Brisbane International Film Festival 2022 –12 films in French and from the francophonie to see

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Brisbane International Film Festival 2022 will be in cinemas from 27 October. Read on to discover 11 films that are either in French, in French and other languages, or are from France and the Francophonie but not in French.

Brisbane International Film Festival 2022



Final Cut



DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius

This super fun remake of the Japanese cult hit zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead, makes you fabulously uncomfortable and as the cleverness of this film starts to appear, you realise you are witnessing a really good comedy about making a pretty average zombie flick.


In an abandoned building, a low-budget zombie horror film is falling apart on set. The abusive director is already pushing the cast and crew to the brink with his obnoxious behaviour when he reveals his plan to inject energy and excitement into the project: unlocking a real-life ancient zombie curse. In a frenetic one-shot where body parts and fluids are flying, the actors fight the undead and their director for their lives before the film comes to a shocking conclusion and the credits roll… but is that the whole story?


Incredible but true 

LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles

DIRECTOR: Quentin Dupieux

CAST : Alain Chabat, Anaïs Demoustier, Benoît Magimel, Léa Drucker

GENRE » Comedy, Drama, Sci Fi, Time travel

French Director and Cult favourite Quentin Dupieux has created this delightful and endlessly surprising comedy. This goofy- time travel comedy is for lovers of the downright silly, and If a mechanical penis isn’t wickedly funny enough, then we don’t know what is.


Alain and Marie move to a quiet suburb. There’s something in the basement that may well change their lives forever. So begins a rabbit hole of a journey with all the trademark ridiculousness of Dupieux’s previous successes Mandibles, Deerskin and Rubber. The less you know going into a Dupieux film, the more rewarding the experience


One year, one night

read our review here

LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles

DIRECTOR: Isaki Lacuesta

CAST: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Noémie Merlant, Quim Gutiérrez, Natalia de Molina, Alba Guilera, C. Tangana

GENRE: Drama

Exploring the consequences and interconnections of one night in Paris this insightful drama features two stars of contemporary French cinema: Noémie Merlant and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart.


Ramón and Céline are a young couple that attended a concert at the Bataclan theatre in Paris on the fateful night of November 13, 2015. They survive the attack, but when they leave the theatre, they are no longer the same.Each tries to cope with the aftermath as best they can. Céline desperately tries to leave the events behind her, clinging to her previous life, while Ramón repeatedly goes back to that night, trying to remember and understand what happened. Nonetheless, they both face the same key question: how to reconnect and move on together?


The Passengers of the night

Read our review here

LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles

DIRECTOR: Mikhaël Hers

CAST: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emmanuelle Béart, Megan Northam, Noée Abita, Quito Rayon Richter

GENRE: Drama

Charlotte Gainsbourg shines in her touching performance of this optimistic drama.

Set in Paris the warm, drama follows the aftermath of life changing events that leaves the family without financial support.

On election night in 1981, there is an air of hope and change throughout Paris. But for Elisabeth, (Charlotte Gainsbourg) her marriage is coming to an end, and she will now have to support herself and her two teenage children. Finding work, she encounters a troubled teenager named Talulah whom she invites into her home. With them, Talulah experiences the warmth of a family for the first time and her free spirit has a lasting influence.


BIFF 2022 – multi-lingual films



COUNTRY: Belgium, France, Netherlands

LANGUAGE: Dutch, French

DIRECTOR: Lukas Dhont

Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes 2022 and the Sydney Film Festival prize 2022, this stunning, evocative film is directed by Lukas Dhont (Girl) and portrays the friendship of two teenagers as they begin high school.


The intense friendship between two thirteen-year-old boys Leo and Remi is suddenly disrupted when they begin school after the summer holidays. Friends from a young age and struggling to understand what has happened, Leo approaches Sophie, Remi’s mother.


A film about friendship and responsibility, Close is highlighted by exceptional central performances and beautiful cinematography.



COUNTRY: Austria

LANGUAGES: English, French, German, Hungarian

DIRECTOR: Marie Kreutzer

Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, Bergman Island) is luminous in this period drama portraying the elegant trailblazer and royal leading lady: Empress Elisabeth of Austria.


Empress Elisabeth of Austria is idolised for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends. But in 1877, ‘Sissi’ celebrates her 40th birthday and must fight to maintain her public image by lacing her corset tighter and tighter. While Elisabeth’s role has been reduced against her wishes to purely performative, her hunger for knowledge and zest for life makes her more and more restless in Vienna.


With a future of strictly ceremonial duties laid out in front of her, Elisabeth rebels against the hyperbolized image of herself and comes up with a plan to protect her legacy.



Girl Picture

COUNTRY: Finland

LANGUAGES: Finnish, French

DIRECTOR: Alli Haapasalo

Following three friends over three Fridays, Girl Picture is a captivating and authentic coming of age story exploring friendship and sexuality. A festival and critic favourite since debuting at Berlinale 2022.


Best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö have each other’s backs, working together after school and going to parties. Emma has given her whole life to figure skating and nothing gets between her and success. But when the girls meet, new possibilities appear. While Mimmi and Emma experience first love, Rönkkö is on a quest to find a meaningful relationship. Three Fridays is all it takes to turn their worlds upside down.


Neptune Frost

COUNTRIES: France, Rwanda, USA

LANGUAGES: English, French, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Swahili

DIRECTORS: Saul Williams, Anisia Uzeyman

CAST: Cheryl Isheja, Bertrand Ninteretse, Eliane Umuhire, Elvis Ngabo, Rebecca Mucyo, Trésor Niyongabo, Eric Ngangare, Cecile Kayiregawa, Natasha Muziramakenga, Ekaterina Baker

GENRES: Drama, Musical, Science Fiction

A fiercely ambitious, radically experimental Afrofuturist musical that transcends space, time and gender from visionary poet and musician Saul Williams and acclaimed filmmaker Anisia Uzeyman.


A group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective and attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources – and its people – from their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump in the hilltops of Burundi. Set between states of being – past and present, dream and waking life, colonised and free, male and female, memory and prescience – Neptune Frost is an invigorating and empowering direct download to the cerebral cortex and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends.



The discreet charm of the Bourgeoisie

LANGUAGE: French, Latin with English subtitles, Spanish

DIRECTOR: Luis Buñuel

CAST: Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Bulle Ogier

GENRE: Comedy

Luis Buñuel’s 1972 surreal, hilarious and deranging social satire on the hypocrisy of the upper-class has been restored in stunning 4K for its 50th Anniversary.


A group of friends make repeated attempts to dine together, but are constantly frustrated by bizarre interruptions, including a series of dreams. Relive the flamboyance, absurdity, and dinner party chaos of the Academy Award Winner for Foreign Language Film in this spectacular digital restoration.


Where is Anne Frank?

COUNTRIES: Belgium, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands

LANGUAGES: English, French

DIRECTOR: Ari Folman

CAST: Ruby Stokes, Emily Carey

GENRE: Animation, Family

From the lauded director Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) comes an enchanting, big-hearted and visually wonderful, animated reimagining of Anne Frank’s story. Bringing to life Anne’s imaginary friend, Kitty.


Where is Anne Frank? begins with a miracle: Kitty, the imaginary friend to whom Anne Frank wrote in her famous diary, comes to life in present-day Amsterdam. Unaware that 75 years have gone by, Kitty is convinced that if she is alive, then Anne must be alive too. The film tells the story of Kitty’s quest across contemporary Europe to find her beloved friend.




Return to Seoul

COUNTRIES: Belgium, France, Germany, South Korea

LANGUAGE: Korean with English subtitles


CAST: Ji-Min Park, Oh Kwang-rok, Kim Sun-young, Guka Han

GENRE: Drama

A rich, profound journey of discovery told over ten years about a woman torn between two countries and seeking knowledge of her birth family. A brilliant central performance highlights this poignant South Korean drama.


Twenty-five-year-old Freddie deviates from a short holiday in Japan and decides to fly to Seoul. South Korea was her birthplace before she was adopted and raised in France. Upon her arrival Freddie begins a cautious search for her birth parents but she is torn between a yearning to find them, and feelings of rejection. Over nearly a decade, we follow her as she contends with her identity crisis – a journey filled with humour and emotion.


The Blue Caftan

Countries: France, Morocco

LANGUAGE: Arabic with English subtitles

DIRECTOR: Maryam Touzani

CAST: Lubna Azabal, Saleh Bakri, Ayoub Missoiui

GENRE: Drama

A poignant, moving story selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and Toronto, featuring superb performances and an evocative setting.


Mina (Lubna Azabal) and her husband Halim (Saleh Bakri) run a small business making and selling bespoke caftans in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. Halim is a master of his trade, and Mina a canny saleswoman, though their wares don’t come cheap and traditional dress is falling out of favour. Woven with exquisite care, Maryam Touzani’s Cannes Un Certain Regard winning drama reveals a beautiful love triangle in a small Moroccan town. Touzani explores a complex marriage with tenderness and grace in a sincere and superbly performed film that unfolds in unexpected and heartening ways.



WHAT: Brisbane International Film Festival 2022 (BIFF 2022)

WHEN: 27 October – 6 November 2022

WHERE: cinemas and venues across Brisbane: Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm cinemas, Reading cinema Newmarket, Dendy Portside, Dendy Coorparoo, Australian Cinémathèque, and Elizabeth Picture Theatre

HOW: Purchase tickets via the website


Individual ticket prices are:

$18 for adults; and

$15 for concession card holders


Multiple ticket passes:

BIFF TIX 10 pack $150

BIFF TIX 20 pack $250

BIFF TIX Concession 6 pack (for students and concession card holders) $78


Which films are you going to see at Brisbane International Film Festival 2022?


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Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) is back for a second time this year!

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7 French films from the AFFFF 2019 to watch for free at home



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REVIEW “Both Sides of the Blade” are dull

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Billed as the first film that Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon have appeared in together, it’s extremely unfortunate that Both Sides of the Blade is such a terrible film that doesn’t do justice to these two greats of French cinema. Both Sides of the Blade is unfortunately not the best work of any of the actors nor the director.

Originally screening in Australia at the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2022 under the title “Fire”, this film was released nationwide last week.


Director Claire Denis is a big fan of Binoche and Both Sides of the Blade is the third film for which she has been cast. Binoche has also appeared in Denis’ French language film Let the sunshine in and her English language film High Life.


Both Sides of the Blade sees Juliette Binoche in the role of Sara, a woman in a steamy relationship (portrayed right from the opening passionate ocean scenes) with Vincent Lindon’s character Jean. She finds herself torn when her former lover François (Grégoire Colin) comes back into her life after contacting Jean and giving him a job offer. For us, Sara’s desire for Jean wasn’t credible at all. He appeared creepy in every shot on screen. The use of menacing music as if to warn of danger every time he appeared was comical.

Both Sides of the Blade/ Avec amour et acharnement

Both Sides of the Blade sees the two men in Binoche’s life act like little boys. The scene, shown in the trailer, where Lindon says “You had the angel. Now you’ll have the devil.” before he says “I’m going to destroy it all” and proceeds to upturn tables and smash ornaments is laughable. It felt like we were watching a teenager’s TV show, not a film from a respected French director with French actors of considerable experience and respect.


On the sidelines, we see Jean trying to re-establish a relationship with his son Marcus (Issa Periga), who he had from a previous relationship. Marcus lives with his grandmother and Jean’s mother, Nelly (Bulle Ogier). Again, the dialogue used in scenes between Jean and Marcus is laughable. It doesn’t flow and seems unrealistic.


There are uncomfortable close-ups on the character’s faces at particular scenes of Both Sides of the Blade but I’m not sure whether they had any intention other than to make the audience feel uncomfortable. It didn’t make me feel closer to or relate more to any of the characters.


Sara is a radio journalist interviewing people about the war in Beirut and the effect of race on people’s perceptions but these snippets seem completely out of place. Perhaps Denis intended to draw a comparison between Sara’s interviewees and the struggles of Jean’s son Marcus (his mother being French-African) but this isn’t fleshed out enough to make any clear point for it being there. Is it to show that Sara has a decent job and can be disciplined and logical despite her extreme visceral reaction to seeing her ex?

Both sides of the blade/ avec amour et acharnement

Binoche and Lindon did the best with the scripts they were given but Both Sides of the Blade are not going to be prize-winning performances. We are surprised that Claire Denis won the Silver Bear for Best Director for Both Sides of the Blade at the Berlin International Film Festival 2022 and now wonder which films this was up against.


Both Sides of the Blade was a COVID lockdown project. It only happened because Claire Denis was unable to film Stars at Noon with Robert Pattison in Nicaragua and Panama at the intended time. It is a film that was perhaps best left to the lockdown imaginings or to the pages of Chrstine Argot’s book Un tournant de la vie, from which it is adapted. Not having read the book, we are unable to discern whether this is an incredibly poor adaptation or whether the book itself too was unconvincingly written.


Audiences will flock to see the film purely because of Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon and because it was directed by Claire Denis. Unfortunately, most will be disappointed as those in the cinema when we attended were. Both Sides of the Blade is one to avoid.


Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Palace Films.


One last chance to see The Passengers of the Night at MIFF tonight

REVIEW: Rumba Therapy – an absent Dad tries to get to know his daughter through dance classes

REVIEW: Fly Me Away – a predictable feel-good film

REVIEW: Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown is a comedy about feeling better through unconventional methods

REVIEW: Mali Twist is a story of impossible love in revolutionary Mali

REVIEW: Paris 13th District – a black and white story of love, lust and mistaken identity in current day Paris

REVIEW: Goliath: Dirty tactics, word play, and misinformation abound

REVIEW: OSS 117: From Africa with Love – Jean Dujardin and Pierre Niney on screen together is a delight

REVIEW: One year, one night is a moving depiction of a couple’s fight to survive after the Bataclan attacks

REVIEW: Bootlegger puts socio-political issues in a Canadian first nations reserve at the forefront



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