RSS

Tag Archives: Cinema of France

La Guerre Des Boutons

Taking Offspring Number One off to Manuka to get a bit of the benefit of having the French Film Festival in town was quite an experience! I haven’t been to this cinema in years, and it hasn’t changed at all (even the popcorn tasted like it might have been there since my last visit!). But this film made it all worthwhile.

La Guerre Des Boutons (or The War of the Buttons for those who are too lazy to figure that out!) proved an excellent choice given that we don’t have time to see more than one this year. But really, how could you go wrong with any film in a French film festival?

The premise is simple; gangs of boys from two rival country towns in walking distance of each other elevate a long-standing tradition of conflict to all out war in which the greatest victory comes by the ceremonial removal of the buttons from the opponents’ clothes. It may not sound all that terrifying, but the wrath of a French mother towards a son returning home with no buttons is nothing to be scoffed at!

The film is a romp, but in that inimitable French style, the humour is offset by some brilliantly crafted characters, whose more human side is shown as the impact of the Algerian War is felt in the town. The balance between humour and the film’s more serious themes is impeccable, making La Guerre des Boutonsa film for all ages.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on Saturday, 17 March 2012 in Film, French Film, French Film Festival

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Il y a Longtemps Que Je T’aime

While I’ve never been such a Philistine as to decline to see a film because it is in an unknown language and I’d have to read the subtitles, there is usually a sense of emotional distance when you have to read the words yourself. In the case of I’ve Loved You So Long, I felt no such distance. Indeed, this is the first time I’ve cried in a movie since… I don’t know when. Sure, I am a callous bastard, but I often find myself moved by a film, only, rarely do I find myself as moved as I was by this one.

I’ve Loved You So Long focuses on the story of Juliette Fontaine coming from prison to live with her sister, who was a young adolescent when she was incarcerated. The tensions of living with an extended family are exacerbated by Juliette’s personality, which it is accepted is altered by her time in gaol. Philippe Claudel’s story is beautifully structured to release just as much information as is necessary to keep you interested, while retaining just enough mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I have never seen a French film that I haven’t liked, but I have also never seen a French film of this calibre. It is an outstanding piece of storytelling, full of pathos and charm.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on Sunday, 21 December 2008 in French Film

 

Tags: , , , ,