Alliance Française keeps serving movies to all who are charmed by the rich French cinema history. On Saturday they offer a “crossed movies”- experience, where one 1953 Jacques Tati classic meets a 2008 drama featuring Isabelle Huppert. The event is called “Crossed Movies : Modern and burlesque society”.
Two movies will be screened, and as the event title suggests, it will offer a sort of comparison between the films and their way of portraying the surrounding society. Although separated by 55 years, we might discover that they have a lot in common.
Firstly, you have the chance to encounter a milestone in French film history, Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot:
The importance of Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot should not be underestimated. It is not only the most important comic work in world cinema since the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields, it is an event in the history of sound film.
as influential French film critic André Bazin once pronounced. (According to cinemathequeontario.ca)
Directed in 1953 by Jacques Tati, “Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot” (“Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday”) was the first of a series of movies about Monsieur Hulot, a pipe-smoking well-meaning but clumsy character, experiencing a number of everyday peculiarities, all accompanied by a jazz score by Alain Romans. The film earned international reputation and Tati an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. M. Hulot appears in Tati’s subsequent films, including Mon Oncle (1959), Playtime (1967), and Trafic (1971).
The plot for “Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot” goes like this (from Alliance Française´s webpage):
Monsieur Hulot goes on a holiday to a seaside resort, but accidents and misunderstandings follow him where ever he goes. The peace and quiet of the hotel guests don’t last very long with Hulot around, because although his intensions are good, they always turn out catastrophically. The most burlesque French movie and the Frenchest burlesque movie.
Along with, or crossed with this classic, Alliance Française will also show an Ursula Meier film, called Home. After several documentaries and a television drama for Arte (Des épaules solides ), Swiss-French filmmaker Ursula Meier directed Home, her first feature film for cinema. It made her receive a Best Director award at the 2008 Festival du Film Francophone d’Angoulême, and it has also been nominated for several awards at international film festivals.
Alliance Française´s plot description:
A family is enjoying a peaceful life alongside an unfinished highway, away from a harmful world. But when the highway is finely finished, their happiness suffers from the consequences ! Isabelle Huppert and Olivier Gourmet head the bill in this claustrophobic drama.
In an interview about the movie, Meier said:
I think it is quite a particular film. I wanted to mix tones and genres, jumping from a dramatic scene to another one that´s a bit more burlesque. I kept in mind both Tati and Pilat. The way I filmed it also followed that concept: We start with the hand-held camera and finish with still shots.
She also admitted that the movie was a somewhat daring way of debuting as a feature film director: “I have everything people tend to avoid in a feature debut: a well-known cast, sets to build, cars, children, animals…”
Devote your Saturday afternoon to these two French dramatic burlesques! Both “Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot” and “Home” are in French with Chinese subtitles.
Where: Alliance Française de Shanghai, 297 Wusong Lu, 6 étage, salle polyvalente
Starts: Sunday November 7th at 4 p.m.
Cover: Free entrance
Check out what other movies are showing in Shanghai this coming week after the jump. Links lead to info about times and venues.
Image from media.photobucket.com
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Diamond Dogs (唐卡迷踪): “Diamond Dogs” is the story of a group of American fortune hunters, who come to China looking for a long-lost-treasure. During the Soviet crack-down on religion in the 1930’s, a priceless Buddhist artifact, a Tangka was taken across the border to China and hidden in the mountains. The fortune hunters need a guide and protection on the trip, so they hire an American ex-pat, Ronson. He’s ex-Army and living an existence in Inner-Mongolia of drinks, women and bare-knuckle fights. The group takes off into the Mongolian mountains on a trek that will change their lives forever. King of the B-Movie action film, Dolph Lundgren (best known for his role as Captain Ivan Drago in Rocky IV), plays Xander Ronson in Diamond Dogs.
- Michael Jackson´s This Is It (迈克尔·杰克逊：就是这样): Fans of Michael Jackson: get a glimpse of the King of Pop’s last days with this documentary. Pieced together from more than 100 hours footage of Jackson’s rehearsals of his comeback London concert tour, this highly anticipated film offers you a private look into the late superstar’s life through on-stage and behind-the-scene material. In English with Chinese subtitles.
- Knowing (神秘代码): Nicolas Cage continues his action thriller career in Alex Proyas’ latest production. The plot focuses on elementary school student Caleb and his father John as they discover a string of numbers that match with dates of disasters over the past 50 years, including the numbers of people who died. In Mandarin or English depending on the cinema.
- Astro Boy (阿童木): An origin story set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist, Dr. Tenma, in the image of the son he had lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man’s expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, becoming part of a group of rowdy kids led by a girl named Cora, experiencing betrayal, and a netherworld of robot gladiators led by the greedy ring master, Ham Egg…
- The Taking of Pelham 123 (地铁惊魂): Tony Scott directs this remake of the original Palomar Production/Walter Matthau-starring thriller from 1974 with this Columbia Pictures production that pits Denzel Washington and John Turtorro against a group of hijackers, lead by John Travolta, who take over a subway train in order to rake in a hefty ransom. David Koepp (War of the Worlds) is adapting the book by author John Godey.
- Rouge Crocodile (逃亡鳄鱼岛): Pete is an American travel writer on assignment in the Australian outback. While taking a river cruise he finds himself stuck with a collection of interesting characters, including Kate, the local tour guide. When their boat is rammed by something from below, the tour is thrown into disarray and they become stranded on a tiny mud island. As night falls and the tide starts to rise, the group slowly realise they are being stalked by a huge saltwater crocodile, beginning a terrifying struggle for survival in one of the most remote places in the world.
- Penelope (真爱之吻): Grab your nose for this Hollywood rom-com. James McAvoy teams up with Christina Ricci to unveil a modern day fairytale. Penelope is born with a pig’s snout due to a witch’s curse. To break the curse, she must find true love and realize life’s most important life lesson: “to like herself the way she is.” In Mandarin or English depending on the cinema.
CHINESE LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Love At Seventh (7天爱上你): Sight He is an audio technician, an unromantic man looking for the most romantic sound on earth. In an unexpected encounter, he comes across two of the most romantic things—- a beautiful recreational vehicle and its beautiful owner. The girl loves to travel the world and the boy hopes to find the most soul-soothing sound in nature. Pursuing their dreams, they decide to travel together in the recreational vehicle.
- Chinese Odyssey (Tian xia wu shuang, 天下无双): Chinese Odyssey is a 2002 Hong Kong film written and directed by Jeffrey Lau and produced by Wong Kar-wai. The comedy who is full of pastiches of Wong Kar-wai movies, is set in Ming Dynasty China. Two pairs of siblings are destined for each other. But fate throws countless obstacles in the path of their happiness…
- Stubborn Radish (倔强萝卜): An amateur scientist plans to dig a tunnel to steal back some money from his ex-best friend now worst foe. Starring Huang Bo.
- Qiu Xi (秋喜): The romantic spy thriller “Qiu Xi” by director Sun Zhou, takes place in wartime Guangzhou before the country’s liberation by the Communist Party of China in 1949. A young woman named Qiu Xi is a “boat person”, or Tanka, living in the coastal area of Guangdong Province. Qiu Xi, (Jiang Yiyan), becomes a servant to Yan Haiqing, (Guo Xiaodong). She finds herself falling for the undercover communist agent who works with the Kuomintang regime that ruled China until 1949. The story unfolds as the two fall for each other but are kept at distance because of the wartime situation. The 45-million-yuan film comes several years after Sun Zhou’s widely acclaimed movies “Zhou Yu’s Train” in 2002 and “Breaking the Silence” in 2000. His films are known for their exploration of humanity and the genuinely virtuous nature of people.
- Lost Indulgence (Mi Guo, 秘岸): In this family drama, the relationship between a teenage son and his mother become complicated when they take in secretive young woman into their home. Upon the apparent death of his taxi-driver father (Eric Tseng), Xian-chuen (Tan Jianci) and his mother Li (Jiang Wenli) take in his father’s last fare, Su-Dan (Karen Mok), a bar girl, to fulfill the family’s obligations. The father, Wu Tao drove his cab into the Yangtze River, breaking Su-Dan’s leg and potentially paralyzing her for life.
- The Message (Feng Sheng, 风声): “The Message” is set in Japanese-occupied China in 1942. It tells a story of a Japanese spy chief trying to identify a Chinese agent from a group of suspects. Produced by China’s leading entertainment producer Huayi Brothers, the film is the company’s tribute to the 60th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. Riding the popularity of the TV series and play of the same name, this espionage flick features Zhou Xun, Zhang Hanyu and Li Bingbing. Mandarin only.
- Ke ai de Zhong Guo (可爱的中国): A bio-pic of Fang Zhimi, a senior Chinese Red Army leader executed by the Nationalist government in 1934.
- The Foundation Of A Republic (建国大业): This offering from China Film Board chairman Sanping Han tells the story of the founding of the PRC, in celebration of the country’s birthday. Chinese megacelebrities Chen Kaige, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Chen Daoming and Ge You star. Mandarin only.
- The Warrior and The Wolf (狼灾记, Lang zai ji): This costume fantasy drama is the latest production by China´s influential director and producer Tian Zhuangzhuang. Set in the Qing Dynasty, the plot follows a warrior and his foreign lover. Their romantic encounters lead to a supernatural event. Japanese star Joe Odagiri, Taiwanese actor Tuo Zonghua and American diva Maggie Q star. Mandarin only.
- I Love Fantasy (天生幻想狂): Wu Tao has no career and no girlfriend. Then one day, a girl with the exact same sweet smile as one he saw in his dreams appeared. Her name is Lele. Lele’s appearance brings unexpected joy and trouble to Wu Tao’s life, he begins to fall in love with her. But with Lele’s personality swinging between gentle and wild, he doesn’t know what to do. So Wu Tao begins to live in a fantasy world half dominated by dreams and half by reality.
- My Airhostess Roommate (恋爱前规则): Beautiful stewardess Ranjing meets Otaku Lu Fei after a night out on town and through a series of mishaps, they become roommates in her duplex apartment. And then they fall in love. Adapted from an ultra popular internet novel “Diary of Living with an Airhostess.”
OTHER LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Nepobedimyy (特工008): Chronicles the adventures of Russian special intelligence agent Yegor Kremnyov. It involves fugitive oligarchs, western crime syndicates and top-secret papers. Languages: Russian / English.
- Scandal Makers (非常主播): Head over to watch this ubiquitous Korean romantic comedy featuring Cha Tae-hyeon and Park Bao-young. Cha stars as a show talk presenter whose program gains instant popularity from a single mother’s story. However, Cha’s life is turned upside down when the single mother shows up at his home with her six-year-old son. Language TBD.