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French French

DOXA is very proud to offer a second edition of French French, which includes a retrospective of the work of Claire Simon. Ms. Simon was part of DOXA last year with our first selection of French films, curated by Thierry Garrel. In addition to presenting Géographie humaine (Human Geography), Claire also gave a masterclass and presented a selection of clips from some of her earlier films. This brief glimpse of her extraordinary body of work was enough to launch the idea of a retrospective. We are extremely happy to welcome Claire Simon back to Vancouver with seven of her most celebrated films.

In addition to the retrospective, we have a selection of three new and exciting films. The Final Passage is a 3-D animated portrait of the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Caves. The screening will be accompanied by a talk from Dr. Jean-Michel Geneste and Patricia Marquet Geneste. Antoine Boutet’s South to North, a look at the largest water transfer project in China, is documentary on an epic scale. Nathalie Loubeyre’s film Flow Mechanics examines the refugee crisis through grainy surveillance footage and infrared cameras.

Read Thierry's essay here.

Nathalie Loubeyre | 
France |
 2015 | 
85 minutes

From its deliberately technocratic title to scenes of grainy security footage, Flow Mechanics speaks to the many ways in which debates over immigration render the experiences of those seeking refuge in Europe (and elsewhere) invisible.

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 5:00pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 2001 | 
78 minutes

Manon and Greg are in love. In a small village in Provence, the smell of the olive and the almond trees perfumes the warm summer air. As the weeks unfold, the novelistic quality of the film becomes entangled with one’s own memories of summers and that first obliterating love.

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 3:15pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 1995 | 
95 minutes

Capitalism, red in tooth and claw, is the basis of Claire Simon’s comic tragedy of business heartbreak. The brainchild of a former diplomat turned entrepreneur, Navigation Systèmes makes ready-to-eat meals for supermarkets. The business is barely a year old, but is already in major trouble.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 2:45pm
Pascal Magontier | 
France |
 2016 | 
26 minutes

Made entirely using 3-D models, The Final Passage is an uninterrupted journey through the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave that approaches the experience of the first humans who spent time in the cave 36,000 years ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 7:15pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 1992 | 
54 minutes

Shot entirely in the courtyard of a French kindergarten, the film is a marvel of protean shape-shifting action, not unlike watching the play of molecules in the universe, or macaque monkeys on the loose. As the kids pour forth for recess, play takes on epic proportions.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 5:45pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 2008 | 
122 minutes

Life inside a family planning clinic is the basis for Claire Simon’s seamless mixture of documentary and performance. The doctors and counselors are played by some of France’s most acclaimed actresses including Beatrice Dalle and Nathalie Baye, while the patients are all non-professional actors. Each episode provides a lens through which to better see and understand social mores, the roles of women, and the complexities of sexuality and love.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 3:00pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 2002 | 
107 minutes

For Mimi Chiola, story is a means of starting time all over again. On a warm sunny day in the seaside town of Nice, France, Mimi and her friend Claire walk and talk about her memories of the town. The sky is white and blue. You can virtually feel the heat, and smell the sea in the air. A natural-born raconteur, Mimi’s métier is memory.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 - 8:15pm
Antoine Boutet | 
France |
 2015 | 
110 minutes

China’s rapid urbanization, unfettered development, and human displacement have been the subject of many recent documentaries. Antoine Boutet follows the construction of the Nan Shui Bei Diao — South North Water Transfer Project — the largest water transfer project in the world.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 - 2:00pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 2015 | 
144 minutes

The Bois de Vincennes park in Paris, spans some 995 hectares and contains multitudes. Whether it’s gay men cruising for sex in the rain, or a hermit who makes a home deep in a remote section of the park, everywhere humans are busily going about their business. Whatever the situation, Claire Simon functions as our guide, engaging people in conversation with openness and curiosity that prompts almost an unbidden and often highly voluble response.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 - 8:30pm
Claire Simon | 
France |
 1990 | 
75 minutes

Dr. Jean-Marie Bouvier could be a character from a novel. With his thick rimmed glasses, dark suit, and undeniable charm, he is a study in competence and no-nonsense compassion, but also a lesson in how to be a good human being. Claire Simon’s first documentary came about when she began to follow Dr. Bouvier (her father’s best friend) in the last few months of his practice before retirement.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 - 6:45pm
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