Happy As Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018)

ALICE ROHRWACHER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  Italy/Switzerland/France/Germany, 2018.  Tempesta, Amka Films Productions, Ad Vitam Production, Pola Pandora Filmproduktions, Rai Cinema, RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Arte France, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Regione Lazio, Office Fédéral de la Culture, Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l’Europe.  Screenplay by…

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The Intruder (L’Intrus) (2004)

CLAIRE DENIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  France, 2004.  Ognon Pictures, Arte France Cinema, Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Pusan Film Commission.  Screenplay by Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, based on the novel by Jean-Luc Nancy.  Cinematography by Agnes Godard.  Produced by Humbert Balsan, Jerome Clement, Michel Reilhac.  Music by Stuart Staples.  Production Design by Arnaud de Moleron.  Costume Design by…

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Trouble Every Day (2001)

CLAIRE DENIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.  France/Germany/Japan, 2001.  Arte France Cinema, ARTE, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Dacia Films, Kinetique, Messaouda Films, Rézo Films, Rezo Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.  Screenplay by Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau.  Cinematography by Agnes Godard.  Produced by Georges Benayoun, Philippe Liegeois, Jean-Michel Rey.  Music by Tindersticks.  Production Design by Arnaud de Moleron.  Costume Design by Judy…

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Home (2008)

BBBB (out of 5) Isabelle Huppert and Olivier Gourmet head a family of five who live in a small house beside an unfinished, abandoned highway. Their life proceeds in an orderly, small-town fashion until one day, without much warning, everything changes. Workers show up to complete the road, and suddenly it is a majory artery with thousands…

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Pola X

BBBB (out of 5) The genius of Leos Carax applies itself to a modernized, highly eccentric adaptation of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Pierre Or The Ambiguities (the title of the film is the initials of the French title of the book, followed by the Roman numeral of the script’s draft number we are viewing). Guillaume Depardieu plays an…

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The Lovers On The Bridge (Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf)

BBBB (out of 5) Two homeless people find each other on Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris.  Denis Lavant plays an ex-circus performer whose drug and alcohol addictions have led him to the streets, while an excellent Juliette Binoche is a successful painter from a good family whose broken heart has made her give up…

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Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood)

BB.5 (out of 5) Stunning but uninspiring romantic thriller by Leos Carax is a terrific trip back to the 80s new wave European cinema that fans of Diva can revel in. After Denis Lavant learns about his father’s suicide on the Paris Metro, he is recruited by his father’s mobster buddy (Michel Piccoli) to aid a…

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Holy Motors

BBBBB (out of 5) Leos Carax took thirteen years to release another feature after the disappointing reception of Pola X, and what he comes up with is the coolest, most inventive work of his career.  His version of Mulholland Drive has Carax himself open the film by entering a dream-induced movie theatre, where the line…

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Beau Travail

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Claire Denis makes one of her most astonishingly powerful films with this subtle examination of male physicality and colonialism in Africa. French soldiers in the Foreign Legion train in Djibouti without purpose or cause, keeping themselves in top physical shape between bouts of mundane tasks such as laundry and ironing, bereft…

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Friday Night (Vendredi Soir)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) On the night before she is to move in with her long-time partner, Valerie Lemercier (in a beautifully subtle performance) gets stuck in an hours-long traffic jam and offers a strange man (Vincent Lindon) a ride. The enchanting atmosphere of a city in stasis (owing to a transit strike) contributes to a…

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