French French

 

Read Thierry Garrel's essay : A Certain Art of the Portrait

DOXA is very proud to offer our fourth edition of FRENCH FRENCH with five new extraordinary films, and a special program dedicated to the work of Alain Cavalier. Cavalier, awarded Maître du Réel (Master of the Real) at Visions du Réel Film Festival last year, and a renowned member of the Nouvelle Vague, authored a new style of film portrait more than thirty years ago. These beautifully observed capsules (13-minutes each) are encounters of the rarest kind—intimate, elegant and filled with a profound sense of humility. FRENCH FRENCH will include six of these original portraits, paired with Cavalier’s latest Six Portraits XL, created from material he filmed of six different friends over the course of many years.

Although all of the work presented in FRENCH FRENCH is informed by the idea of portraiture, each individual film deals very differently with this approach. Whether it is a vérité profile, like Marie Dumora’s Belinda, or the illustrated memories of 102-year-old man in Michèle Smolkin’s If You’re Hungry, Sing. If You Ache, Laugh (Si tu as faim, chante. Si tu as mal, ris)—the intent is to fully illuminate the reality of human experience in all of its complexity, pain and joy. The films in FRENCH FRENCH include:

Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 1987 | 
13 minutes

“Flowers are my life, flowers are my way,” explains Violette, who runs a little shop in a Parisian street for many years and has no time to care for a husband.

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 8:30pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 1987 | 
13 minutes

For 20 years in the basement of the Grand Café Royal Printemps in Paris, Amelia recognizes the sound of a 20-cent or 50-cent tip that customers leave for her after a visit to the lavatory.

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 8:30pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 1987 | 
13 minutes

Emilienne has braided crowns of orange blossoms, symbol of the pure virginal maiden, for 40 years. But she is sometimes dark and gloomy.

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 8:30pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 1987 | 
13 minutes

From madder roots, Anna prepares the famous red dye bath for the wool she spins by hand, as part of a project to reproduce 11th Century Bayeux tapestry.

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 6:00pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 1987 | 
13 minutes

One by one, Mauricette cuts, dyes, paints, embosses, creases, rolls, and pieces together the various petals of artificial roses.

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 6:00pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 1987 | 
13 minutes

Aline’s hands have been deformed by the large needle she uses to make wool mattresses. In addition to her life’s work, she has raised her five kids by herself.

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 6:00pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 2017 | 
52 minutes

In his tiny shop, Léon strips, cuts, glues, nails, polishes, and sometimes grabs a quick nap. More than a cobbler, he is the secret soul of the place.

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 8:30pm
Ruth Zylberman | 
France |
 2017 | 
103 minutes

Through detailed drawings, architectural maquettes, photos, and tiny replicas of furniture, Zylberman reconstructs the histories of the people who called the apartment block located on 209 rue Saint-Maur home.

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 6:00pm
Monday, May 7, 2018 - 8:45pm
Michèle Smolkin | 
France |
 2017 | 
60 minutes

Director Michèle Smolkin illustrates her uncle’s anecdotes through charming animation, archival footage, and a buoyant score. But the real star of the film is the timeless art of storytelling. As Sam remembers his childhood and teenage years, his experience as an army gunner during the war, and working with the French Resistance, the film becomes more than just a portrait of one man’s life and times.

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 2:15pm
Alain Cavalier | 
France |
 2017 | 
104 minutes

No. 4 Philippe

"In the morning, Philippe Labro, with his team around a table, prepares his four interviews for that afternoon. An actor, a writer, a theatre actor, and a boxer. Each is filmed in the studio in a single 28-minute take with tracking shots and mirror effects. No room for mistakes. This is high level sport.” -ALAIN CAVALIER

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 12:00pm