Two New York Film Festivals Celebrate French Cinema and Documentaries In-Person and Virtually

Two prominent film festivals are currently taking place in New York City, one in-person, the other in-person and virtually.

The first is the 27th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the annual festival, co-sponsored by Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center, which celebrates contemporary French cinema; this runs until March 13.

The latter is Doc Fortnight, MoMA’s expansive survey of new documentaries and non-fiction films from around the world. The 21st of the festivalst edition, until March 10, explores experimental cinema, offering perspectives on ecology and the environment; understanding of illness, well-being and care; and our political future.

French film festival highlights include Claire Denis Firewhich stars acclaimed French actress Juliette Binoche and explores her complicated relationships with current and former lovers; Authentic, a biopic about French hip hop duo Suprême NTM; by Emmanuel Carrere Between two worldson poverty and the gig economy, also with Binoche; Deception, a drama by Arnaud Desplechin based on the novel by Philip Roth about an American writer living in London and having an affair with a married Englishwoman; by Christophe Honoré Guermanteson the efforts of a French theater company to deal with Covid; Hug me tighta film by actor/director Mathieu Amalric about a woman who leaves her family; Madeleine Collinsa drama about a woman leading two lives; Our men, about a mission of the French Foreign Legion in Mali; and Paris, 13th arrondissementabout the struggles of young Parisians to connect with each other.

This year’s lineup also includes a number of feature debuts, including Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet Anais in love, which traces the love life of a 30-year-old woman; At Vincent Le Port’s Bruno Reidal, Confessions of a Murderer, based on a 1905 true crime case involving a young seminarian; by Emilie Carpentier the horizonabout teenagers from a Parisian estate who have become militants; magnetic beats; by Vincent Maël Cardonam, on the underground radio stations of Brittany in the 1980s; and Constance Meyer Robustabout the relationship between an aging movie star (Gérard Depardieu) and a security guard.

Free talks include this afternoon’s meeting between Binoche and Déborah Lukumuena to discuss their careers and creative influences, and “Working the Image: A Franco-American Look at Cinematography,” a panel on March 7, organized in partnership with French In Motion and the Gotham Film & Media Institute, French and American filmmakers and directors of photography to discuss their work and inspirations.

Doc Fortnight movies include Jenny Perlin Bunker, about men living in disused military bunkers and nuclear missile silos across the United States; by James Benning The United States of Americaa portrait of contemporary America that features vignettes on each US state; no kingsabout life in a remote Brazilian fishing village; Bitterbrushon female cattle ranchers in the western United States; The motionless side, about an abandoned Mexican vacation spot; Gatun Lake, on the Panama Canal; and Where are we going, a year in the life of the Moscow Metro. Two movies (I’m so sorry, a body in Fukushima) explore the Fukushima nuclear disaster, using collage and contemporary dance.

Several films deal with difficult life events (Life begins, life ends and country of memory), while others explore motherhood (Penelope my love, 107 mothers). Family histories are the subject of sailor of the mountains and Jet lag.

Other highlights include new shorts from Sky Hopinka, Sam Green, Maryam Tafakory, Laida Lertxundi, Jason Evans and Rajee Samarasinghe. A program with Crystal Z Campbell on March 7 will feature recent and new Campbell films, including Flightwhich reconfigures images of black life in Oklahoma shot by minister and amateur filmmaker Solomon Sir Jones on the occasion of the centenary of the Tulsa Race massacre in 1921.

Many of the documentaries are available to stream through March 10 on MoMA’s Virtual Cinema streaming platform, available only to museum members.

Comments are closed.