A troubled relationship between legionnaires, cinema as the territory of dreams or even the most beautiful film in the world, what are the unmissable ones on the platform?
Mrs. Muir’s Adventure by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1947)
Sometimes it’s better not to listen to what filmmakers say about their own films. The Adventure ofand Ms Muir is a shining example. Mankiewicz’s fourth feature film, which he himself considered a simple “learning process”, the film is nevertheless not far from the idea that one can have of the absolute masterpiece. Great story on the flight of time and the inexorable disintegration it produces on things, Mrs. Muir’s Adventure belongs to the first part of the filmmaker’s work, when he was only a director and not a screenwriter (he combined the two positions from Marital chains in 1949). By deserting here his role of brilliant architect of scenarios which he will be accustomed to thereafter, Mankiewicz abandons virtuosity and signs perhaps his most moving film.
Senses by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi (2015)
If with Drive My CarRyūsuke Hamaguchi received unanimous recognition at Cannes in 2021, confirming his place among the greatest active filmmakers. The Japanese director is the author of a secret filmography initiated in the early 2000s. of these films are still unreleased in France, Senses (directed in 2015 but released off-time three years later in French cinemas) revealed for the first time the immense talent of the Nippon. On the border between the film and the series, this story of more than five hours scrutinizing the solitary daily life of four women already imposes Hamaguchi as one of the great filmmakers of the intimate, finding the truth of the situations in the stretching of these scenes.
Bwater work by Claire Denis (1999)
Good work or the body at work. This is how we could sum up the subject of the dazzling sixth film by Claire Denis. The story immerses us in the Foreign Legion in Djibouti, when the arrival of Sentain, a charismatic young recruit, disturbs Chief Warrant Officer Galoup (Denis Lavant) responsible for training the legionnaires in extreme conditions. The repressed desire mixed with jealousy that the latter feels towards Sentain will push him to break all the rules of the code of honor of the legionnaires. Scrutinizing the materiality of beings as closely as possible, abandoning psychological heaviness to give birth to a purely sensory cinema, Claire Denis brings cinema into the new millennium in the most powerful way.
Full of super by Alain Cavalier (1976)
Full of super of Cavalier, it looks like Claude Sautet but it’s quite the opposite. Dad’s cinema? Certainly not. Bourgeois cinema? Even less. Improvised and written from day to day in collaboration with its quartet of actors (Patrick Bouchitey, Étienne Chicot, Bernard Crombey and Xavier Saint-Macary), this is a film that advances into the unknown. Malin trompe-l’oeil, this cinema of guys and drinking between friends is gradually becoming clearer like a trash photography and pierced with nihilism on the spinelessness of Giscardian France.
Uncle Boonmee by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2010)
The most daring Palme d’or of the last decade, awarded in front of a shower of half-appalled, half-delighted festival-goers by jury president Tim Burton, who summed up the film with a brief but beautiful phrase: “The film seemed to me as strange and beautiful as a dream.” If it has always been a question of onirism with Weerasethakul, the film marks a new stage in the work of the filmmaker. By suspending all the elements of narrative cinema, Uncle Boonmee propels its viewer into a sensory cocoon that combines pure materiality with mystical transcendence, something like a cinematic paradise.
Rage by David Cronenberg (1977)
Following an accident that causes her to suffer severe burns, Rose goes to an unscrupulous surgeon to help her, but her body rejects the latter’s transplant. Impulses then appear, pushing her to bloody desires. Cronenberg’s fourth feature film, affiliated with his decidedly Z early part of his career, Rage already explores with rare radicality and coherence the two major themes of the film laboratory of the Canadian: the exploration of the most extreme impulses and the plasticity of the bodily envelope.
The Demoiselles de Rochefort by Jacques Demy (1967)
Because 55 years later, it’s still the most beautiful film in the world, whether you’re in love or shipwrecked. from the heart, there will always be something to seek and find in The Demoiselles de Rochefort.
Alice and the Mayor by Nicolas Pariser (2019)
Is politics always the place of ideas? This is one of the questions in Nicolas Pariser’s film at the same time as the illness that strikes its main character, the mayor of Lyon (Fabrice Luchini). Emptied, without any new idea for his city, we decide to add a young and brilliant philosopher (Anaïs Demoustier). As funny as it is intelligent, filmed like a ballet of words, Alice and the Mayor orchestrates a long dialogue between the two beings in an attempt to once again combine thought and action.
Fists in the pockets by Marco Bellocchio (1965)
As soon as it was released, Marco Bellocchio’s first feature film was considered a masterstroke as much as a great film of revolt against Italian society. Acerbic, biting and icy, the gaze of the Italian filmmaker castigates all the pillars of conservative Italy (notably the family and the Church) and leads Italian cinema towards a political radicalization which will soon be joined by Pasolini or Bernardo. A great protest film that breaks with the neorealist morality of the time.
Esther Kahn by Arnaud Desplechin (2000)
An unfairly overlooked work by the French filmmaker, between thriller and cerebral essay, Arnaud Desplechin’s fourth film remains one of the great peaks of his career. Far from the reddish bricks of Roubaix and the Parisian apartments of the first works, the filmmaker is exported across the Channel to a Jewish district of London in the 19th century. We follow Esther Kahn (Summer Phoenix) who dreams of becoming an actress. Desplechin breaks free from the codes of costume film to better embrace the learning story and deliver a fascinating account of the strengths of fiction.
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10 films not to be missed on Arte