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Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2014

CELEBRATING its silver anniversary, the 25th Alliance Francaise French Film Festival brings to Melbourne more than forty films  to its program this year. Hieu Chau explains which films you should consider catching.

France has an undeniably rich history in cinema with many considering the French New Wave – a movement during the late 50s and early 60s led by filmmakers such as Jean Luc-Goddard and Francois Truffaut – to be one of the most influential periods to have taken place in world cinema history.

Decades later, France still continues to be one of the most popular movie-producing countries in the world and with recent hits including Blue is the Warmest Color, Mood Indigo and The Intouchables, it’s no surprise why.

Entering its silver anniversary, the 2014 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival celebrates its 25th year and brings with it a huge lineup of contemporary and classic French features. Between March 5 – March 23, the Melbourne portion of the film festival will take place at various Palace Cinemas including the Kino on Collins St, Melbourne and Palace Cinemas Como on Chapel St, Prahran.

What Should You Catch?

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Mads Mikkelsen as the imposing Michael Kolhaas. Image supplied.

Fans of hit television series, Hannibal, won’t want to miss out on seeing Danish superstar, Mads Mikkelsen, on screen in the epic period blockbuster, Michael Kolhaas.  Adapted from a novella, this violent revenge film takes cues from classic samurai flicks such as Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa as well as American westerns.

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Action and comedy hijinks abound in the buddy-cop movie, On the Other Side of the Tracks. Image supplied.

After a bit of a laugh? After his headturning performance in the crowd-winning film, The Intouchables, Omar Sy once again finds himself in the world of comedy with his new film, On the Other Side of the Tracks. In similar vein to classic buddy cop films such as 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon, this action-comedy sees Sy’s plain-clothed detective team up with a slick cop from the city to track down the killers of a wealthy woman.

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After a hot run with the controversial film, Blue is the Warmest Colour, French actress Léa Seydoux returns with Grand Central. Image supplied.

If you’re still on a high from the award-winning film Blue is the Warmest Colour – which only recently was officially released in Australia and is still screening in cinemas – be sure to catch one of its beautiful stars, Léa Seydoux in the film, Grand Central, at the French Film Festival too. This romantic drama sees an unskilled worker at a nuclear reactor fall for a co-workers fiancé.

Finally, if you feel like you’re lacking in film education, this year’s festival will pay homage to legendary French filmmaker Francois Truffaut by showcasing three of his films: Finally, Sunday, Jules and Jim and the iconic, The 400 Blows.

Of course, the above recommendations are only but a sample of what’s to come. A stacked program of more than forty films ranging from documentaries to dramas to animated films to classics will be on hand ensuring that patrons won’t be starved for choice.

The 25th Alliance Francaise French Film Festival will take place between March 5 – 23 at participating Palace Cinemas across Melbourne. For more information about the film festival, including film descriptions, schedule or other resources, please visit the festival’s official website.

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