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At the Cinema - VINGT Recommends

Nick Forrester writing for VINGT Paris

Portraits de femmes chinoises
Last week I saw the French release of Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino's blood splattered "spaghetti western, but with World War II iconography". 

Tarantino will always be accused of overindulgence in some quarters for certain excesses. However, excellent moments of dialogue, screenplay and the usual gore and brutality, means that this lives up to it's billing as one of the summer's big releases. Showing at cinemas nationwide. 

Le Hérisson, adapted from the bestselling French novel L'élégance du hérisson, has been by no means as successful on screen. However, the depiction of bourgeoisie Parisian life, contrasted with the quiet concierge's humble existence is brought together, visually, very cleverly by Mona Achache, the director. This works best through the eyes of the precocious child Paloma, played by the excellent Garance Le Guillermic, who films everything with her family video camera. Her camera settles on the small everyday details, which gives a fantastic insight into the life of each character, viewed through a child’s perceptive eyes. For cinemas and timings see allocine.fr.

Portraits de femmes Chinoises (Niu lang zhi nu), written and director by Chinese filmmaker and poet Lichuan Yin, traces three migrant youths in the outskirts of a Chinese megalopolis. The triangular relationship is framed by rough urban landscape, but captured with beautiful and subtle photography. Showing at MK2 Beaubourg and Espace Saint-Michel.

Là-haut (Up), Disney and Pixar's highly rated animation, out in France a few weeks ago, offers some more light-hearted entertainment. In this simple but beautiful story a 78-year-old man dreams of seeing the wilds of South America, so ties enough balloons to his house to make it fly there. See it in 3D at MK2 Quai de Loire.

Another of this year's animations, still in cinemas, is Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo sur la falaise (Gake no ue no Ponyo). One of Miyazaki's "typical" fairytales, about a 5-year old boy's encounter with a goldfish princess. Miyazaki, the Japanese writer and director from a host of excellent animated films such as Princess Mononoke (1997) and Spirited Away (2001) is famous for his visually stunning animations and used 1613 pages of conceptual sketches just to develop the opening 12 seconds of undersea animation in Punyo sur la falaise.

Still showing is Ari Folman's brilliant Valse avec Bachir (Waltz with Bashir), an animation about the 1983 invasion of Lebanon. For those who haven't yet seen this moving anime-documentary, nominated for an Oscar and the Palm d'Or at Cannes, it is showing at MK2 Beaubourg. 

Mon Trésor (Or) (2004) picked up five awards at Cannes in 2004 for its stark depiction of female life in modern day Israel. Re-showing at the MK2 Beaubourg.

Elsewhere Paris je t'aime (2006) is being re-screened at Studio Galande on Tuesday and Wattstax (1973), a tribute to the LA Watts riots of 1965, is a documentary of African American music, showing today (Monday 24th August) at Saint André des Arts, at these times: 16h45, 19h15, 21h45.

Photo from www.allocine.fr/film

Bonapart Paris apartments

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