Rendez-Vous, Mon Amour

Gilles Bourdos

Gilles Bourdos

I’ve heard that you’ll forever favor the music you liked/discovered in your adolescence, when you first differentiated yourself from your parents and proudly claimed your taste as your own.  Peut-être this is true for film as well and explains why I’m always falling for the French.

The imports of the 18th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance Films, include the latest Gallic entertainment (Régis Roinsard’s “Populaire”), new work by auteurs (François Ozon’s “In the House”), innovators and upstarts (“Augustine,” directed by Alice Winocour), two films starring Romain Duris (who will attend the festival) and a self-portrait (“Journal de France”) by the great documentarian (film and photography), Raymond Depardon (co-directed by his longtime sound engineer Claudine Nougaret).

Gilles Bourdos’ “Renoir,” set in 1915,  glowing (but not too glowy) with the beautiful light of the Côte d’Azur, watches the father, the master impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste, elderly and debilitated by arthritis but energized by his last ideal model, and the 21-year-old son, Jean, back home at the family estate, Collettes, injured in battle and anxious to return to the front.  Far from the horrors and destruction of World War I, the father defends his household’s idyllic life and his sumptuous paintings, “The pain passes, the beauty remains.”   The son, adrift but starting to resist his domineering father, is a decade away from beginning his film career, now recognized as one of cinema’s greatest.

In conjunction with the premiere of “Renoir,” three of Jean Renoir’s masterworks (“The River,” “Boudu Saved From Drowning” and “The Rues of the Game”) will screen in this year’s Rendez-Vous.

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema runs from February 28-March 10, with screenings at three venues, Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater, the IFC Center and BAMcinématek.

“Renoir” will open Friday, March 29 in New York at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema and in Los Angeles.

Romain Duris

Romain Duris

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