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Once Again… Francophilia!

Once Again... Francophilia!

Off to Las Vegas on Tuesday for a wedding. We’re staying at the Luxor (because who doesn’t love faux-Imperial Egyptian decor?l) and I will try desperately not to flush my money down the toilet. Plus, I’m looking forward to some, um, serious sunshine. Insert ‘dry heat’ joke here.

As I mentioned recently, I haven’t been seeing a lot of film the past few weeks, but I did get a look at the lineup of this year’s New York Film Festival and I have to say, once again, I am looking forward to an amazing festival. Others have previewed the lineup with more gusto than I, so I’ll spare you the usual 1500 word post, but there are a few titles I am very excited to check out. First and foremost, there is Poison Friends (Les Amities Malefiques), directed by Emmanuel Bourdieu. Bordeau co-wrote one of my all-time favorite films (Arnaud Desplechin’s My Sex Life…) and I have heard rumors that some of this film is based on the Bordeau/Desplechin relationship. Not having seen it, and not knowing the details of that relationship (or the truth of the rumors), I will only be able to guess, but I have been eyeballing this title since I read about its premiere in Cannes. HUGE kudos to the good folks at Strand Releasing for picking this film up; Strand seems poised to continue their long-standing tradition of bringing solid French movies to American audiences (including A Time To Leave and Backstage this year), so I will be seeing this one twice no matter what. Got to support the box office numbers with a ticket purchase, people!

Also looking extremely interesting is Private Fears in Public Places (Coeurs) directed by Alain Resnais working from a script by British playwright, Alan Ayckbourn, whose 1999 plays House and Garden remain a sort of theatrical Holy Grail for me; I could only stay home and oogle the reports of it in The New York Times. After subsequently reading the script of both plays, I am a new admirer of Ayckbourn’s huge body of work, including Smoking/ No Smoking, his previous work that was adapted by Renais (from Ayckbourn’s play Intimate Exchanges, written for the screen by Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri). The new film stars Matrix baddie Lambert Wilson, but I can only guess what Renais will do with the story. I’ll have to re-visit Hiroshima, Mon Amour before going; nothing ever wrong with that proposition.

Finally, two American films I have been tracking for a while; Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette which I am sure to love (Cannes haters be damned) and Todd Field’s Little Children, which I expect to be excellent as well (I have to get the book finished before seeing the film). Look at me, just loading expectations on unseen films like an auteur theorist or something!

Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson in Todd Field’s Little Children

So many things to see, many that I haven’t even scouted all that deeply as I am still wrapping my brain around Toronto’s amazing slate. I’ll be blogging like crazy during Toronto and The NYFF, which has become part of the fun these past few years. It’s nice to have a record of your thoughts at a particular moment in time, an initial reaction to the films (mine usually = swooning) to compare against later, less sleep-deprived opinions (far more reserved in many cases), but sometimes, greatness stays with you forever. I still consider the mid-week, 9:30pm press screening of Kings and Queen at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival to be one of the great moments I have ever had in a movie theater (with all of 10 other people in attendance). What will be the lasting memory of this year?

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