Review: The Lion Sleeps Tonight


The 23rd Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, co-presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance, brings you the 60th year of Jean-Pierre Leaud’s acting life. As the actor Jean, he finds it hard to play his own death. Understandably so, since, as one of the crew reminds us, “nobody can.” That said, Leaud comes close. As always, he stubbornly improvises his lines and, presumably, many of those of the ten children who play his confederates.

There are two films within the film. The first is the movie where Jean dies, being made by professionals who “take the work seriously.” The second is the ghost story being made by the children who make their movie for the love of making movies. (CONTINUED)

Review: Chronic Means Forever

— by BEV QUESTAD — This core-deep self-examination reveals a poetically insightful young woman who asks the big questions: Does my body have value? What do I do? How do I save myself now? Is life worth living? Filmmaker Kadazia Allen-Perry has taken the reality TV aside and made it into a monologue film. However, […][...]

Review: Montparnasse Bienvenüe

— by RON WILKINSON — The 31-year-old woman screaming at the top of her lungs in front of the apartment door would not be remarkable. Especially in the context of cutting (or bleeding) edge French cinema as presented by the 23rd Rendez-Vous with French Cinema (co-presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance). In […][...]

Review: The Death of Stalin

— by RON WILKINSON — From the moment the opening scenes flash to Adrian McLoughlin playing Josef Stalin you know this movie is going to be nuts. Like the rest of the actors, Mc Loughlin does not even try for an accent. He blurts out his lines as if he was calling his dog and […][...]

Review: The Sower (aka Le semeur)

— by RON WILKINSON — A luscious celebration of 19th century bucolic fertility splashes across the screen at the 23rd Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. Co-presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance, this cautionary tale is directed by Marine Francen and based on the book by Violette Ailhaud. Francen shows great versatility in embarking […][...]

Trailer: Miss Kiet’s Children

— by BEV QUESTAD — This film gets an A+ and an encore on March 4 at the Portland International Film Festival. A microcosm of the world is captured in Kiet Engels’ primary classroom in a Dutch village. Her focus is on order, getting along, work ethic and overcoming adversity. While the documentary shows how […][...]

Trailer: Her Love Boils Bathwater

— by BEV QUESTAD — One of eight films chosen for an encore performance at the 2018 Portland International Film Festival (PIFF), “Her Love Boils Bathwater” is about resilience and fortitude in the face of great challenges. It is also about mothering. Futaba, a single mom, is surrounded by difficult situations and disappointments, yet she […][...]

Interview: Director Thomas Morgan

— by BEV QUESTAD — The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) has chosen eight, from nearly 90 films it featured this year, for encore showings. Festival publicist Nick Bruno reports these films were chosen because they met two criteria: viewer popularity and distributor permission for an additional screening. “Soufra,” my choice as the best documentary […][...]

Trailer: Spoor

— by BEV QUESTAD — The environment of this film – its lighting, cinematography, music and woods in lush Polish mountains – reveals the story just as much as the words, expressions and actions of the outstanding cast. A movie especially for members of the NRA, it tells of hunters and their prey and religion’s […][...]