This year, the Francophone selection of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) promises to be very rich and heterogeneous and will delight all lovers of dark rooms with a wide variety of genres: from award-winning films to documentary nuggets and breathtaking thrillers.
VIFF will take place from September 29 to October 9.
Cannes selection and VIFF regulars
The festival program honors the winners of Cannes. the resounding Rodeo by Lola Quivoron, awarded in the category “Un certain regard” at the Cannes Film Festival, follows Julia (Julie Ledru), a fierce loner who demonstrates her predatory nature by cheating an unlucky seller of her motorcycle.
We also find Flight by Pietro Marcello. Based on the Russian novel Scarlet Sails by Alexander Grin and presented at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2022, this romantic coming-of-age tale follows the journey of a young woman ostracized by her small French village. Enchanting and lyrical, Flight is imbued with a healthy dose of post-war realism.
As for the regulars, François Ozon presents peter von kanta completely cinematic and reverse version of the film Bitter Tears by Petra von Kant by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Denis Ménochet plays the role of Peter, a director of successful films – who is not by chance the spitting image of Fassbinder – who falls in love with Amir (Khalil Gharbia), a young man of 22 years, and who undergoes the ultimate love at first sight when Amir, who has become a successful actor, drops him.
Patrice Leconte offers an elegant adaptation of Maigret with Gérard Depardieu as a detective with a natural charisma and the character’s own melancholy. The writer and director sets the story in a 1953 Paris just recovering from World War II, contrasting the dark atmosphere of the city’s ordinary people with the sparkling opulence of glamorous socialites and aristocrats, creating a version thoughtful – yet thrilling – classic crime novel.
Comedies, thrillers and teenage love
Fumer makes you cough by Quentin Dupieux brings together beautiful people (Gilles Lellouche, Adèle Exarchopoulos,
Alain Chabat or Vincent Lacoste to name but a few) around superheroic members and inveterate smokers of the Tobacco Strength who must undergo a week of team training in an isolated bunker. A must for spandex lovers.
More versed in satire, Torment on the Islands d’Albert Serra plays a Benoît Magimel High Commissioner of French Polynesia, who has a problem on his hands: the Marines French have arrived on the islands, and their presence coincides with rumors that nuclear tests will soon begin.
Cold sweats are at the rendezvous with As Bestas (The Beasts) by Rodrigo Sorogoyen. As Bestas, selected at the Cannes Film Festival, is a thriller rural in the Galician countryside, with a striking Marina Foïs.
Always in a dark and mysterious atmosphere, Claire Denis ventures with Stars at Noon on the ground of Graham Greene – espionage and shady business in the tropics by updating Denis Johnson’s novel about Nicaragua, from the Revolution to the present day.
In a lighter style, Charlotte Le Bon makes her VIFF debut with Falcon Lake. The 2002 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight participant presents a film about early crushes, broken hearts and loss. Close by Lukas Dhont captures Léo and Rémi’s childhood with a sweet vision of youth and innocence, exploring the fragile nature of friendship and masculinity in a lyrical tour de force.
Committed films and documentaries
One Fine Morning by Mia Hansen-Løve follows Sandra (Léa Seydoux) who is struggling to support herself and her eight-year-old daughter, Linn, as a freelance translator. As her father Georg (Pascal Greggory) continues to lose his sight and memory due to Benson Syndrome, Sandra must navigate the labyrinthine system of national nursing homes, with all their financial burdens and logistical nightmares.
The mountain, written and directed by Thomas Salvador, celebrates the great love of summits of Pierre, a robotics engineer. After attending a business conference in Chamonix, he calls in sick, buys climbing gear and heads for the Alps. This is a fateful and irrational turn. Paris, work, family, all that doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that speaks to him is the mountain.
As for documentaries, See you Friday, Robinson by director Mitra Farahani returns to the correspondence between Jean-Luc Godard and Ebrahim Golestan, between poetic contemplations, critical enigmas and mutual reverence, a reflection on the artist of the 21st century.
After the success of Bosch: The Garden of DreamsJosé Luis López-Linares invited the great French screenwriter, novelist, and director Jean-Claude Carrière to study the work of the great Spanish artist of the 18th century, Francisco Goya with Goya, Carrière and the ghost of Buñuel.
Finally, De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor paints a portrait of the human health system. This ethnographic film project reaches into the unseen depths of human bodies and the healthcare infrastructure that struggles to sustain them.
The VIFF will delight Francophone and Francophile moviegoers with this topical and quality selection.
For more information: www.viff.org