DOXA Documentary Film Festival doubles down with French French series

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      The DOXA Documentary Film Festival is an annual spring highlight for film and documentary lovers in Vancouver, and it has even more to look forward to in its 2015 edition.

      Guest curator Thierry Garrel has assembled an invaluable program labelled French French, divided into two parts. The first section features seven entries from the legendary “Cinéma, de Notre Temps” doc series, each a portrait of a filmmaker by a filmmaker, such as one of Jean Renoir by Jacques Rivette, and another of Rivette by contemporary master Claire Denis.

      “The 50-year-old collection has the ambition as a whole to shed light on the essence of cinema itself as the ‘art of our time’, and to achieve it in a cinematic way,” Garrel told the Straight. “It doesn’t just address film fans; each episode is a film in itself, with its own dramaturgy.”

      The other half of French French features seven recent French documentaries that have been making a splash around the world, such as Claire Simon’s acclaimed Géographie humaine, about encounters with strangers in the Gare du Nord, the world-famous Paris train station.

      “The genre has blossomed in France during the last 10 years, exploring new territories of cinematic narratives,” Garrel said. “I hope the two sets of films will echo each other and provide the viewers some flavour of the French touch—without any parochialism!”

      Select screenings are free to the public. Best of all, Garrel is bringing in 83-year-old critic/actor/producer/director André S. Labarthe, who cocreated “Cinéma, de Notre Temps”, to kick off the series with a master class at 11 a.m. at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on Saturday (May 2). More information is at