FRANCE ON SCREEN
Ciné Lumière at the French Institute Bookings/Information: 020 7073 1350
Tickets: £5 - £9
Part of Dance Umbrella 2005 - France Moves, and presented in partnership with Ciné Lumière at the French Institute, France On Screen is an enticing selection of some of the best dance on film in France today. The programme includes a film specially chosen by Josef Nadj; Philippe Decouflé's Kaleidoskop; Tout près des étoiles, the fascinating documentary on the lives of dancers in Paris Opera Ballet; Beau Travail, a poetic observation of the French Legionnaires training in a harsh but beautiful wasteland and Vers Mathilde, a close study of Mathilde Monnier's creative process.
Sat 1 October
4pm: Werckmeister Harmonies
The film has been specially chosen by Josef Nadj and some introduction notes will be given to the audience prior to the screening.
Hungary | 2000 | 145mins | b&w | Cert.15 | dir. Béla Tarr, with Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla
The population of a provincial town on the Hungarian plains await the arrival of a circus that features the stuffed carcass of a whale and a mysterious prince. Its appearance disturbs the order of the small town, unleashing a torrent of violence and beauty.
In a body of work concerned with metaphysical explorations of the human condition, extraordinary Hungarian director has created an uncompromising, innovative and utterly engrossing cinematic world. Described by J. Hoberman as 'the heir to Tarkovsky and Janscó', Tarr’s vision in his later films is uniquely cinematic, haunting, poetic, and quite unlike anything else.
"More magnificently dour austerity from the Hungarian master...a surreal epic"
Peter Bradshaw - GUARDIAN
Wed 5 October
6.30pm: a film specially chosen by Philippe Decouflé (TBC)
Philippe Découflé to introduce the films before the screening (TBC)
France | 1982 - 2003 | 90mins | dir. Philippe Découflé | programmes of films & video screenings
From ‘Vegetables Voices’, directed in 1982 with nearly nothing, until ‘Le Petit Bal’, a jewel in 35mm, this programme will show 20 years of research into choregraphic-cinema. The programme will include videos, short films, a lesson of dance, some extracts of Iris, the trailer of a film that doesn’t exist, an imaginary encyclopeadia...
Sat 8 October
Beau Travail / Hard Work
A double-bill introduced by director Claire Denis
6.15pm: Beau Travail (Hard Work)
8.15pm: Vers Mathilde (Towards Mathilde)
Beau Travail (Hard Work)
Introduced by the director Claire Denis
France | 1998 | 90mins | col | dir. Claire Denis, with Denis Lavant, ,Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin
Inspired by Herman Melville's 'Billy Budd', Beau Travail is a stunning combination of literature, music, poetry and dance that explores the near mythical world of the French Foreign Legion. Denis Lavant stars as Galoup, a sergeant-major whose position and power are threatened when the bravery and heroism of new recruit Sentain (Grégoire Colin) attracts the attention of the platoon's commandant (Michel Subor). Enraged, Galoup plots Sentain's downfall, a doomed course of action that leads to his own undoing. Director Claire Denis creates a dark mounting tension which underlies the exquisite cinematography of Agnès Godard, whose stark visual style contrasts vividly with the graceful training rituals of the sculpted young soldiers.
A powerful examination of masculinity, Beau Travail is mesmeric, sensual and extraordinarily beautiful.
Vers Mathilde (Towards Mathilde)
France | 2005 | 84mins | col | dir. Claire Denis, with Mathilde Monnier
Mathilde Monnier is more than France’s foremost contemporary choregrapher. An explorer of the thorny fields of post-modern theory she has acquired a reputation as a kinetic investigator par excellence. More than just a documentary, this parallel triggered between Claire Denis’s work explores the birth, formulation and performance of a radical new dance piece.
“We initially used a Super 8 to remove the intimidation of the camera and to give the film a pre-existence, like a common memory. Then we worked with an Aaton 16. In both cases, I think that Mathilde always could hear the noise of the motor when the camera rolled. I met Mathilde Monnier, the head of the Centre Chorégraphique de Montpellier, at a dance festival. I’d been invited there to show films. Choregraphers often say my films are very choregraphic. So I saw this artist, whose work I knew, we looked at each other – and there was a mutual attraction, a curiosity on both sides, a silent curiosity. We are both fairly shy, so for a while we just watched each other. The she suggested I come to one of her projects and film it; but I didn’t want that, and I answered that if she wanted to work with me, she’d have to hire me as a dancer. She laughed.” Claire Denis
Followed by a Q&A with the director Claire Denis and the choregrapher Mathilde Monnier (TBC)
Wed 12 October
8.15pm: Tout près des étoiles - a documentary on Paris Opera Ballet
Introduced by Brigitte Lefèvre, Director of Dance, Paris Opera Ballet
France | 2001 | 100mins | col | dir. Nils Tavernier, with Aurélie Dupont, Laurent Hilaire, Manuel Legris, Nicolas Le Riche.
The dancers of the Paris Opera magnified by Nils Tavernier’s camera. Interviewing the dancers as they rehearse, in the wings or on stage, the director follows them in their everyday work. Filmed for the most part in Le Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille, this documentary pays hommage to the dancers and the austere beauty of their passion.