTIONS LOCALES POUR DÈSORDRE GLOBAL)
Director: Coline Serreau
Running time: 113m
In what’s already been called a “radical and exhilarating” documentary manifesto, the unstoppable Serreau digs into the problem of industrialized agriculture, quizzing farmers and philosophers alike, across the globe.

"Top Floor, Left Wing" (DERNIER ÉTAGE, GAUCHE, GAUCHE)
Director: Angelo Clanci
Running time: 110m
A state persecutor (Hippolyte Girardot) gets sucked into a hostage crisis involving a Berber neighbor in this deft balance of the comedy of mistaken identity and the politics of terror.

"What Love May Bring" (CES AMOURS-LÁ)
Director: Claude Lelouch
Running time: 120m
A woman reflects on her turbulent youth and all the men she has ever loved in her life in this inimitable romantic epic, which Lelouch calls “a remake of my 41 films,” spans decades in the love life of a cinema usherette. With “cameos” from Belmondo et al.

TAGS: Festivals
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