Francophone cinema shines at DiverCiné 2012
In the 1960s, probably the most popular form of international co-production was Franco-Italian. Both film industries were then still flush with directorial and thespian superstars, essentially constituting the aesthetic spinal column of international cinephilia. Sadly, such a summation would not be so happy today, especially in the land that’s still trying to recover from bankruptcy, Berlusconi, and bad TV.
Perhaps for this reason, Gallic producers are now making most of their deals elsewhere, especially among the countries that collectively comprise the unofficial linguistic confederation known as la Francophonie. That, at any rate, is the impression left by the seven features playing in DiverCiné 2012 between May 17 and May 26 at the Pacific Cinémathèque (with support from the Consulat général de France).
Of this septet, France has money invested in five features, being solely responsible for A Monster in Paris (an unsubtitled animated feature open to all ages on May 20). Canada (or, to be more precise, Quebec) has two movies in the running, the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar (May 25 and 26) and Anne Emond’s sexually provocative chamber drama, Nuit # 1 (May 18 and 21).
Belgium, the nation that was once to French humour what Newfoundland is to ours, is involved in no fewer than three productions, including the Dardenne brothers' neo-neorealist masterpiece The Kid with a Bike (May 19), the French-set Headwinds (May 19 and 20) and the gritty Congolese crime drama Viva Riva! (May 17 and 21). As for Omar Killed Me (May 17 and 18), most of the talent there is Moroccan.
As a kind of sidebar to the main event, the restored version of Georges Mèlliés`s ground-breaking 110-year-old short A Trip to the Moon will be screened no fewer than six times between May 21 and May 26, in conjunction with the 60-minute documentary The Extraordinary Voyage. This is a double bill that all lovers of Hugo will not want to miss.