Category Archives: FEATURED SELECTION

TIP TOP / TIP TOP

SYNOPSIS
In his breakthrough film La France (2007), Serge Bozon created a singular
anachronistic war movie/musical hybrid. Tip Top similarly upends
categories: This unclassifiable policier audaciously balances slapstick
with a fiercely intelligent probing of the still-knotty legacy of colonialism.
Internal-affairs officers Esther Lafarge (Isabelle Huppert) and Sally
Marinelli (Sandrine Kiberlain) are summoned to the town of Villeneuve
to investigate the murder of an Algerian informant named Farid. The
oddly matched cops are themselves surveilled by Robert Mendès
(François Damiens) the local flic to whom Farid reported. Now grooming
a new, younger informant, Younès (Aymen Saïdi), Robert is begrudgingly
tolerated by Villeneuve’s Algerian residents, who must endure his horrible
Arabic. During his snooping, Robert will become aware of the highly
unorthodox off-duty practices of Esther and Sally; the bizarre bedroom
behavior of this law-enforcement duo provides Tip Top with most of its
bracing, askew humor. Yet while the film regards these two idiosyncratic
cops with affection, Esther and Sally are nonetheless agents of a corrupt
institution. After introducing several plot twists, Tip Top ends abruptly,
its case still unsolved. The investigation is ongoing, much like France’s
uneasy reckoning with its past.

“Smart, surprising, marvelously realized.”
—Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

DIRECTOR
Serge Bozon

SCREENPLAY
Odile Barski, Serge Bozon and Axelle Ropert

CAST
François Damiens
Isabelle Huppert
Sandrine Kiberlain

GENRE Comedy
LANGUAGE Arabic, French
RUNNING TIME 106’
PRODUCTION Belgium, France, 2013
FORMAT(S) Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Kino Lorber

La Vénus à la fourrure / Venus In Fur

SYNOPSIS
After his nimble adaptations of the plays Death and the Maiden (1994) and Carnage (2011), Roman Polanski continues his success in bringing the stage to the screen with Venus in Fur, which originally premiered off-Broadway in 2010. (David Ives, the playwright, co-wrote the film’s script with Polanski.) In this constantly surprising, multilayered two-hander, stage writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric), all alone in a Parisian theater, despairs of ever finding the right actress for his adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s infamous 1870 novella Venus in Furs. Just as he’s about to leave for the day, in walks Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski’s wife), a blowsy performer who insists that she has an audition scheduled—and who just happens to have the same name as the character she’s trying out for. Highly dubious, Thomas relents, convinced that this coarse woman will never be right for the part. Yet as the two begin to rehearse, he is astounded to discover not only that Vanda has memorized the entire play but that she is capable of complete transformation, becoming the character right before his eyes. While reality and illusion become blurred, so, too, do the roles of seducer and seduced.

Venus in Fur finds Roman Polanski transferring a New York stage hit to the screen with maximum fidelity and facility, and a minimum of fuss.
—Scott Foundas, Variety

DIRECTOR
Roman Polanski

SCREENPLAY
Roman Polanski, David Ives, from the play by David Ives

CAST
Vanda: Emmanuelle Seigner
Thomas: Mathieu Amalric

AWARDS
Best Director – César Awards (2014); Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival (2013), Tribeca Film Festival and City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) French Film Festival (2014)

GENRE Comedy/Drama
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 96 min
PRODUCTION France, 2013
RATING Unrated
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Sundance Selects

PRICE RANGE *
$350 to $500 pending format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation. 

QUAI D’ORSAY / THE FRENCH MINISTER

SYNOPSIS
Directed by Bertrand Tavernier, this razor-sharp satire of politics—both those enacted on the world stage and within the corridors of workplaces—originated in first-hand experience: The film is adapted from graphic novels written by Antonin Baudry, who worked as a speechwriter for Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister during the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. (Baudry co-wrote the screenplay with Tavernier and Christophe Blain, who illustrated the books.) As the Baudry surrogate, Raphaël Personnaz plays Arthur, recently hired by the imperiously named, high-ranking diplomat Alexandre Taillard de Worms (Thierry Lhermitte), a man who speaks in orotund outbursts. These thickets of words, which grow more hilarious and nonsensical as the film progresses, combine egregious clichés, lofty quotations from the sages of ancient Greece, and impenetrable bureaucrat-speak. As Arthur scrambles to figure out just what, exactly, his highly capricious boss wants from him, the crisis in “Lousdemistan” (clearly a stand-in for Iraq) deepens. The new hire must also contend with the petty office squabbling of his territorial colleagues and their bids for power; meanwhile, the overweening Alexandre quite literally creates chaos wherever he goes.

With its broad performances, rapid-fire pacing, and rampant visual and verbal gags, Bernard Tavernier’s first out-and-out comedy doesn’t try too hard to hide its graphic-novel origins.
—Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine

DIRECTOR
Bertrand Tavernier

SCREENPLAY
Bertrand Tavernier, Christophe Blain, and Antonin Baudry. From the graphic novel by Christophe Blain and Abel Lanzac

CAST
Alexandre Taillard de Vorms: Thierry Lhermitte
Arthur Vlaminck: Raphaël Personnaz
Claude Maupas: Niels Arestrup
Stéphane Cahut: Bruno Raffaelli
Valérie Dumontheil: Julie Gayet
Marina: Anaïs Demoustier

AWARDS
Best Supporting Actor, Niels Arestrup – César Awards (2014); Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival (2013)

GENRE Comedy
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 113 min
PRODUCTION France 2013
RATING Unrated
FORMAT(S) DCP, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
IFC Films / Sundance Selects

PRICE RANGE*
$350 to $500 pending format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation. 

LA VIE D’ADELE / BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR

SYNOPSIS
Explosive, explicit, and profoundly empathic, Abdellatif Kechiche’s loose adaptation of Julie Maroh’s 2010 graphic novel is one of the best representations of the agony and ecstasy of falling in love. When high-school junior Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) first spots Emma (Léa Seydoux), a slightly older, proudly out beaux-arts university student, on the street, she is immediately smitten. Shortly after they reencounter each other at a lesbian club—which Adèle, still questioning her sexuality, has wandered into out of curiosity—the two young women begin a passionate, all-consuming romance. Kechiche closely traces the arc of Adèle and Emma’s tumultuous relationship: from the intoxicating bliss of their initial emotional and physical connection to the irrevocable devastation wrought by shattered trust and gnawing insecurities. Giving us a richer understanding of the couple’s dissolution, Kechiche intelligently explores the ways that the differences in socioeconomic status and career ambition that mark Adèle, who is training to be a nursery-school teacher, and Emma, fiercely determined to land her first painting exhibition, may have played a part in their sundering. But this achingly romantic film also reminds us how indelible the imprint of first love—and first heartbreak—remains.

Blue is the Warmest Color is too exceptional a film to be defined by its controversy.
—Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

An astounding, complex film about the ecstasy, the danger and the beauty of love.
—Tom Long, Detroit News

DIRECTOR
Abdellatif Kechiche

SCREENPLAY
Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix, from the graphic novel by Julie Maroh

CAST
Adèle: Adèle Exarchopoulos
Emma: Léa Seydoux

AWARDS
Palme d’Or and International Critics’ Prizes – Cannes Film Festival (2013); Most Promising Actress, Adèle Exarchopoulos – César Awards (2014)

GENRE Drama
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 179 min
PRODUCTION France, 2013
RATING NC-17
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Sundance Selects

PRICE RANGE*
$350 to $500 pending format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.

 

LES SALAUDS / BASTARDS

SYNOPSIS
Claire Denis’s scalding examination of the abuse of power and the sin of looking the other way may be the year’s most unforgettable film noir. Inspired by William Faulkner’s 1931 novel, Sanctuary, and the Sadean sex parties attended by Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other French higher-ups, Bastards centers on a revenge plot that begins tenuously but grows only more inexorable. Sea captain Marco (Vincent Lindon) reluctantly returns to Paris to assist his disgraced sister, Sandra (Julie Bataille): Her husband has just committed suicide, and her daughter, Justine (Lola Créton), is recovering in a clinic for participation in carnal acts so extreme that she may require a series of delicate operations. Convinced that Edouard LaPorte (Michel Subor), a DSK-like figure, is linked to both incidents, Marco plans his retaliation by stealthily ingratiating himself with LaPorte’s much younger wife (Chiara Mastroianni). But when the shipmaster discovers Sandra’s complicity in acts of unspeakable depravity, the revelations take on the force of Greek tragedy. Denis’s uncompromising film, her first to be shot on digital video by her frequent cinematographer Agnès Godard, lays bare the unpardonable act of remaining silent.

Bastards is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights.
—Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

Bastards skillfully deploys noir tropes-the alienated hero, the two-timing femme fatale, the ever-widening web of deceit-in the service of a larger political vision
—Dana Stevens, Slate

DIRECTOR
Claire Denis

SCREENPLAY
Jean-Pol Fargeau, Claire Denis

CAST
Marco: Vincent Lindon
Raphaëlle: Chiara Mastroianni
Sandra: Julie Bataille
Eduard Laporte: Michel Subor
Justine: Lola Creton

AWARDS
Official Selection – New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival (2013)

GENRE Drama
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 100 min
PRODUCTION France, 2013
RATING Unrated
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Sundance Selects

PRICE RANGE*
$350 to $500 pending format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.

L’IMAGE MANQUANTE / THE MISSING PICTURE

French narration:

English narration:

SYNOPSIS
How can a filmmaker portray incomprehensible barbarity, especially when he himself and everyone he knew and loved was directly affected by this horror? Rithy Panh ingeniously uses carved and painted figures to represent himself and his family (and many others), who had to flee Phnom Penh for agricultural labor camps on April 17, 1975, the day that the Khmer Rouge seized Cambodia’s capital city. In calm, occasionally astringent first-person narration (read by Randal Douc), we learn that Panh was 13 when Pol Pot began his genocidal regime; by 1979, the year that the Khmer Rouge leader was removed from power, the director’s parents, sisters, and a niece and nephew were dead, among the millions who perished. The title refers to the fact that almost all of the documentary footage—snippets of which is interspersed throughout the film—that exists from the Khmer Rouge’s horrific four-year reign is nothing but propaganda that glorifies the party and its commander. What was never documented was the legions of Cambodians and their relentless suffering. Against intricately detailed dioramas, Panh’s small clay human surrogates inexorably, almost magically, assume the qualities and dimensions of real people.

Meticulous direction. Panh honors the Khmer Rouge’s victims while staging the agony and responsibility of memory itself.
— Richard Brody, The New Yorker

DIRECTOR
Rithy Panh

SCREENPLAY
Rithy Panh

CAST
French narration: Randal Douc
English narration: Jean-Baptiste Phou

AWARDS
Un Certain Regard Prize – Cannes Film Festival (2013); Official Selection – Academy Awards (2014), Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival (2013)

GENRE Documentary/Drama
LANGUAGE French or English
RUNNING TIME 92 min
PRODUCTION France, Cambodia, 2013
RATING Unrated
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Strand Releasing

PRICE RANGE*
$300 negotiable upon format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.

LE PASSE / THE PAST

SYNOPSIS
Full of the same astute and compassionate observations about unraveling, unhappy relationships, conjugal and otherwise, that distinguished his previous work, A Separation (2011), Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film is set in a working-class suburb of Paris. It is there that Marie (Bérénice Bejo) lives in a cramped house with three children, her two daughters and the young son of her boyfriend, Samir (Tahar Rahim), whom she hopes to marry soon. But before the couple can even begin to consider wedding plans, Marie must finalize her divorce from her estranged husband, Ahmad (Ali Mousaffa), who flies into Paris from Tehran for the court procedure. While staying with his soon-to-be ex-wife, Ahmad immediately becomes aware of the resentment, rage, and hurt harbored by many of those living under Marie’s roof: Her older daughter, the teenage Lucie (Pauline Burlet), for example, seems to be excessively hostile to Samir. As Ahmad tries to make sense of all this misery, including his own with Marie, Farhadi masterfully mines the regrets that have bedeviled The Past’s adult characters—whose despair permanently marks the younger ones.

Farhadi proves again that he can craft a domestic drama that has all the tension of a thriller.
—Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

DIRECTOR
Asghar Farhadi

SCREENPLAY
Asghar Farhadi

CAST
Marie: Bérénice Bejo
Samir: Tahar Rahim
Ahmad: Ali Mosaffa

AWARDS
Best Actress, Bérénice Bejo – Cannes Film Festival (2013); Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival (2013), César Awards (2014)

GENRE Drama/Mystery
LANGUAGE French, Persian
RUNNING TIME 130 min
PRODUCTION France, 2013
RATING PG-13
FORMAT(S) 35mm, DCP, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Sony Pictures Classics

PRICE RANGE*
$300

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.

ISRAEL CONFIDENTIAL / THE GATEKEEPERS

SYNOPSIS
Dror Moreh’s incomparable documentary couldn’t be any more timely or urgent. The Gatekeepers offers the most privileged of insider information, consisting of sit-down interviews with six former heads of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, which was formed in 1949, year after the country declared its independence. All six men are deeply critical of their nation’s policies—particularly of Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank after the Six-Day War in 1967—a position that has only intensified since they left the intelligence agency. Dispassionately recounting the targeted assassinations of militants, the administering of torture of Palestinian prisoners, and the other brutal tactics that were at their disposal during their time in office, these half-dozen experts make clear that the Israeli occupation is untenable; all support, to some degree, the two-state solution. As these fascinating interviewees trace the evolution of their thinking on the enormous toll—physical and moral—of the occupation, they speak not with sanctimoniousness but with pragmatism and stinging clarity.

It is hard to imagine a movie about the Middle East that could be more challenging to conventional wisdom on all sides of the conflict… It is guaranteed to trouble any one, left, right, center or head in the sand, with confidence or certainty in his or her own opinions.
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times

DIRECTOR
Dror Moreh

SCREENPLAY
Dror Moreh

CAST
Ami Ayalon
Avi Ditcher
Avraham Shalom
Carmi Gillon
Yaakov Peri
Yuval Diskin

AWARDS
Official Selection – Academy Awards (2013)

GENRE Documentary
LANGUAGE English, Hebrew
RUNNING TIME 101 min
PRODUCTION France, Belgium, Israel, Germany, 2013
RATING PG-13
FORMAT(S) 35mm, DCP, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Sony Pictures Classics

PRICE RANGE*
$300

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.

AUGUSTINE

SYNOPSIS
Alice Winocour’s assured first feature explores the real-life doctor-patient relationship between the nineteenth-century French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon) and the illiterate 19-year-old housemaid of the title (played by Soko, best known as a pop singer). After an inexplicable seizure renders half her face paralyzed, Augustine is sent to Charcot’s clinic in Paris, where he has established himself as one of the foremost authorities on “hysteria.” Revered by all, the solemn doctor (who would later be one of Sigmund Freud’s teachers) selects Augustine to be one of the prized patients—under hypnosis, and often naked—used in his weekly demonstrations to other physicians about the possible biological causes of this exclusively female mental disorder. As Charcot continues his work with Augustine, he crosses several ethical lines—a violation that makes her aware of her own ability to fight back. Thanks to Lindon’s and Soko’s intensely committed performances, and to Wincour’s intelligent, non-didactic presentation of the era and its long-outmoded, exploitative practices, Augustine offers viewers an intimate look at the shifting balance between power and vulnerability.

Fiercely yet faithfully imagined by… Alice Winocour, [the film] is not exclusively a mystery. It’s also part love story, part horror story, as well as a parable of gender, power and the enduring enigma that is the mind-body connection.
—Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

DIRECTOR
Alice Winocour

SCREENPLAY
Alice Winocour

CAST
Augustine: Soko
Professor Charcot: Vincent Lindon
Constance: Chiara Mastroianni

AWARDS
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival (2012), City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) French Film Festival (2013)

GENRE Drama
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 102 min
PRODUCTION France, 2012
RATING Unrated
FORMAT(S) DCP and Blu-ray

DISTRIBUTOR
Music Box Films

PRICE RANGE*
$250 to $400 pending format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.

LE SOMMEIL D’OR / GOLDEN SLUMBERS

SYNOPSIS
An elegiac film structured around absence, Davy Chou’s documentary commemorates the glory years of Cambodian cinema, spanning roughly 1960 until 1975. During this decade and a half, some 400 movies were made, almost all of them destroyed by the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, which also killed or forced into exile several prominent actors and directors. Chou, himself the grandson of Vann Chan, one of the most notable producers during Cambodian cinema’s heyday, speaks with filmmakers and performers who survived this brutal era, including Dy Saveth, a screen legend who starred in almost 100 films—and who now works as a dance instructor. With precious little extant footage from this time to include in his project, Chou instead asks his interviewees, whether those who worked in the industry or cinephiles, to recall in detail movies last seen four or five decades ago, thus bringing to life works that have long since been erased. These profoundly affecting remembrances of plots, actors’ faces, and movie houses register as nothing less than a vital act of recuperation in a nation riven by unfathomable loss and barbarity.

While Golden Slumbers spotlights Chou’s discovery of his filmmaking lineage, the young filmmaker is clearly looking to the future.
—Film Comment

A séance of sorts, summoning the spirits of films past and finding remnants in the present through the reminiscences of surviving filmmakers and actors and, poignantly, through song.
—Center for Asian American Media

DIRECTOR
Davy Chou

SCREENPLAY
Davy Chou

CAST
Ly Bun Yim
Ly You Sreang
Yvon Hem
Dy Saveth

AWARDS
Official Selection – Berlinale, New York Asian Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival (2012)

GENRE Documentary
LANGUAGE French, Khmer
RUNNING TIME 96 min
PRODUCTION France, Cambodia, 2012
RATING Unrated
FORMAT(S) HDCam, Blu-ray, and DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Icarus Films

PRICE RANGE*
$200 to $350 pending format

*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.