New film festival Europa! Europa will be in cinemas in Melbourne and Sydney in February. Among the many European films in the program, there are 12 from France including some films where France is just one of the countries involved in the production. We tell you about the films from France in French and not in French below.
EUROPA EUROPA FILMS FROM FRANCE IN FRENCH
Director: Jean-Christphe Meurisse
Through a series of intersecting comedic vignettes, Bloody Oranges shows a France in which a retired couple overwhelmed by debt try to win a dance contest; the minister of economy is suspected of tax evasion; a teenage girl encounters a sexual predator; and a young lawyer attempts to climb the social ladder.
This is an ultra-dark satire calculated to have you laughing one moment and then questioning whether you should have just moments later.
Content warning: Contains scenes of high impact sexual violence and high impact gore.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy
Director: Bruno Dumont
France de Meurs (Léa Seydoux (The French Dispatch, No Time to Die, Blue Is the Warmest Colour)) is a star journalist whose high-profile world is upended after a traffic accident in which she injures a pedestrian. Reality’s unwelcome arrival calls everything into question. Her attempts to slow down and live a simple anonymous life are seemingly worthless as her fame continues to pursue her.
France is a bewildering critique of mainstream media.
Countries: Switzerland, France, Ukraine
Director: Elie Grappe
Languages: French and Ukrainian
Olga is the first feature film from French filmmaker Elie Grappe and Switerland’s submission for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards.
It tells of Olga a 15-year-old gymnast torn between Switzerland, where she trains for the European Championship in preparation for the Olympics, and Ukraine, her home country, where her mother is a journalist.
Olga’s struggles with her new teammates, the pressures of her body and the politics of international sport are exacerbated when Ukraine is plunged into the 2014 revolution.
Countries: Belgium, France, Luxembourg
Director: Joachim Lafosse
Inspired by the director’s own experiences with his bipolar father, The Restless depicts what it’s like to live with a bipolar disorder and what it’s like to live with somebody who has severe episodes of mood swings.
The film tells the story of Leila (Leïla Bekhti) and Damien (Damien Bonnard) who are deeply in love. Damien attempts to pursue his life with her knowing his bipolar disorder may prevent him from ever being able to provide her what she desires.
While sympathetic to the difficulty of living with bipolar disorder, the film also accurately portrays how difficult it can be to have him around and how Leila’s love for him is pushed to the limits.
Countries: Belgium, France, Monaco
Director: Gaspar Noé
In a depart from his previous films known for their nightmarish and hallucinogenic subject matters, The Vortex comes to reality with the real-world tragedy of dementia causing decline in an elderly couple.
The film was shot in split screen and shows the couple’s daily rituals. The couple is played by Françoise Lebrun and Dario Argento (in his first leading role at age 80!)
The Vortex is another film depicting the difficulty of loving someone, this time someone with dementia who is slipping away.
Country: Belgium, France
Directors: Emmanuel Marre, Julie Lecoustre
Cassandra (Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Colour)) is a flight attendant for a low-cost airline. She is always willing to take on extra hours and does her job with robotic efficiency. She has perfected the same cool detached persona in her personal life. She spends her life between flights, tinder and dead-end parties. Eventually though she will be forced to confront the feelings she is trying to run away from.
Fun fact: The on-board scenes were shot alongside real-life flight attendants
EUROPA! EUROPA FILMS FROM FRANCE AND OTHER COUNTRIES – NOT IN FRENCH
Countries: Germany, France
Director: Anne Zohra Berrached
Languages: English, Arabic, German, Turkish
Asli, a science student meets charismatic Saeed in the mid-1990s. Love at first sight leads to marriage and a promise to never betray Saeed’s secrets. Five years later, Saeed makes a decision that will shatter Asli’s dreams.
Copilot is based on a true story and shows the time from their meeting to Saeed’s devastating action 5 years later.
It is a portrait of Asli and her struggle with the man she loves becoming unrecognisable to her as he becomes radicalised.
Countries: Belgium, France, UK
Director: Lucile Hadžihalilovic
This is the first English language film from French director Lucile Hadžihalilovic (Innocence, Evolution).
Albert looks after Mia, a 10-year-old with teeth of ice. She never leaves the always shuttered apartment. A voice regularly calls to ask about her well-being. One day that voice tells Albert to prepare Mia to leave the apartment and travel to a new destination. A journey begins.
SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the director
Country: Germany, France, Hungary, Lativa
Director: Dénes Nagy
Languages: Hungarian and Russian
István Semetka, a simple Hungarian farmer who serves as a Caporal in a special unit scouting for partisan groups, finds his company falls under enemy fire while travelling to a remote village. When the commander is killed, Semetka is forced to overcome his fears and take command of the unit as he is dragged into a chaos that he cannot control.
Natural Light is the debut feature film from Hungarian documentary filmmaker Dénes Nagy. Inspired by Elem Klimov’s 1985 masterpiece Come and See, Natural Light is a slow-burn drama set in the occupied Soviet Union in World War II.
Countries: France, Mexico, Spain
Director: Michel Franco
Languages: English, Spanish
Neil Bennett (Tim Roth) is a wealth Brit vacationing with loved ones at a luxury resort in Acapulco. He seemingly has the idyllic life until a phone call telling him there’s been a death in the family and that he, his sister Allison (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and the kids must return to London.
At the airport, Neil pretends he’s left his passport at the resort. He tells the others to take the flight without him and that he will take the next flight. Instead, he checks into a budget hotel, drinks beer at the beach and finds reasons to delay his trip home. What is he up to? How long can be delay his return?
Countries: Denmark, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden
Director: Eskil Vogt
In this supernatural thriller, playtime takes a dangerous and unnerving time during the bright Nordic summer when a group of children reveal their dark and mysterious powers when the adults aren’t looking.
Director Eskil Vogt (Blind) is a long-time collaborator of Joachim Trier.
Countries: France, Italy
Director: Hleb Papou
Daniel, born in Rome to African parents, grew up in an occupied building. That is an otherwise empty building occupied by desperate people. Police are required to stop this from happening. Daniel decided many years ago to make a life for himself and now finds himself as a police officer required to evict the building where his mother and brother still live and lead the occupation movement.
KEY INFO FOR EUROPA! EUROPA
WHAT: Europa! Europa, a new film festival showcasing European films
WHERE: Sydney and Melbourne
WHEN: 4-27 February
HOW: Buy your tickets via the festival website: https://www.europafilmfestival.com.au/
Single film ticket: $23 for adults and $18.50 for concession card holders and members
10 film pass: $175
Which films are you planning to see at Europa! Europa
If you’re keen for more film, take a look at these articles about French films you can stream at home: