Frédéric Boyer • Delegate General of the Directors’ Fortnight
“The European films are rebellious and inventive”
Here is an overview of the European films selected by Frédéric Boyer, the new delegate general of the Directors’ Fortnight, whose 42nd edition will run from May 13-23 at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.
Cineuropa: What trends in European production have you noticed in the films you’ve viewed and selected?
Frédéric Boyer: What is quite surprising and hopeful is that, despite the economic crisis affecting cinema at the level of production, distribution and sales, the European films are rebellious and inventive, working in new formats, offering directorial approaches with deconstructed narratives. There was no deliberate decision to select debut films, but those were the best films I saw and it’s in tune with what I like: discovering a line-up we know nothing or very little about. Now we have to showcase these films, enjoy them and help them cross borders.
All Good Children [+see also:
film profile] by Alicia Duffy
A dazzling film about one child’s fascination for another. A debut feature with lots of personality, totally unconventional in its directorial style and very focused on people’s expressions.
Everything Will Be Fine [+see also:
film profile] by Christoffer Boe
A highly impressive spy film in the same vein as Alan J. Pakula’s Klute and The Parallax View. A study of paranoia and lies by the 2003 Camera d’Or winner.
Benda Bilili! [+see also:
film profile] by Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye
A documentary about a film which is many years in the making, set in Kinsasha’s most dangerous suburbs and centring on a group of handicapped musicians who once lived in cardboard boxes and have since become famous.
Cleveland Vs. Wall Street [+see also:
interview: Jean-Stéphane Bron
film profile] by Jean-Stéphane Bron
The reconstruction of a trial that never took place between the residents of Cleveland, who were evicted due to the subprime crisis, and the Wall Street banks. An extraordinary documentary, a terrible and fascinating story filmed like a thriller with real people.
Young Girls In Black [+see also:
film profile] by Jean-Paul Civeyrac
The directorial style is both bold and traditional in this portrait of young girls who are very attracted by death. Poignant realism, skilful work on the camera shots, duration and characters’ expressions, as well as excellent dialogues.
Illegal [+see also:
interview: Olivier Masset-Depasse
film profile] by Olivier Masset-Depasse
A very moving and extremely realistic film about illegal immigrants, shot in a women’s detention centre. It features an extraordinary actress, breathless editing and a filming style somewhere between Ken Loach’s My Name Is Joe and the Dardenne brothers’ films.
The Four Times [+see also:
interview: Michelangelo Frammartino
interview: Savina Neirotti
film profile] by Michelangelo Frammartino
A sumptuous film bordering on documentary, but above all a great, almost silent film set in Calabria. A poetic journey in the tradition of Ermanno Olmi.
Little Baby Jesus of Flanders [+see also:
film profile] by Gust Vanderberghe
A very promising favourite pick. A very funny film which could be described as something between Jérôme Bosch’s paintings and a burlesque Bela Tarr, starring three stage actors with Down’s Syndrome, and shot in black-and-white scope.
Picco [+see also:
interview: Philip Koch
film profile] by Philip Koch
A rather harsh debut feature about teenagers in a centre for young offenders. A film centred on young actors, with well-written dialogue and a strong narrative. It’s very different from the films of the German New Wave.
Lily Sometimes [+see also:
film profile] by Fabienne Berthaud
A highly original and colourful film, which doesn’t correspond to the image we have of French cinema, but is more like independent cinema. Starring Diane Kruger and Ludivine Sagnier, it centres on the relationship between two sisters, one of whom is mad, and is set in a village in the countryside.
Todos Vos Sodés Capitans (“You Are All Captains”) by Olivier Laxe
A sensational film, shot in Tangiers in Morocco with the support of a children’s association. A documentary-style film which looks at how a director teaches filmmaking to youngsters who have never touched a movie camera before.
Love Like Poison [+see also:
film profile] by Katell Quillevéré
An exceptional debut feature by a director who previously had a short film selected in the Directors’ Fortnight. A rural-set film about redemption and our relationship with religious faith.
Stones In Exile by Stefen Kijak (Special Screening)
The director, who won acclaim for his film about Scott Walker, was approached by Mick Jagger to make a film from several reels of footage shot during the six months that the Rolling Stones spent recording the album Exile on Main Street in a villa on the Côte d’Azur.
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