GFF Exclusive Review: Papicha

In this debut feature by director Mounia Meddour, “Papicha” (2019) is about Algerian girls in the late 1990s trying to cling to freedom and self expression during a rise of an extremely conservative Islamic fundamentalism that literally threatens their lives. Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) lives and studies at a women’s university where there is a culture of sisterhood and fun. The girls sneak out to go drinking and dancing at night, are boisterous and play practical jokes. They’re mostly carefree but cautious of having to lie to police and cover their heads if they are stopped. She loves fashion and is constantly sketching new ideas and making clothes for her peers, selling them out of a nightclub bathroom.

GFF Exclusive Review: Les Traducteurs (The Translators)

"The Translators" is a stylish thriller which lands somewhere been an Agatha Christie whodunit and a “Now You See Me” (2013) sleight of hand caper. The twists and turns come thick and fast as we unravel the identity of the mysterious author Oscar Brach, and the source of the blackmail letter threatening to leak his latest manuscript and cause financial ruin. Publisher Eric Angstrom (Lambert Wilson) brings nine translators to a remote high security manor house to translate a long awaited book – Dedalus Vol. III – from French into various other languages.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 14: Marion Cotillard

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 15 is Marion Cotillard, and writer Joan Amenn discusses Cotillard's performance in “Macbeth”.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 23: Isabelle Huppert

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 23 is Isabelle Huppert, and writerCaz Armstrong discusses Huppert's performance in "Elle".

Les Miserables (2019) Review

With his feature debut, “Les Miserables”, writer/director Ladj Ly creates narrative that’s boiling with tension as it displays the slow rise of rebellion and anarchy in a French city. Now, I know what you’re thinking, is this another adaptation of the iconic novel by Victor Hugo or the musical – it’s not. Ly’s film is more of a modern take on the rebellious nature of the story and is inspired by 2005 riots that took place in Paris suburbs and across France. It has viewers follow the perspective of Stephane Ruiz (Damien Bonnard), a new officer that comes from a small province and transfers to a suburb of Paris called Montfermeil.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 30: Emmanuelle Riva

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 50 actresses. Our first piece is on Emmanuelle Riva, who won a BAFTA for her performance in Michael Haneke's 2012 film "Amour".

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.

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.15: Raw

Horror cinema has enjoyed a real purple patch in the last decade, and arguably the most exciting, inventive and disturbing release of the 2010s is “Raw”, the debut feature for French writer-director Julie Ducournau. The film plays out as an unholy marriage between a coming-of-age tale and a cannibal horror story, in which a young vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier) takes her first steps into adulthood as she begins her studies at veterinary college.  

LFF Review: I Lost My Body (J’ai Perdu Mon Corps)

“I Lost My Body” (2019) is the first feature film by director Jérémy Clapin. It was shown as part of the “Dare” stream at London Film Festival 2019 which was described as “In-your-face, up-front and arresting: films that take you out of your comfort zone”. That certainly is a good description of this film. The Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner engages all the senses to take you on a melancholic and emotional journey towards a gruesome end.

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