How does one best appreciate the real Frenchness of a french film? By its romanticism, its experimentalism or its whimsical quirkiness?
Can you pinpoint the 'creme-de-la-creme' of French cinema?
For any serious film buff, that is a loaded question. For the rest of us, there's the French Film Festival -- and it's making its way down under.
In its 28th year, the festival is held by the Alliance Francaise together with the French Embassy. There'll be 43 features -- some new, some old -- and two documentaries to feast your eyes on.
And because nobody has time for all of that, we've narrowed the scope down to a few.
The Odyssey ('L'odyssee')
We all know and love Jacques Cousteau (aka iconic French conservationist, scientist, photographer, filmmaker). 'The Odyssey' will transport you to the underwater realms of his tempestuous and explorative life.
It sounds epic -- and it's opening the Festival (that tells you something).
Slack Bay ('ma loute')
Fan of slapstick? And detective stories? Well, this one's for you. When some holidaymakers disappear from a coastal town, a bungling Inspector Machin and his shrewd assistant step in.
It's a surreal slap in the face if we've ever seen one.
It's Only The End Of The World ('Juste la fine du monde')
An acclaimed dramatist visits his estranged family after a drawn out absence. And he has some startling news -- his upcoming death. There's a host of French actors and actresses in this one (Gaspard Ulliel, Vincent Cassel and Marion Cotillard, to name a few) who bring 12 years of simmering familial resentments to the surface.
A Bag of Marbles ('Un sac de billes')
Two young Jewish boys, armed with a map and scant money, are escaping Nazi-occupied during World War II. Based on the novel by Joseph Joffo, this big screen adaptation is as funny as it is touching as it tells the author's true story.
A Bun in the Oven ('le petite locataire')
Closing the Festival, we have a rom-com from first-time French director Nadege Loiseau. 'A Bun in the Oven' tells the story of a 49-year-old reluctant mother of four... turned mother-to-be. With four generations of family under one roof, it's comedic in every way you'd expect.
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