The 54th edition of Critics’ Week, La Semaine de la Critique, will open with Elie Wajeman‘s The Anarchists and close with Mathieu Vadepied’s feature debut, a comedy, Learn by Heart. The complete lineup, with descriptions from the festival:
Elie Wajeman‘s The Anarchists. Opening night. “The film speaks of engaged rebellious youth. With this very contemporary film and following Aliyah, the filmmaker takes us back to the times of the anarchists, amongst the descendants of the Paris Commune. It will be the film’s thrilling leads, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Tahar Rahim, first collaboration.”
Mathieu Vadepied’s Learn by Heart. Closing night. “This mischievous tale set in the suburbs of Paris is the coming-of-age of two children, split between what they are taught in school and their own strange and—to say the least—startling experiences. These two children, personified by staggering actors, will bring their fresh and affectionate breath of air to close the 54th Semaine de la Critique.”
Louis Garrel’s Les Deux Amis. Special screening. It “seduced us and charmed us with the elegant direction and its freedom, oscillating between light tones and more serious ones. The pleasure of this funny and delicious film irradiates from the wonderful complicity shared by the three actors: Louis Garrel, Vincent Macaigne and Golshifteh Farahani.”
Han Jun-hee’s Coin Locker Girl. Special screening. “Only after her birth, Il-young gets abandoned in a coin-locker box #10 of a subway station. Eight years later, she is sold off to Chinatown, to a woman named as Mom. Mom rules over Chinatown and has taken in useful children like Il-young as family. Mom is ready to do anything that is profitable but Il-young thinks Mom the only home for her and grows up to become Mom’s most useful child. One day, when Il-young is sent to collect interest from those who made loan from Mom’s money, she encounters with Suk-hyun who treats her like no other person she’d met before. Suk-hyun who is the son of a heavy debt owner, introduces Il-young to a warm and hospitable world, different from what her Mom has shown her. For the first time, Il-young becomes curious about the outside life of Chinatown.”
There are seven features in competition:
Augusto Cesar Acevedo’s Land and Shade “takes place in a sugarcane plantation in Colombia. It is a slice of life, torn between the age-old ties to this land and the urge to leave it behind. The sharp sense of the location and the space, driven by the masterful direction, leads us to a time in which the bodies take root.”
Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea “tells the story of two African immigrants who reach the Italian coast. Together, they will attempt to adapt to this new life in which they will have to go different paths in order to achieve their personal goals. The journey of these two friends tackles the exile issue, the hopes and disappointments that come along with it.”
Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant. “Beautifully unfolds the complicated ties connecting three teenagers on holidays on a lake shore. Surrounded by the magnificent and imposing nature, they defy its laws, just like they defy the ones imposed by the other giants, the adults, who they are very suspicious of.”
Clément Cogitore’s The Wakhan Front, “the daily account of French soldiers sent in Afghanistan, isolated in the middle of the desert and experiencing mysterious disappearances. In this strange circumstances, they will acknowledge what the power of faith is. Carried by Jérémie Renier, this bewitching film gathers the raising talents of French cinema Kévin Azaïs, Swann Arlaud and Finnegan Oldfield.”
Santiago Mitre’s Paulina, a “splendid portrait of an dedicated woman, having to face her own beliefs. By following her frantic journey, the film is also a reflexion, both luminous and intelligent, on politics and justice.”
Arab and Tarzan Nasser’s Dégradé, “a black comedy by the two Palestinian brothers Arab and Tarzan Nasser, is shot in the Gaza Strip, where the directors live. The film’s cheery nerve draws an extremely vivid portrait of women trapped in a beauty salon. Outside, the madness of men is raging. This is an offbeat and raw look on people living in an asphyxiated territory. The film is a great opportunity to admire once again the performance of the magnificent Hiam Abbass.”
Trey Edward Shults’s Krisha. “This first film from a young wonder director plunges us in the middle of a bitter family conflict, mainly embodied by non professionals actors. Krisha is the caustic portrait of a woman under influence, certainly a new exciting and audacious cinema experience.” And it won both the jury and audience awards at SXSW last month.
Artistic Director Charles Tesson on this year’s selection
And there are ten shorts in competition:
Isabella Carbonell’s Boys.
Andrei Cretulescu’s Ramona.
Yann Delattre’s Monsters Turn Into Lovers.
Marina Diaby’s The Dragon’s Demise.
Lucky Kuswandi’s The Fox Exploits the Tiger’s Might.
João Paulo Miranda’s Command Action.
Kevin Phillips’s Too Cool for School.
Fulvio Risuleo’s Varicella.
Sonejuhi Sinha‘s Love Comes Later.
Patrick Vollrath’s Everything Will Be Okay.