French French

DOXA is very proud to offer this, our third, and very special edition of French French with six new extraordinary films, and a program of the work of the most seminal filmmaker Chris Marker.

To quote our indefatigable curator Thierry Garrel, who worked with Marker during the production of many of these films: “Chris Marker was both a world traveller and a time traveller. Throughout his peripatetic life, he remained largely a secret cinéaste, although his name and his films (La Jetée/The Jetty, or Sans soleil, ranked third in Sight & Sound’s poll of the greatest documentaries ever made) have influenced generations of filmmakers.”

In advance of the major retrospective and multimedia event planned for the Cinémathèque française in 2018, DOXA is especially proud to offer this selection of some of Marker’s rarely seen work for Vancouver audiences. The timing is curious, and like so many of Marker’s films, particularly, almost painfully, relevant to our current moment in time.

From Swagger, Olivier Babinet’s bright, bold explosion of youthful energy, and some angst, to the more reflective and insular moments captured in Eliane de Latour’s Little Go Girls, this collection of contemporary French films speaks to the power, vibrancy, and vivre (in all its many possible connotations) of documentary cinema.

Read Thierry's essay here.

Download our French French brochure here.

Jean-Marie Barbe and Arnaud Lambert | 
France |
 2016 | 
144 minutes

“Who is Chris Marker?” — is the question posed by the directors/ interlocutors, and every answer reveals a different reality. Some of the recollections are funny and bittersweet, such as Wim Wenders getting blind drunk with Marker at a bar in Tokyo.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 12:00pm
Eliane de Latour  | 
France |
 2015 | 
80 minutes

Recalling the work of Portuguese master Pedro Costa, in particular his Fontainhas trio (Ossos, In Vanda’s Room, and Colossal Youth) Little Go Girls has the same almost magisterial quality of image. The women and girls who ply their trade initially regard de Latour’s camera with benign indifference. But the relationship between the women and the filmmaker gradually grows more trusting.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 4:30pm
Julia Hechler | 
US |
 2017 | 
10 minutes

In a Parisian neighbourhood, residents have devised a means of taking back their power and establishing their own identity through the creation of a slang called Verlan (back to front). -DW

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 9:30pm
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 9:00pm
Alice Diop | 
France |
 2016 | 
38 minutes

Along the sidewalks and cafés of Seine-Saint- Denis, groups of young men, dressed in hoodies and streetwear, talk with remarkable bluntness and honesty about love, desire, sex, and race. As one man says “White people experience love They were taught how.” Made with a shattering level of intimacy, Alice Diop’s film is both a cinepoem and a piercing statement on the nature of disenfranchisement.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 9:30pm
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 9:00pm
Chris Marker | 
France |
 1993 | 
116 minutes

Chris Marker’s expansive, nay, insanely encompassing portrait of his friend and colleague, Aleksandr Ivanovich Medvedkin begins with Medvedkin assailing the screen and stating: “Chris, you lazy bastard, why don’t you ever write to me, send me a letter, even that short...” So begins this epistolary film, composed of six different letters, each corresponding to a period of Medvedkin’s life and work. The film is Marker’s post-mortem answer (and tribute).

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 5:00pm
Chris Marker | 
France |
 1999 | 
55 minutes

Two of Chris Marker’s remarkable film portraits, including his masterful and deeply personal analysis of the work of Andrei Tarkovsky. Edited some twelve years after Tarkovsky’s death for the collection Cinéma, de notre temps (Cinema of Our Times), Une Journée d’Andrei Arsenevitch (One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenevich) is an extraordinary love letter from one filmmaker to another, and a memento mori of the most profound kind.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 3:30pm
Chris Marker | 
France |
 1977 | 
180 minutes

Here is Chris Marker’s magnum opus in all its ferocious intelligence and scale Originally released in 1977, and reedited in 1996, the rise and fall of the Left is ostensibly Marker’s subject, the great political revolutions of the 60s and 70s, totemic figures like Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, composed like a heaving orchestra of archival material, demonstrations, occupations, and blood in the streets.

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 5:00pm
Claire Simon  | 
France |
 2016 | 
119 minutes

The title, translated as “the entrance exam,” is an in-depth and intimate look at the students looking to gain a place in La Fémis, one of the most famous and prestigious film schools in the world (Simon herself was the Head of Directing Studies).  As the budding cinéastes struggle to find a place, the narrative spends a good deal of time with their interlocutors, pulling back the curtain to reveal the depth of seriousness and care that is extended to the students.

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 6:30pm
Friday, May 12, 2017 - 3:00pm
Chris Marker | 
France |
 1989 | 
80 minutes

The legendary 13-part series, commissioned by Arte and the Onassis Foundation (that kept Marker’s work unavailable for twenty years), alights at DOXA in its first three episodes Interviews were filmed in Tbilisi, Athens, Paris, Berkeley, and Tokyo. The cast of character is equally expansive with composers, filmmakers, philosophers, and friends including Iannis Xenakis, Michel Serres, Cornelius Castoriadis, George Steiner, Oswyn Murray, Michel Jobert, and Elia Kazan. But what is most startling are the ideas examined.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 4:30pm
Olivier Babinet | 
France |
 2016 | 
84 minutes

From its bravura opening POV shot, swooping like a bird of prey over an urban nightscape, Olivier Babinet’s film announces itself with a grand flourish. Swagger, indeed!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 6:30pm
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 12:30pm