The American Cinematheque presents...

BELLES DU JOUR:
FRENCH ACTRESSES - THE NEW GENERATION


February 12-25, 1999


Sponsored by Unifrance

In Association With The French Movie & Television Office in Los Angeles
(Consulate General of France) and The French Ministry Of Foreign
Affairs.

Over the past 5 years French filmmaking has seen the emergence of a
remarkable new generation of directors like Olivier Assayas, Arnaud
Desplechin, Cedric Kahn and (more recently) Laurence Ferreira-Barbosa
and Sylvie Verheyde, who've revitalized the French film scene with their
brash energy and sexually-charged style. Just as important is the
emergence of a group of wildly-talented young performers who see
themselves as actresses first, and celebrities second - the anti-star
génération, including established performers like Juliette Binoche,
Emmanuelle Beart and Sandrine Bonnaire, as well as recent sensations
like Elodie Bouchez, Virginie Ledoyen and Sandrine Kiberlain. These are
the actresses of the jeans, tennis shoes and t-shirt generation, raised
with the economic crises of the late 70's and early 80's - and currently
redefining our notions of French glamour and screen-style in their own
loose, gorgeous, nonconventional way.

This series showcases the work of 19 of French film's most exciting
young actresses - Sophie Aubry, Jeanne Balibar, Emmanuelle Beart,
Juliette Binoche, Romane Bohringer, Elodie Bouchez, Valeria
Bruni-Tedeschi, Emma de Caunes, Julie Delpy, Marianne Denicourt,
Emmanuelle Devos, Judith Godrèche, Irène Jacob, Virginie Ledoyen, Chiara
Mastroianni, Vanessa Paradis, Nathalie Richard, Karin Viard and Elsa
Zylberstein. (Our apologies for the performers we didn't have space to
include here, including greats such as Sandrine Bonnaire and Charlotte
Gainsbourg - we promise to make up for it in the future!)


We're very pleased to welcome Nathalie Richard, Romane Bohringer, Elsa
Zylberstein and Julie Delpy to the Egyptian Theater for the series.

Series Compiled by Gwen Deglise with the assistance of Dennis Bartok.
French Short Films programmed by Andrew P. Crane with the assistance of
Christine Gendre/ Unifrance and Gwen Deglise.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: François Truffart/ FRENCH CONSULATE - LOS ANGELES;
Daniel Toscan du Plantier, Bruno Berthemy, Stephen Melchiori, Catherine
Verret, Marion Riva, Christine Gendre/ UNIFRANCE; Yves Seban/ AGNES B.;
Karine Weinberger/ FRENCH HOLLYWOOD CIRCLE; Andre Steger/ CINEPLUS
ARCHIVE; Marcus Hu/ STRAND RELEASING; Nancy Gerstman/ ZEITGEIST; Paul
Richer/FLACH PYRAMIDE INT'L; Rebeca Conget/ NEW YORKER FILMS; Karima
Benouadah/ BLOODY MARY PRODUCTIONS; Laurence Darthos/ ODESSA FILMS; Anne
Wisniewski/ STUDIO CANAL +; John Vanco/ COWBOY BOOKING; Sophie Meunier/
GEMINI FILMS; Tricia Graves/ SWANK FILMS; Olivier Masclet/ LES FILMS DU
LOSANGE; Christophe Defaye/MK2; Cloé Crémont; Jean-François Camus; Nils
Beaudelot; Kent Jones; Abel Nahmias/ LA PETITE REINE; Dominique Brunet/
CANAL + DISTRIBUTION; LAZENNEC TOUT COURT; Solveig Dommartin/ SOLO
FILMS; MARGOURIC PRODUCTIONS.
Friday, February 12 - 7:00 PM

L.A. Premiere! JEANNE AND THE PERFECT GUY (JEANNE ET LE GARÇON
FORMIDABLE), 1998, Strand Releasing, 98 min. From first-time directors
Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau, JEANNE & THE PERFECT GUY is a
totally unique musical-comedy in the tradition of Jacques (UMBRELLAS OF
CHERBOURG) Demy - a film that literally explodes with color, fire,
happiness and tragic love. Jeanne, played by the stunningly-graceful
Virginie Ledoyen (A SINGLE GIRL, COLD WATER) follows her favorite
past-time -- making love -- until she meets her soul-mate Olivier
(played, in lovely symmetry, by Jacques Demy's son Mathieu-!) When
Olivier reveals he is suffering from AIDS-related illness, the film's
beautiful whirl takes on a piercing sadness, as the two lovers sing and
dance their way across a Paris of Tango, Cha-Cha-Cha and Jazz.
Ledoyen's shining performance here shows why she is at the very front of
France's new generation of actresses.


OPENING NIGHT PARTY 9:00 - 11:00 PM

SPONSORED BY: AGNES B.(logo) and THE FRENCH HOLLYWOOD CIRCLE (logo).
Join us for a post-screening celebration of the new generation of French
Actresses at the Egyptian Theatre! Party $10 in addition to film
admission.


Saturday, February 13 - 7:00 PM

New from Assayas -- L.A. Premiere!
Actress Nathalie Richard - In Person!
LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER (FIN AOÛT, DÉBUT SEPTEMBRE), 1998,
Zeitgeist, 106 min. The latest film from France's most celebrated young
director, Olivier Assayas, LATE AUGUST is a study in elliptical style as
it follows - without morbidity, without turning away - the terminal
illness and death of an acclaimed writer, Adrien (François Cluzet) and
the impact on his circle of friends. Assayas concentrates his camera on
Adrien's best friend (Mathieu Almaric, from HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT)
and his tangled relationships with his ex-girlfriend Jenny (Jeanne
Balibar) and his new lover, the sexually perverse Anne (Virginie
Ledoyen). Long renowned for his sympathetic work with actresses,
Assayas elicits a frank, free-spirited performance from Ledoyen (who
starred in his earlier film COLD WATER) - and from Balibar, who won Best
Actress at the San Sebastian Festival for her work here. Look also for
a short-but-memorable performance by Assayas favorite Nathalie Richard
(IRMA VEP). Discussion following with actress Nathalie Richard.



Saturday, February 13 - 9:45 PM

L.A. Premiere! UN FRÈRE, 1997, Cowboy Booking, 90 min. Dir. Sylvie
Verheyde. A sensational (and controversial) hit in France that made an
overnight star of lead actress Emma de Caunes (who won the 1998 Cesar
Award for Most Promising Actress), UN FRERE details the too-intimate
relationship between Sophie (de Caunes) and her photographer brother
Loic (Jeannick Gravelines.) Director Verheyde (who also won the '98
Cyril Collard Award for her work here) contrasts Gravelines' feverish,
almost desperate energy with de Caunes' radiant sensuality - creating
one of the most powerful portraits of brother-sister love since Melville
& Cocteau's LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES.



Wednesday, February 17 - 7:00 PM

U.S. Premiere! THOSE WERE THE DAYS (LE PLUS BEL ÂGE), 1995, Bloody Mary
Productions, 85 min. Dir. Didier Haudepin. Set in the maze-like
corridors (and bedrooms) of an elite French academy, this stunning
murder mystery stars one of France's brightest young performers - Elodie
Bouchez (co-winner of the 1998 Cannes Best Actress Award for the
soon-to-be released DREAM LIFE OF ANGELS.) Here, Bouchez witnesses the
suicide of a fellow student (played by the remarkable Sophie Aubry, from
Assayas' A NEW LIFE) - determined to get to the bottom of the girl's
death, Bouchez finds herself drawn into overlapping affairs with the
girl's ex-lover (Melvil Poupaud) and brother (Gael Morel, from WILD
REEDS.) "Elodie Bouchez has a virtually disturbing grace that few
actors have." - director Didier Haudepin.


Wednesday, February 17 - 9:15 PM

Actress Romane Bohringer - In person!
LES PETITES: A Program Of Shorts
"The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow" (Le Soleil A Promis De Se Lever Demain),
Lazennec Tout Court, 23 min, dir. Fabienne Godet. Featuring Nathalie
Richard (IRMA VEP). After his grandmother dies, a boy goes in search of
his long-absent mother. "The Last Red Riding Hood" (Le Dernier Chaperon
Rouge), La petite Reine, 26 min, dir. Jan Kounen. Emmanuelle Beart is
the Little Red in this fantastic re-telling of the fairy tale - this
time set in the magical garden of Perlimpimpim. "Along The Freeway" (Au
Bord De L'autoroute), Magouric Prod., 28 min, dir. Olivier Jahan. A
salesman on this way home after a long week, encounters the young
Camille (Emma de Caunes, UN FRÈRE) who has wandered away from her family
at a rest stop. "It Would Only Take A Bridge" (Il Suffirait D'un Pont),
Solo Films, 20 min, dir. Solveig Dommartin (star of WINGS OF DESIRE). A
tale of four couples, featuring Romane Bohringer (MINA TANNENBAUM), who
examine their lives as they watch a boat transverse the locks of the
Saint-Martin Canal, Paris. Discussion following with actress Romane
Bohringer.



Thursday, February 18 - 8:00 PM

Actresses Romane Bohringer and Elsa Zylberstein - In person!
MINA TANNENBAUM, 1994, New Yorker Films, 130 min. Director Martine
Dugowson's very personal story of the symbiotic relationship between two
Jewish girls in Paris from the 60's through the 90's is lit up by a
brilliant duo: Romane Bohringer (SAVAGE NIGHTS, THE ACCOMPANIST) as
Mina, the insecure artist; and Elsa Zylberstein (VAN GOGH) as her friend
Ethel, an aspiring journalist. This warm, intensely moving portrait of
two women is melodrama in the grand style - we're warning you now, bring
your own Kleenex! Discussion following with actresses Romane Bohringer
and Elsa Zylberstein.



Friday, February 19 - 7:00 PM

U.S. Premiere! THE 15 YEAR OLD GIRL (LA FILLE DE QUINZE ANS), 1989,
Odessa Films, 100 min. From renowned director Jacques Doillon comes
this masterful meditation on our fascination with beautiful teenagers -
here played by Judith Godrèche (PARIS IS AWAKENING) in a cool, totally
convincing performance. The film revolves around an intense,
semi-incestuous love triangle between Godrèche, her inexperienced
boyfriend (Melvil Poupaud, from THOSE WERE THE DAYS) and the boy's
father - played by director Doillon himself.


Friday, February 19 - 9:30 PM

L.A. Premiere! WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT ME? (JE NE VOIS PAS CE QU'ON ME
TROUVE), 1997, Le Studio Canal +, 99 min. Director Christian Vincent
(LA DISCRÈTE) returns to comedy with this hilariously-realistic farce
about 24 hours in the life of Pierre (Jackie Berroyer), a famous
stand-up who returns as guest of honor to his old hometown. Once there,
Pierre is swallowed up by a chaos of bad timing (as well as his own
incredibly-misplaced jokes) - his one saving grace is an elusive local
girl, played by Karin Viard (from DELICATESSEN.) Their charming
non-romance gives a lovely, bittersweet edge to this offbeat comedy -
co-written by lead actor Berroyer (famous in France for his hit TV
series "Null part Ailleurs".)


Saturday, February 20 - 6:00 PM

BLUE (TROIS COULEURS: BLEU), 1993, Swank, 140 min. From the late master
Krysztof Kieslowski, The Three Colors trilogy constitutes one whole and
continuous gesture - a brilliant meditation on loss, suffering, solitude
and hope. In the first installment, BLUE, a chic Parisian woman (played
by Juliette Binoche) is determined to start a new life after the loss of
her husband and daughter in a car accident. Binoche's cool, enigmatic
performance here set a new standard for French screen beauty - Jeanne
Moreau for the 90's.


Saturday, February 20- 9:00 PM

Double Feature:

Actress Julie Delpy - In Person! WHITE (TROIS COULEURS: BLANC), 1993,
Swank, 91 min. In WHITE, Kieslowski explores the concept of equality in
a bittersweet social comedy. A Polish hairdresser Karol (Zbigniew
Zamachowski) is sued for divorce by his lovely (but cold-blooded) wife
Dominique (Julie Delpy). Known for her heartbreaking work in Bertrand
Tavernier's THE PASSION OF BEATRICE and Richard Linklater's BEFORE
SUNRISE, Delpy switches gears here with a beautifully-controlled
performance - one of her very best. Discussion following with actress
Julie Delpy.


RED (TROIS COULEURS: ROUGE), 1994, Swank, 98 min. In the trilogy's
final installment, Valentine, a Swiss model (played by Irène Jacob, from
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE) meets an embittered former judge
(Jean-Louis Trintignant) who spies on his neighbours, and crosses paths
with an intriguing young law student (Jean-Pierre Lorit.) In a
wonderful piece of cosmic stage-managing, Kieslowski brings together the
main characters from all the The Three Colors stories during a
storm-tossed ferry ride.


Wednesday, February 24 - 7:00 PM

L.A. Premiere! NORMAL PEOPLE ARE NOTHING SPECIAL (LES GENS NORMAUX
N'ONT RIEN D'EXCEPTIONNEL), 1993, Gemini Films, 103 min. Dir. Laurence
Ferreira-Barbosa. Winner of the 1994 Cesar Award for Most Promising
Actress, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi delivers a raging, unforgettable
performance as Martine, a young woman who loses her grip on sanity after
a difficult break with her boyfriend. With the fearless intensity of
Anna Magnani, Bruni-Tedeschi (recently seen here in NENETTE ET BONI)
achieves a kind of transcendental grace and purity in her portrait of a
woman set free by her own madness. A stark, compassionate film - one of
the most underrated French movies of the past 5 years.


Wednesday, February 24 - 9:15 PM

HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT (COMMENT JE ME SUIS DISPUTÉ…), 1996,
Zeitgeist, 178 min. Dir. Arnaud Desplechin. A brilliant, maddening,
talkative (hell, over-talkative!) look at Paris intellectuals in the
90's, HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT is a love-it-or-hate-it experience - we
think it's one of the greatest French gab-fests since Eustache's THE
MOTHER & THE WHORE. Paul (Mathieu Almaric) is your typical French
intellectual, paralyzed by his love for a circle of gorgeous,
fascinating women - including Marianne Denicourt (who starred in
Desplechin's earlier LA VIE DES MORTS and LA SENTINELLE) as Paul's
secret love; Jeanne Balibar (LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER) as his
neurotic girlfriend; Emmanuelle Devos as Paul's ex; and Chiara
Mastroianni (daughter of Marcello and Catherine Deneuve) as the
wild-card in the crowd.


Thursday, February 25 - 7:00 PM

U.S. Premiere! NOCE BLANCHE, 1989, Les Films du Losange, 92 min. Dir.
Jean-Claude Brisseau. French pop star Vanessa Paradis shocked her
critics with her stunning debut performance in NOCE BLANCHE as a moody
young teenager - a renegade Lolita for the new generation. Bruno Cremer
co-stars as François, a severe, middle-aged philosophy teacher who loses
control of his life when he falls for one of his students, Mathilde
(Paradis.) Compared to Isabelle Adjani for her fresh, unguarded
performance here, Paradis remains one of French film's most seductive
(and sadly under-used) talents.


Thursday, February 25 - 9:30 PM

Double Feature:
TORMENT (L'ENFER), 1994, MK2, 100 min. Dir. Claude Chabrol. Based on a
script by suspense master Henri-George Clouzot (DIABOLIQUES), who
started shooting in 1964 with Romy Schneider and Serge Reggiani but had
to stop production because of a heart-attack, TORMENT is a classic
portrait of marriage, madness and betrayal from the equally-brilliant
Claude Chabrol. With the splendid Emmanuelle Beart - about whom Chabrol
said, "she has an expressive body with the face of innocence, exactly
what drives men mad!" - as the faithful (or unfaithful??) wife of hotel
owner Francois Cluzet. As love mutates in pathological jealousy, it
becomes difficult to distinguish Cluzet's tortured suspicions from
reality. "Love, hate, jealousy, cruelty -- all human life is there." --
Chabrol.


IRMA VEP, 1996, Zeitgeist Films, 96 min. Dir: Olivier Assayas. Luminous
Hong Kong star Maggie Cheung (playing herself) is summoned to Paris by
director René Vidal (Jean-Pierre Léaud) to play the lead in an insane
undertaking: a silent remake of the classic Feuillade serial LES
VAMPIRES. Maggie's constantly being left behind rather than catered to
amidst the chaos of warring personalities on and around the set . . . At
the center of it all is the human ballast that keeps IRMA VEP on course:
the confused but tender relationship between Maggie and costume designer
Zoë - Nathalie Richard, in the film's standout performance. - Kent
Jones.

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