Happy Birthday To Céline Sciamma

The wonderful Céline Sciamma will be celebrating her birthday on the 12th November and if you’re familiar with our site then you know that we are HUGE fans of her work. For this piece, we want to discuss her career and celebrate her filmography and how she’s taking on the French film industry and its sexism. She may have only directed four feature films and one short, but Sciamma has already established herself as one of the icons of female filmmaker history. Her unique perspective and story-telling have helped to create engaging conversations with critics and cinephiles alike. Continue reading Happy Birthday To Céline Sciamma

In the Wake of 50/50: 10 Underseen French Films from Female Directors

Whether you have gotten into the “Blue is the Warmest Color” discourse waving a flag of strong opinion, or fallen head over heels for Céline Sciamma’s sweeping lesbian romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, it’s clear that French cinema is back on the upswing after years out of the spotlight in cinephile circles. With “Mustang” as the nation’s sole Oscar success in nearly a decade, it’s clear that France’s future of filmmaking is not with the old tradition, but with the new wave of younger female filmmakers on the rise, often blowing critics away on debut films. Continue reading In the Wake of 50/50: 10 Underseen French Films from Female Directors

ITOL 2019 Round-up: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

“Portrait Of A Lady On Fire” is a wonderfully subtle, minimalist film, one that trusts the audience’s ability to pick up on the slightest glance, the coyest smirk. It’s also worth nothing that the director is herself a queer woman, having known Haenel as a partner both professional and romantic, and reminding us that queer and trans folk should be taking the lead on LGBTQ+ cinema. Continue reading ITOL 2019 Round-up: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This is the female gaze like you’ve never seen it before. “Portrait”–a film set in Brittany, France in the 18th century–is a showcase of how the depths of insight and poignancy in a work of art comes as a result of the artist having a deep, loving, obsessive understanding of their subject. It is a film about two women on an island with hardly anyone else around them and the painfully, yet deliciously slow romance that materializes from a connection of their minds, bodies, and souls.

The film is thematically rich and daring, yet never once seeks to shove a message or agenda down your throat; it’s a love story, plain and simple. Writer/director Céline Sciamma clearly isn’t interested in subverting history in an effort to appease the needs of a contemporary audience–yet in spite of that, this is a film brimming with human truths. It is reminiscent of the underpinnings and themes found Greek and Gothic literature and poetry. Tender, yet complex and multifaceted–this is in no way a political film, but rather, a subtle social commentary on the kinds of job opportunities available to women in the 18th century. Continue reading Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire