24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Catherine Deneuve

Claude Francois biopic 'My Way' opens City of Lights, City of Angels

March 27, 2012 |  7:30 pm

'My Way' opens City of Light, City of Angels festival

A musical-biography of the singer-songwriter Claude François, the third-highest-grossing film in the history of French cinema and tributes to Julie Delpy and Yves Montand are among the highlights of the 16th City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival.

The lineup for the festival, which will screen 34 features and 21 shorts beginning April 16 at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood, was announced Tuesday evening.

Opening the festival is director Florent-Emilio Siri’s film “My Way,” which stars Jérémie Renier as François, the pop singer who sold 67 million records before his accidental death at 39.

“The Intouchables,” about a bond that develops between a disabled aristocrat and his caretaker, will close the event April 23. The film, written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, has become a breakout box-office hit in France and is set for release in the U.S. in May.

François Truffart, the director and programmer for the festival for the last eight years, said it’s been “an amazing year” for French cinema, coming off the best picture win for the black-and-white love letter to silent cinema “The Artist” at February’s Academy Awards.

“This certainly for me is the biggest lineup we have had,” Truffart said. “There is a new generation of actors and talent. Refreshing is the word I would use for the films this year.”

Though there are new names in the mix, many of the titles featured at the festival represent generations of French talent or see familiar faces trying on different roles.

Mathieu Demy, the son of directors Agnès Varda and Jacques Demy, makes his directorial debut and stars in “Americano,” a drama about a Frenchman who grew up in Los Angeles and now lives in Paris. Actor Daniel Auteuil (“Jean De Florette”) makes his directorial debut with “The Well Digger’s Daughter,” a remake of the 1940 Marcel Pagnol film in which he also stars.

Other highlights include “Another Woman’s Life,” a romantic comedy written and directed by Sylvie Testud starring Juliette Binoche and Mathieu Kassovitz; and “Michel Petrucciani,” a documentary from Michael Radford (“Il Postino”) about the famed jazz musician who was born with glass bone disease and stood 3 feet tall as an adult.

The festival will screen a newly restored print of “Le Sauvage,” the 1975 romantic comedy from director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (“Cyrano de Bergerac”) starring the late superstar Yves Montand as a married perfume-maker who leaves everything behind to become a recluse on an island. His happiness is disrupted by the arrival of a runaway bride (Catherine Deneuve).

Delpy will screen two films she wrote and directed — the romance “2 Days in Paris” from 2007 and her newest feature “Le SkyLab.”

To see the complete lineup, go to www.colcoa.org.

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-- Susan King

Photo: A scene from Florent-Emilio Siri’s "My Way." Credit: Credit: "City of Lights, City of Angels


Around Town: Catherine Deneuve, Outfest Fusion, world cinema and a tribute to Chris Morris at L.A. revival houses

March 3, 2011 |  5:00 am

Belle 

Legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve is being feted this weekend at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Beautiful Dreamer: The Early Films of Catherine Deneuve" opens Friday with her 1967 classic "Belle de Jour," directed by Luis Bunuel. Deneuve plays a beautiful housewife with sadomasochistic fantasies who decides to act on them by working in the afternoons at a chic bordello. "Belle" is followed by the creepy 1965 Roman Polanski film, "Repulsion," in which she plays a shy young woman who loses her mind. Deneuve is scheduled to appear in person Tuesday for the preview screening of her latest film, "Potiche," directed by Francois Ozon. http://www.lacma.org

The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre features two films by the late British director Bryan Forbes on Thursday evening: 1964's haunting "Seance on a Wet Afternoon," for which Kim Stanley received a lead actress Oscar nomination, and 1967's "The Whisperers," starring Edith Evans in her Academy Award-nominated turn.

Friday's Aero offering is the 1985 Oscar-winning best picture, "Out of Africa," directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer. The original 1982 "Tron" zooms into the Aero on Saturday evening in a 70-millimeter print. Writer and director Steven Lisberger, visual effects supervisors Richard Taylor and Harrison Ellenshaw, director of photography Bruce Logan and VFX computer animator Bill Kroyer and VFX crew member John Scheele will also be on hand.

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