The 9th French Film Festival

The festival that brin 5 you the breadth and dept of new French cinema.

WOrds: Tony McKibbin

This year's festival doesn't skimp on the big names. There are films by Claude Chabrol, Bertrand Blier, Claude Miller, OliVier Assayas and Benoit Jacquot, and starring in them you'll find Gerard Depardieu, Isabelle Huppert, Carole Bouquet, Emmanuelle Beart, Charles Berling, Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Bonnaire.

But are the films any good? Depends

'This year's festival doesn’t skimp on the big names, but

are the films any good? Depends on what you're looking for.’

on what you're looking for. Claude Miller follows Class Trip with another tale of neurosis, La Chambre des Magiciennes (‘ir * *). This time it’s Anne Brochet as a 30-year-old anthropology student plagued by headaches and familial tenSions, but where Class Trip was a visual charmer, here Miller utilises digital technology to give the film a ghostly Visual texture which might bring to mind von Trier’s The Kingdom. Bertrand Blier crams over a dozen

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well known actors into Les Acteurs Hr * *), and watches them play off each other and With their own public personas. Michel Serrault plays grumpy, Jean Yanne insulting, Michel Piccoli baffled and Jean-Pierre Marielle the misunderstood acting genius. Of course we expect this sort of self- congratulation from Hollywood, but here it seems even more rarefied: to get all the Jokes it’s not enough to be a Francophile, but ideally a cinema and theatre-90mg PariSian. Still worth the effort though.

The School Of Flesh (1% it it t) is Benoit Jacquot’s adaptation of a Mishima novel, updated to the 90s. Isabelle Huppert takes up With a man half her age, and the film explores that combination of initial aggrandisement that a young lover can offer, and the more complicated feelings of inferiority that can arise deeper into the relationship. There is nothing espeCIally new here, but like the recent films it resembles Perfect Love, Post-Coitum, Animal Triste and Night Wind - it's sensitive and exploratory.

The Macorel/e Affair ( * 1r 1r *) also belongs to an honourable though rather more developed French sub- genre: the serpentine, ironic thriller, where thrills are usually undermined by either a jokey tone, or by the film’s refusal to work suspense when a deadpan explanation of events can maximise ambiguity. if you've caught films by Raoul Ruiz or Daniele Dubroux

preview FILM

Sandrine Bonnaire lends the FFF some star attraction in Au Coeur du Mensonge

at the FFF in recent years you’ll know what to expect. Here Jean-Pierre Le’aud plays middle-aged Judge and ex- student radical Francois Marcorelle who's unsure whether he's dreamt a murder or committed it. lrene Jacob is

the Polish waitress With secrets to hide.

And finally, a word for Un Pont Entre Deux Rives (* 1" * ). Worthy of mention if for no better reason than that Gerard Depardieu stars as a cuckold husband and doesn’t destroy

the furniture. This is one of the great man’s subtler performances. He's a burlding worker constructing the bridge of the title, whose wrfe (Carole Bouquet) is haVing an affair With the bridge engineer (Charles Berling). The film's a piece of effective craftsmanship, co-directed by Depardieu himself.

I GFT, Glasgow & Fi/mhouse, Edinburgh, 77 Nov—2 Dec. See Film Index.

Jack and the Land of Dreams

.An essential part of your Scottish Christmas

One of Scotland’s greatest storytellers - traveller Stanley Robertson - ioins forces with Theatre Workshop’s acclaimed artistic team and top Scottish-folk musician David Francis, to create a

new Christmas show for all the family.


Thursday 7 - Friday 29 December. Performance times vary from 10.30am to 7.30pm.

Call the Box Office on 0131 226 5425

for more details.




16-30 Nov 2000 THE “31' 27