It feels like some time since we ventured out to cool cultural events, with the last two years relegating things like film festivals to virtual viewings and online programming only. Now, in the spirit of ‘getting on with it’, the French Film Festival is readying itself to roll the opening credits in person once more, with tickets on sale now for its stellar programme, starting next week.
On in Auckland from the 1st until the 19th of June (and popping up in cities around the country through other dates in June), this year’s French Film Festival will showcase 21 of the most quintessentially French films across three theatres: Epsom’s Lido, Northcote’s The Bridgeway and Newmarket’s Rialto. To celebrate the return of this cultural stalwart IRL, we are giving away five double passes to those Denizens looking to be enchanted by the unique subtleties of French cinema. From gripping dramas to psychological thrillers and some moving love stories thrown in for good measure, these are a few of the films we’re booking tickets to.
Between Two Worlds
In this story of an outsider seeking to fit in, friendships and memories are forged under a false pretence. Based on French journalist Florence Aubenas’ bestselling non-fiction book, Le Quai de Ouistreham (The Night Cleaner), subtle themes of tragedy and deceit are glazed with humour and enjoyment.
Everything Went Fine
After immersing myself in the incredible non-fiction book, Assisted, earlier this year, Everything Went Fine is high on my must-watch list for the festival. Sharing the dialogue between a daughter and her elderly father as he pushes for a medically assisted death, it’s raw and gut-wrenching but all too real in life.
Based on Georges Simenon’s internationally adored novels, Maigret embodies the ultimate in crime fiction that feels reminiscent of a French Agatha Cristie. Set in 1950s Paris, the mystery of a woman found murdered in an elegant gown feels strikingly familiar to Inspector Jules Maigret for more reasons than one.
For seekers of psychological thrillers, Madeleine Collins should be essential on your agenda. Here, a fragile balance based on a web of lies sees a woman living a double life between France and Switzerland and the chaos that ensues when she ploughs forward.
Love Songs for Tough Guys
Starring Vanessa Paradis, French actress and mother of the ineffable Lily-Rose Depp, Love Songs for Tough Guys is a lighthearted and gentle tale with plenty of twists and turns. A French Love Actually with its interwoven storylines, this is perfect to add to your schedule if you’re looking for love and laughter.
The Young Lovers
Conversations with Friends, but with an older cast, and spoken in French. The Young Lovers explores the duality of accidentally falling in love with someone outside your marriage and the melancholic joy it can bring before the all-too-real threat of heartbreak.