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30th Alliance Française French Film Festival

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
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See the best French Films of the last year on the big screen
The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival has grown to become the biggest festival of French cinema in the world outside of France. In Brisbane, it runs for March 14 through to April 14 and tickets are on sale now. Don't miss this chance to see the best French Films of the last year on the big screen a Palace Centro and Palace Barracks.



The Festival

The festival features 54 commercially successful or critically acclaimed French movies. In fact, the movies have received a total of 61 nominations for the 2019 César awards. During the festival, you will see movies that touch on everyday life through to epic and fantastic stories. Styles will range of neorealism to surrealism. You don't have to be a fan of French cinema to find something to enjoy.

The locations

Brisbane will host the festival at Palace Cinemas in Centro in Fortitude Valley and Barracks near Roma Street Station. Both are great venues with lots of places to eat and drink nearby. Centro has the widest range as it is on James Street as well as others options closer to the centre of the valley. The Barracks has fewer options, but there is still a choice that will everyone's tastes and budget.

Palace Centro hosts the Brisbane French Film Festival
Palace Centro hosts the Brisbane French Film Festival


Both cinemas sell a range of snacks, drinks, beer and wine, as well as meals. But if you want the perfect accompaniment to a French film, then a glass of wine and cheese board is perfect.

Some of the festival highlights

If you want to enjoy wine, cheese, cocktails and other food along with meeting and talking to other French Film fans, then check out the various special events. Remember, these tickets will sell very quickly, so get in now to reserve your spot.

A French Film Festival Event
A French Film Festival Event


Opening Night Gala: The Trouble With You (En Liberté!) on March 14

The Trouble With You was hugely popular with audiences when it was screened at Cannes in 2018. This screwball comedy is about the young widow of the local police chief who was killed in the line of duty. She discovers that in fact he was not the upstanding police officer she had thought, but had in fact corruptly sent a man to jail. She takes it on herself to help this man upon his release from prison, only to find he has trouble adjusted to life outside of a cell.

Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL


Wine and canapes with Sorry Angel (Plaire, aimer et courir vite)
on March 21

This romance is really about life in Paris in the 1990s. Jacques and Arthur have an age difference between them and of course different life experiences. Sorry Angel takes us on a journey through this love affair from chance encounter, through casual fling, ending up in a deep and transformative bond. The result is a vibrant and celebratory story of a relationship.

Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL


French wine and cheese with Wine Calling on March 27

This documentary is about the people behind last year's film festival feature, Back to Burgundy. These wine making rebels in the south of France shook up the established wine makers of Europe with a focus on quality, sustainability and much improved taste. Enjoy the movie with vin et fromage (that is wine and cheese for those who don't speak French but still enjoy French movies and food).

Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL


Closing night: Kiss & Tell (Voyez Comme On Danse) on April 14

The festival ends with Kiss & Tell, a collection of unconnected but related stories about life, love and the consequences. Go for the pre-screening cocktail party, stay for the movie.

Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL


A Selection of movies worth checking out

With so many great movies it is hard to just pull out a few, but the following standout as some of the festival highlights. If you are trying to decide on movies to see, remember think about the types of movies you normally enjoy, and you will find them represented at the French Film Festival. There will be a lot of drama that addresses ordinary life, but there will also be comedies (including some very silly comedies), horror, science fiction and even historical period pieces. Don't forget the experimental and avant garde films.

The Sisters Brothers (Les Frères Sisters)

This movie is causing some confusion among audiences, because it is a cowboy movie set in America with American movies stars and based on a book by a Canadian author. But the movie is French and is in many ways the perfect French take on the wild west.

Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
Image Courtesy of ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL


Instead of focusing on heroes, the focus instead is on the Sisters Brothers, who are hired gunmen. They are the type of brothers that would normally turn up as bad guys in a movie to be shot down by the heroes.

Ultimately The Sisters Brothers is a strange mix of cliches, historical facts, anachronisms, humour, realism, politics and more. Don't let the gun fights or the fact that everyone in 1851 is carrying a Navy Colt Revolver, despite the fact it had just been released in 1851, get in the way of the story that looks deeper into who these characters are.

[B]Sink or Swim (Le Grand Bain)[/B]

Synchronised swimming used to be the most popular sport in the Olympics. Of course, that was back in the 1930s and even then it always focused on women. Sink or Swim looks at how a group of men in their 40s rediscover their self-worth and masculinity in the face of ridicule through forming a sychronised swimming team and competing in competitions.

Courtesy of the French Film Festival
Courtesy of the French Film Festival


In Safe Hands (Pupille)

A child Theo is born and abandoned and now his future is in the hands of Child Welfare Services who must find a home for Theo. He is initially looked after by Jean, who is a foster carer before having the chance to be adopted by Alice. The movie tells the touching story of Alice, Jean, Theo and the people at Child Welfare as they build a future for a child.

Memoir of War (La Douleur)

Set in post-war France, Marguerite lost her husband during the war and had a relationship with an enemy soldier. The alternative English title, Memoir of Pain may be more appropriate.

Courtesy of the French Film Festival
Courtesy of the French Film Festival


An Impossible Love (Un Amour Impossible)

Those who are looking for a French love story, then An Impossible Love is for you. Looking at the love affair between Philippe, who is from a good family and Rachel, a modest office worker. While a child is born from their love, he refuses to marry beneath his social status.The story follows the continuing relationship that forms between Philippe, his lover and the daughter he denies.

Courtesy of the French Film Festival
Courtesy of the French Film Festival


Amanda (Amanda)

This is another story on the nature of family. David is just getting by in life, falling in love and living in Paris. He suddenly and shockingly finds that he must take care of his niece Amanda after his sister dies.

Courtesy of the French Film Festival
Courtesy of the French Film Festival


Guy (Guy)

Gauthier is filming a behind the scenes documentary about an aging music mega-star Guy Jamet because he has found out after his mother dies, that Guy is actually his father. With elements of mockumentary, comedy and heartfelt drama, this movie is a crowd pleaser and was selected as the closing film at Cannes 2018 Critic's Week.

Last Year at Marienbad (L'Année dernière à Marienbad)

When released in 1961 this stylistic surrealistic film polarised critiques. Set in a palace in a park that has been converted into a luxury hotel. Two people meet who may or may not have met before.

Courtesy of the French Film Festival
Courtesy of the French Film Festival


With rich an deep black and white visuals that wrap around an enigmatic story structure featuring unnamed characters. It mixes reality, imagination, memories and dreams together. Not a film for everyone, but well worth viewing on the big screen to get the full effect of this amazing film.

Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (Astérix: Le secret de la potion magique)

This 3D animated movie is for the young, the young at heart or those who want to recapture the time when they read Asterix and Obelix comics when they were young. In this story, they must help the druid Getafix find a young talented druid to succeed him and learn the secret of the magic potion that gives the defiant Gaulish village their super strength.

Courtesy of the French Film Festival
Courtesy of the French Film Festival


Remember, this movie is in French with subtitles, so it may be a bit of struggle for some younger viewers who don't speak French. But if your kids are a little older or you are just a fan of the comics, it will be a great movie to see.

Overall

Tickets are available now, so get in early for the best movies as they are likely to sell out quickly. Regular tickets are $20 each with discounts for concession card holders, children and people under 25. But also check out multi-movie and group passes.

Seeing a movie in the cinema is always a different experience than watching it at home, and enjoying a French film with a glass of wine and a cheese platter at a Palace Cinema is definitely a great experience.
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*Roy Chambers was invited as a guest
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Why? See the best French Films of the last year on the big screen
When: Day and Evening Sessions, 7 days a week
Where: Palace Centro and Palace Barracks
Cost: Normal Tickets from $20, with concessions, multi-movie passes and group discounts
Your Comment
This was a great event last year Roy.
by May Cross (score: 3|4636) 101 days ago
Love French cinema! Well done on the silver.
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1435) 102 days ago
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