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.

Chris Marker and Yannick Bellon | 
France |
 2001 | 
42 minutes

A portrait of photographer Denise Bellon, who pioneered the art of photojournalism, Remembrance of Things to Come is bookended by two Surrealist exhibitions (1938 and 1947). Or, as Marker terms them: “Two small Islands of strangeness, as between two hands.” Circuitous and discursive, the narrative is pinned in place by Bellon’s extraordinary eye.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 3:30pm
Chris Marker | 
France |
 2004 | 
58 minutes

A more fitting film for our electoral moment is hard to imagine than Chris Marker’s Chats perchés (The Case of the Grinning Cat). The film has the serendipitous timing that is the hallmark of great art: it is always relevant, and au courant — sometimes painfully so.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 9:00pm
Maki Berchache & Nathalie Nambot | 
France/Tunisia |
 2014 | 
75 minutes

The opening shot in Brûle la mer of roiling storm-tossed seas moving in perpetual motion sets the tone for the cinepoem to come. Elegantly constructed, the film employs the age-old device of someone telling you a story. In this case, the narrative is that of young Tunisian refugees (some 25,000) including Maki and his two brothers, who fled their country after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution.

Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 8:15pm
Jérôme Clément-Wilz | 
France |
 2016 | 
63 minutes

When a transgender ex-schoolteacher named Karen travels to the US to work with an old cowboy in an extended series of "Pony Play" sessions, the rituals of domination and submission between trainer and trainee must be strictly observed. In the arena where they work, Karen is taught the rigors of donning a bit and bridle, how to walk in ornate leather hooves, and how to pull a cart.

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 9:30pm
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 9:30pm