TIFF 2017 Movie Review: VISAGES, VILLAGES (Faces Places)(France 2017) ***** Top 10

 

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Faces Places Poster
Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

Directors:

JRAgnès Varda

Stars:

Jean-Luc GodardJRLaurent Levesque

Faces Places have received high critical praise from critics at Cannes, many calling it a masterpiece. That might be too big a term to use for this little personal film but VISAGES VILLAGES is simply the most delightful and personal film at the festival.

Director Agnes Varda (wife of the late Jacques Demy), now 89 is famous for her films, photographs, and art installations that focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinct experimental style.

In this latest and perhaps her last doc (she is losing her vision), she and fellow friend and artist known as JR travel around France, particularly the North in their photo camion to take pictures of the people they visit. At Le Havre, for example they photograph the images of three wives of the dockworker and paste them on stacked containers.

In a deserted mining town, they paste the photograph of the last woman (wife of a miner) still staying in the old house district. When asked the reason she does this, she replies it is too demonstrate the power of imagination.

No doubt about that, this film is personal, inspiring, powerful, sad and happy and perhaps ‘masterpiece’ might be really an accurate term to describe this film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmHG5HXYc9w
 

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TIFF 2017 Movie Review: LES GARDIENNES (THE GUARDIANS) (France/Switzerland 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Guardians Poster
Women are left behind to work a family farm during the Great War.

Director:

Xavier Beauvois

Stars:

Nathalie BayeIris BryLaura Smet
 
LES GUARDIENNES (THE GUARDIANS) is director Xavier Beauvois’ (LE PETIT LIEUTENANT) handsomely mounted period piece of World War II told during the period of 4 years from 1916, the start to end.

It is a story that needs to be told – of what effects the war as well as modernization had on a typical farm family in France.

The women of the Pardier farm, under the deft hand of the family’s matriarch (Nathalie Baye in arguably her best role), must grapple with the workload while the men, including two sons, are off at the front. Her husband, daughter and , grand-daughter remain with her. She seeks the aid of an outsider, a strong 25-year old orphan, Francine (Laura Smet) who turns out to be an excellent worker.

When Francine and on of the sons fall in love, the trouble starts. Beauvois’ film is almost perfect in he creation of the war atmosphere and of rural France. The harvesting and planting seasons are beautifully captured on film.

The film also does not gear towards the typical Hollywood ending but a realistic credible one instead.

Trailer: (unavailable)

the guardians

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: BPM (120 BATTEMENTS PAR MINUTE) (France 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

BPM (Beats Per Minute) Poster
120 BPM. The average heart rate. The protagonists of 120 battements par minute are passionate about fighting the indifference that exists towards AIDS.

Director:

Robin Campillo

Stars:

Nahuel Pérez BiscayartArnaud ValoisAdèle Haenel

BPM, 120 battements par minute (beats per minute) centres on the French chapter of the protest organization ACT UP, and the dynamics, personal and public, amongst this disparate group of men and women affected by AIDS.

The film begins with one of its protests followed by a meeting that analyzes its effectiveness. In it, Campillo introduces his characters, its two leaders before concentrating on HIV positive Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart). Sean is a charismatic and very oratorical young militant who wades fearlessly into action, bolstered by the courage of his convictions.

To make his film more personal as well as effective, Campillo puts faces into the organization of ACT UP. Sean meets (at a rally) Nathan and has sex, beginning a relationship. The film also documents different reactions to the ACT UP activities. BPM, one of the best films of TIFF is definitely also its most powerful one.

Those who are HIV positive have the members of ACT UP and other activist groups to thank for the progress made as of today.

For a film that deals with the topic of death, BPM is full of life. A film that deserves to be angry for the fact that the privilege of living for many has almost been taken completely away.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fhO2A4SL24

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