Directed by Michel Leclerc, 2010, 102 min. Friday, June 17th, 8 :30 pm Opening Night A young leftist serially seduces right-wingers in order to convert them to her politics. But when she meets middle-aged Jewish scientist Arthur, sparks unexpectedly fly. This witty romantic-comedy won Césars for both Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress 6
Directed by Roberto Garzelli, 2010 During a medical exam, Héléna (Annabelle Hettmann), a student in anatomical drawing, meets Benoît (Thibault Vinçon, Born in ’68 - SFFF 2009), a young radiologist. Their mutual fascination for the human body entices them to start a passionate romance. Héléna and Benoît are drawn together by a common belief : that they can learn to know each other intimately by exploring each other’s body, inside and out. This leads them to a dangerous journey to where there may be no limits…
Directed by Joann Sfar, 2010 Sunday 26th - 8:05pm - ONE SCREENING ONLY French icon Serge Gainsbourg was a singer, writer, composer and painter, but mostly a full-time provocateur, famous for his unruly and unpredictable behavior in public. Gainsbourg, Heroic Life is writer-director Joann Sfar’s adaptation of his own comic book, mixing film and animation to recount major events in the life of Gainsbourg : his childhood as a Jew during the war, his muses, addictions and famous public scandals. With a cast including top model Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot, the late Lucy Gordon as Jane Birkin and lead actor Eric Elmosino eerily channeling Gainsbourg, the film is a dreamy portrait of the glamorous, yet destructive life of the artist, who is frequently mentioned as a major musical influence.
Directed by Mathieu Amalric, 2010, 111 min. Saturday June 18th - 9:35pm & Sunday June 19th - 11am Joachim (Mathieu Amalric, one of France’s most ecclectic and surprising actors, to be seen also in A Real Man, playing at this year’s SFFF, Kings and Queen - SFFF 2005), Quantum of Solace, Munich, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), a former Parisian television producer has left everything behind - his children, friends, enemies, lovers and regrets to start a new life in America. A few years later, he returns with a team of New Burlesque strip-tease performers whom he has filled with romantic dreams of a tour of France supposed to end in Paris, of Paris !
Directed by Marc Fitoussi, 2010 Saturday June 18th - 7:05pm & Sunday June 19th - 9:05pm One of France’s most acclaimed dramatic actresses unearths her considerable comic talents in the delightful bittersweet comedy Copacabana. Isabelle Huppert shows her playful side as the exuberant Babou, a proud nonconformist who struggles to communicate with her conservative daughter Esméralda (Huppert’s real-life daughter Lolita Chammah, winner of Most Promising Actress Lumière Award for her performance). When Esméralda announces her engagement and asks her mother not to attend the wedding because she is too embarrassed by her, Babou is crushed and vows to straighten up.
Directed by Philippe Le Guay, 2010, 106 min Saturday June 18th - 1:50pm & Sunday June 19th - 3:55pm Paris, early 1960’s. A conservative and uptight stockbroker, Jean-Louis Joubert (Fabrice Luchini (Potiche, Paris - SFFF Opening 2009) is unhappily married to Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain), a neurotic Parisian socialite . Enter a group of buoyant Spanish maids, refugees of the Franco regime, who live in the servants’ quarters on the sixth floor of their building. Among them are Concepción (Carmen Maura, one of Pedro Almodovar’s favorite actresses, Volver, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and her niece María (Natalia Verbeke). When the family maid, a French woman from Brittany, suddenly walks out, Suzanne and Jean-Louis hire María as their new helper and after a fight with Suzanne, Jean-Louis’ life takes a radical turn as he moves up to the sixth floor… Presented out of competition at the 2011 Berlinale, The Women on the 6th Floor was a huge critical and commercial success in France this Spring.
Directed by Claude Miller & Nathan Miller, 2009, 90 min Saturday June 25th - 12:20pm & Sunday June 26th - 5:55pm Adapted from a real-life story and co-directed by Claude Miller and his son Nathan, I am Glad That My Mother is Alive explores childhood trauma and its dire consequences on adult life. Unbeknownst to his adoptive parents, troubled 18 year-old Thomas (newcomer Vincent Rottiers, In the Beginning - SFFF Opening 2010) searches for his birth mother, who abandoned him and his brother when they were very young. He finds her single, with a small child, living in a 7 nearby suburb and introduces himself to her. Traumatized by years of emptiness and longing for his mother, he starts an ambiguous relationship with her, part courtship part obsession, which slowly drives him to an act of madness…
Directed by Pierre Salvadori, 2009, 105min Saturday June 25th - 7:10pm & Sunday June 26th - 3:30pm The young owner of a hairdressing salon, Emilie (Tautou) desperately wants to help her mother Maddy (Baye), dwelling in depression since her husband, a famous artist to whom she was a muse, left, several years earlier. When Emilie receives a beautifully written anonymous love letter, she sees an opportunity to make her mother smile again. Too self-absorbed to see that the secret admirer is her shy handyman Jean (Sami Bouajila ( The Witnesses - SFFF Opening 2007), Emilie copies the letter and sends it to her mother… The letter brings Maddy back to life. Overjoyed, she is determined to find the author of the letter.
Directed by Robert Guédiguian, 1996 Saturday June 18th - 4:15pm & SPECIAL RERUN : Wednesday, June 22th - 6pm. Post Screening Discussion with Screenwriter Jean-Louis Milesi, on Saturday. Marius & Jeannette is a beautiful, simple and true love story between two middle age working class people in sunny Marseille. It was a major box office success in France.Marius (Gérard Meylan) and Jeannette (Ariane Ascaride, Guédiguian’s wife and muse, Army of Crime - SFFF 2010, The Town is Quiet - SFFF 2002) live in "l’Estaque", a working class neighborhood in the north of Marseille. Marius lives alone, he is the security guard of an abandoned cement factory about to being demolished. Jeannette, a cashier in a supermarket, raises her two children alone and struggles to make ends meet. But she finds strength in a dear community of friends.
Directed by Jacques Demy, 1967, 125 min Saturday June 18th - 11:05am & Sunday June 19th - 6:20pm Delphine and Solange are "twin sisters born under the sign of Gemini" as they claim in the emblematic song of the movie. They are 25 years old, beautiful and witty, charming and clever. One is blonde, Delphine (Catherine Deneuve), and gives dance lessons. The other is a redhead, Solange (Francoise Dorleac), who teaches music. They pass the time longing for their ideal man and dreaming of moving to Paris… The twins’ mother Yvonne (Danielle Darrieux) owns a cafe in the center of town, and pines for a fiance she left impulsively ten years prior due to his embarrassing last name… Maxence is a sailor, painter and daydreamer (Jacques Perrin, now successful producer of Winged Migration and Oceans) searching for his ideal woman.
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, 1965, 110 min Saturday June 25th - 9:35pm & Sunday June 26th - 11am Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) decides to leave his boring life and family and run away to the south of France with a young woman, Marianne (Anna Karina, Godard’s wife at the time) The couple get caught up in a mysterious gunrunning scheme involving Marianne’s brother (Dirk Sanders) and they found themselves pursued by gangsters. Godard was the most adventurous and daring of all the New Wave filmmakers. In Pierrot le Fou, now considered one of the most important and best films in the history of cinema, Godard’s original fragmented storytelling, filming and editing styles achieve perfection and critics began talking about a true cinematic revolution.
César nominated screenwriter Jean-Louis Milesi is the screenwriter of most of director Robert Guediguian’s classics, including the joyful working class comedy Marius and Jeannette (Marius et Jeannette, 1997) presented this year, and the insightful social drama The Town is Quiet (La Ville est Tranquille, 2000) presented at the first SFFF in 2002. Jean-Louis Milesi also directed several short films and the sensitive feature Lino (2008) that will be presented this year at the SFFF.