We have the pleasure of announcing the first program section for Kosmorama 2020: French cinema! This is a retrospect presenting the work of some of the most prominent French film directors from recent time.
The three directors whose work we have selected to screen at Kosmorama 2020, are all female. We believe it is important to emphasise the work of female film makers, especially as Kosmorama takes place in the same week as the International Women’s Day. It is, however, no effort to bring forward women’s contribution within French cinema. From Agnes Varda to Claire Denis, from Coline Serreau to Agnes Jaoui – there are plenty of important and successful French female film makers throughout the history. Not to mention the world’s first female film director and producer, Alice Guy. In 1896, at the age of 23, she directed her first film.
This program section is presented in collaboration with the Cinematheque in Trondheim. During Kosmorama 2020, the films will be screened at the Cinematheque as well as the cinema centre. The tickets for the screenings will be released along side with the complete selection for Kosmorama 2020.
Beau Travail opens with a shot of the shadows of a troop of French soldiers in Djibouti east in Africa. They are standing completely still under the burning sun to practice enduring the heat. The scene we witness is a memory of sergeant Galoup, who is writing a memoir from his time in the French Foreign Legion. We also witness several other military practices, combat training where the soldiers’ bodies are moving as in a ballet routine.
Galoup is a respected officer, but he envies the close bond his commander has with the men of the troop. It becomes even worse when a soldier named Santain joins the group, with beauty and social skills that both attract and provokes Galoup.
Beau Travail was the fifth feature of director Claire Denis, and it became her definite breakthrough. The film was critically acclaimed as a an astoundingly original, poetic and challinging work of art. Since then, it has gained position as one of the very best examples of European film making from the last couple of decades.
Film description: Trondheim Cinematheque
Ten year old Laure moves to a new place and meets the neighbor Lisa, who believes Laure is a boy. Intuitively, she introduces herself as Michaël and so she starts a double life: as Laure when home with her parents and sister, and as Michaël while out with friends. With creative means she hides her secret and builds her new identity. With time, the truth must come out and Laure must face the consequences of what started as an innocent game.
Director Celine Sciamma made a thrilling debut in 2007 with Water Lilies, a refreshing and believable film about the sometimes painful transition from a child to a young woman. Sciamma is a master at portraiting children, youth and women trying to break loose from the constrictions they live with. Tomboy was an extremely impressive sophomore feature. In 2019, Sciamma has received great acclamation for Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The film won best script in Cannes, and will be released in Norwegian cinemas around Christmas.
Film description: Trondheim Cinematheque and Oslo Cinematheque
Nathalie teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris. She is vividly passionate about her job, and enjoys engaging her students in the pleasures of thinking. She is married, with two children, and splits her time between family, past students and her quite demanding mother. One day, her husband suddenly announces that he is leaving her for another woman. Faced with a sudden and involuntary freedom, Nathalie must reinvent her life.
With Isabelle Huppert in an amazing lead, Things to Come is one of the great highlights in European cinema from the last five years. The film showed that Mia Hansen-Løve has evolved from talent to a full grown film artist on the level of names such as Celine Sciamma. She is considered one of the leading film makers in France, not to say all of Europe.
Film description: Trondheim Cinematheque