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New French Cinema Film Festival

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New French Cinema Film Festival

The third annual New French Cinema Film Festival, presented by Facets Multimedia Center and French Cultural Services in Chicago, runs Friday, December 3, through Sunday, December 12, at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $7, $5 for Facets members. For more information call 773-281-4114.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3

The New Eve

Camille is a bundle of energy, sexual and otherwise, in Catherine Corsini's effective portrait of an independent woman with a troubled and unstable sense of herself. After a chance meeting with a married political activist Camille begins to pursue him relentlessly, attending party meetings (she helps illegal immigrants, she explains, by sleeping with them) and finally joining him in illicit weekend getaways. But she's clearly a bit over-the-top, initiating sex in semipublic settings, and she admits that her love is "like an illness." Corsini's isolating close-ups and Karin Viard's performance capture Camille's volatility and alienation--at one point, feeling trapped, she breaks a plate over her head. (FC) (7:00)

White Lies

Pierre Salvadori (The Apprentices) directed this mildly subversive 1998 comedy about a con artist's complicated relationship with a pathological liar. Jeanne, a kook from a dysfunctional working-class family, claims that her parents are wealthy; after getting wind of this, young Antoine kidnaps her, and the two eventually fall for each other. This is the third Salvadori film with Marie Trintignant (daughter of Jean-Louis) and Guillaume Depardieu (son of Gerard), and their passive-aggressive puppy love is endearing enough to overcome the narrative gaps and occasionally strained humor. (TS) (9:00)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4

Eric Rohmer: preuves a l'appui

I haven't seen Andre S. Labarthe's two-part 1994 documentary, an interview with Rohmer conducted by film critic Jean Douchet and interspersed with clips from Rohmer films. But it was part of the excellent, long-running French TV series Filmmakers of Our Time, so it's bound to be good. (JR) Admission is free. (1:00)

Twice My Half

A man discovers that his wife is sleeping with his business partner and that they're about to sell off his company; on the brink of suicide, he meets his wife's identical twin, who he never knew existed, and together they scheme to get even. Yves Amoureux directed. (1:00)

Why Not Me?

Stephane Giusti's 1998 comedy centers on four gay partners in a publishing house; only Camille has come out to family, so her mother invites the others and their parents to spend the weekend at her chateau. When the children come out to their parents, some are completely unfazed and others are appalled; anything less than acceptance is presented as weird, hilarious, or both, as when one couple try to trace their daughter's lesbianism to the genes of one relative or another. The film's conclusion--that we're all human--is quite cliched, but Giusti's script is full of witty repartee and mild social satire, suggesting that the concepts of "gay" and "straight" are more fluid than fixed. (FC) (3:00)

Eric Rohmer: preuves a l'appui

See listing for this date above; admission is free. (3:15)

The Kidnappers

A safecracker (Raul Ruiz regular Melvil Poupaud) and his girlfriend, a security-systems expert (Elodie Bouchez from The Dreamlife of Angels), get involved in a burglary scheme. Graham Guit directed this 1998 action thriller; with Romain Duris. (5:00)

Eric Rohmer: preuves a l'appui

See listing for this date above; admission is free. (5:15)

Something Organic

A 30-year-old Greek immigrant in Montreal (Laurent Lucas) and his 23-year-old French wife (Romane Bohringer) find their marriage in crisis. Bertrand Bonello, who wrote and directed this 1998 French-Canadian coproduction, will attend the screening. (7:00)

Tomorrow and Again Tomorrow: Diary 1995

For almost a year, Dominique Cabrera (The Other Shore) used a videocam to record her day-to-day life in a drab Paris suburb. She was a bundle of neuroses: depressed, overweight, fussing over her school-age son, agonizing over an older lover's infidelity, distressed by the national election that would put conservative president Jacques Chirac in office. This 90-minute documentary (1996), edited from the footage, conveys the poetry of the quotidian with its intimate close-ups of bodies and household objects (much like Godard's Two or Three Things I Know About Her), and Cabrera's postscript voice-overs add a poignant layer of irony, especially when she insists that she's happy now. Video diaries have become fashionable lately on cable TV and the Internet, but this one shows the vast difference between recording one's life and shaping the material into a coherent point of view. (TS) Admission is free. (7:30)

Mooncalf

Julien, the mildly retarded son of a farmer, talks to his favorite cow and tries to rape his brother's girlfriend. His troubled family is undergoing therapy, but then a grandmother reveals that the parents have institutionalized a severely deformed son, Jules. Julien takes off on his moped to find Jules, and actions that initially seem cruel (Julien kidnaps his brother; they can't communicate; Jules soils his pants) lead to a joyous excursion into freedom. Director Claude Mourieras gets an impressive naturalism from his mostly nonprofessional cast, and the scenes of Julien and Jules exploring the world together have a certain magic. The French title, Dis-moi que je reve, might be translated "Tell me I'm dreaming" (1998). (FC) (9:00)

Tomorrow and Again Tomorrow: Diary 1995

See listing for this date above; admission is free. (9:30)

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5

Alain Resnais: revolutionnaire discret

The subtitle ("the discreet revolutionary") is a good description of this great French filmmaker (Night and Fog, Hiroshima, mon amour, Last Year at Marienbad, Melo). Directed by Michel Leclerc, this 85-minute entry in the French TV series Filmmakers of Our Time includes interviews with many of Resnais' screenwriters (including Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jean Cayrol, and Jorge Semprun) and actors (including Claude Rich), as well as film historian Jean Mitry. (JR) Admission is free. (1:00)

Already Dead

Three 20-year-old men introduce a young woman to the hard-core porn business in this 1998 feature directed by Olivier Dahan. (1:00)

Jean Eustache: la peine perdue

Angel Diez Alvarez directed this 52-minute TV documentary (1997) about the late filmmaker Jean Eustache (The Mother and the Whore). The subtitle is an untranslatable pun. Admission is free. (3:00)

Something Organic

See listing for Saturday, December 4. Director Bertrand Bonello will attend the screening. (3:30)

Alain Resnais: revolutionnaire discret

See listing for this date above; admission is free. (4:00)

The Creator

Monty Python alum Terry Jones plays God in this black comedy about a successful playwright (Albert Dupontel) who overcomes his writer's block only after he's moved by the death of a neighbor's cat. Dupontel directed. (5:15)

Jean Eustache: la peine perdue

See listing for this date above; admission is free. (6:00)

Only God Sees Me

A shy man tries to choose among three beautiful lovers in this 1998 feature by Bruno Poldalydes. (7:00)

Tomorrow and Again Tomorrow: Diary 1995

See listing for Saturday, December 4; admission is free. (7:30)

MONDAY, DECEMBER 6

White Lies

See listing for Friday, December 3. (7:00)

The New Eve

See listing for Friday, December 3. (9:00)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7

Already Dead

See listing for Sunday, December 5. (7:00)

Twice My Half

See listing for Saturday, December 4. (9:00)

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8

Only God Sees Me

See listing for Sunday, December 5. (6:30)

The New Eve

See listing for Friday, December 3. (8:45)

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9

Mooncalf

See listing for Saturday, December 4. (7:00)

The Creator

See listing for Sunday, December 5. (9:00)

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