Monday, March 12, 2012

Rendez-vous with French Cinema

I've given up reading. At least it feels that way, given how infrequently and reluctantly I continue inching through Parallel Stories. I'm still in the middle of the second "volume," but feel that a new post is due. So instead of talking about books, how 'bout the movies? Koch and I have been going to the movies like crazy. Like, once a week for three weeks. And not even to the big cine-plexes (or whatever) but to classy theaters like the Sunshine on Houston and the IFC Center in the Village.

So what classy films have we seen? Well, first we saw "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie." This movie isn't for everyone (Eric gets a Prince Albert at the beginning). But I almost never stopped laughing and I am also forever indebted to Tim and Eric for introducing me to Tommy Wiseau. A ticket only costs $13 at the Sunshine. Interestingly, that's also how much money was spent on making the movie, half of which was used in procuring a slew of guest stars like Jeff Goldblum, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Zack Galifianakis, among others. I especially enjoyed the scene at the restaurant "Imbreadibles," where Eric and his date enjoy dishes of pasta topped with croutons, eaten with utensils made of crackers. Brilliant.

Arguably against Koch's will, I purchased tickets on-line for two French films that were featured in this year's Rendez-vous with French Cinema, both of which were screening at the IFC Center. Koch and I have never had "date night," but we came pretty close. Two Saturday nights ago we treated ourselves to some good, if weirdly sugary, Indian food on W. 3rd before catching a 7:00 screening of "Les adieux a la reine". The show was sold out, so they made ticket holders stand outside until 6:55. Fortunately, there's a sex shop next door to the theater and Koch and I enjoyed perusing their display window while freezing our tits off. The film itself, directed by a man but with a cast made up almost exclusively of hot women, depicts the goings-on at Versailles during the first four days of the French Revolution as seen through the eyes of Marie-Antoinette's reader's cleavage, who is suicidally devoted to the queen's cleavage. A gorgeous, voluptuous, DD-sized period piece. Oh, and there's some excellent full-frontal nudity. Something for everyone, really. The director conducted a Q&A at the end, but we snuck out.

A ponderous moment

The second film we saw was much more subdued, Marcel Pagnol's "La fille du puisatier," directed by and starring one of my favorite actors, Daniel Auteuil. Although the film can barely hold a flame to his previous films "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des sources," the setting is so gorgeous and Auteuil is so charismatic that it doesn't really matter. Jean-Pierre Darroussin did the awkward and terribly interpreted Q&A at the end because, according to him, Auteuil doesn't like to fly. Not that I have anything against Darroussin. He's also a terrific actor. I just felt bad for him struggling to answer questions relating to production and directing while he himself had a relatively minor role.

(Sorry, I couldn't find a steamy picture for this one.)