A Brief History of Princess X / Gabriel Abrantes / 2016, Locarno / 7'
A Brief History of Princess X, Gabriel Abrantes (2016)
American director Gabriel Abrantes has directed or co-directed at least 18 shorts, features, and portmanteau segments since 2006, forming an eclectic oeuvre marked by explorations of colonialism, culture and Eros. Le Cinéma Club features his short A Brief History of Princess X— a look at the history of sculptor Constantin Brâncusi's infamous futuristic bronze phallus which is actually a bust portrait of Napoleon's great-niece Marie Bonaparte.
This '7 short film premiered at Locarno. Shot on Super 16mm celluloid.
And When I Die, I Won't Stay Dead / Billy Woodberry / 2015, Centre Pompidou / 89'
And When I Die, I Won't Stay Dead, Billy Woodberry (2015)
On the occasion of the last days of Centre Pompidou's Beat Generation exhibition in Paris, Le Cinéma Club screened And When I Die, I Won't Stay Dead, Billy Woodberry's documentary on the life and work of Bob Kaufman. A Beat poet known in France as the "American Rimbaud," Bob Kaufman was at war with American culture of the Cold War period, outspoken in his criticism of power, and uncomprising in his struggle for spiritual and political freedom. As a Black Beat poet, he was long overlooked by scholars and academics, and unjustly arrested, interned, and subjected to electroshock therapy.
This 89' documentary premiered as the opening film of the MoMA DocFortnight 2016 and won best investigative documentary at the DocLisboa Festival. Filmmaker Billy Woodberry is a key figure of the LA Rebellion film movement and a professor at CalArts.
Le Cinéma Club features American director Clara Aranovich's short film, The Argument. Trailing a man who simply needs to buy diapers in a foreign city, Aranovich examines the challenges of fatherhood and language in beautifully crafted simplicity.
This 13' short premiered at Stockholm and stars French actor Melvil Poupaud. Shot on 16mm celluloid.
Les enfants de la nuit / Caroline Deruas-Garrel / 2012, Locarno / 26'
Les enfants de la nuit, Caroline Deruas (2012)
Le Cinéma Club features French screenwriter and filmmaker Caroline Deruas-Garrel's third short, Les enfants de la nuit:the story of ayoung French woman who falls tragically in love with a German soldier in the French countryside at the end of World War II. Les enfants de la nuit chronicles the dark and difficult topic of "femmes tondues"— French women accused of sexual collaboration with the Germans, whose heads were publicly shaved at the French liberation.
This 26' short premiered at Locarno and stars rapidly-rising French actress Adèle Haenel (The Unknown Girl). Shot on crisp black and white 35mm celluloid.
Beach Week / David Raboy / 2015, Clermont-Ferrand / 18'
Beach Week, David Raboy (2015)
Le Cinéma Club featured Brooklyn-based filmmaker David Raboy's new short Beach Week, in which a friend goes missing during a group trip to Virginia Beach. With its atmospheric use of sonic and visual components, Raboy demonstrates a unique approach to the horror genre.
This 18' short premiered at Clermont-Ferrand and stars American indie darlings Hannah Gross and Deragh Campbell (I Used To Be Darker). Shot on some of the last Fujistock 35mm celluloid.
Madeleine d'entre les morts (Madeleine Among the Dead) / Bertrand Bonello / 2014 / 10'
Madeleine d'entre les morts, Bertrand Bonello (2014)
French filmmaker and Cannes mainstay Bertrand Bonello (House of Tolerance, Saint Laurent) has a catalogue of "ghost movies"— films he wanted to direct but could never get made.
Le Cinéma Club features Madeleine entre les morts— a cinematic sketch of one such work: Vertigo retold from the perspective of Kim Novak's character, Madeleine. The 10' film is excerpted from Antoine Barraud's biopic of Bonello, whose latest feature Nocturama opens this week.
Un monde sans femmes (A World Without Women) / Guillaume Brac / 2012, César Award nominee, Locarno / 56'
Un monde sans femmes, Guillaume Brac (2012)
Guillaume Brac's feature film debut, Tonnerre (2013) established him as a promising new voice in French cinema. Much like Tonnerre, his 2011 mid-length film A World Without Women demonstrates a curiosity of small town rhythms and a proclivity for character-study.
A World Without Women takes place in a little sea resort on the Picardie coast of France, the last week of August, when the arrival of two beautiful female acquaintances transform Sylvain's otherwise mundane life. Brac's 56' film was nominated for a César Award.
One of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2015, Zia Anger is an American filmmaker intent on exploring the cinematic distinctions between masculine and feminine experiences. Her 2015 short I Remember Nothing eschews traditional narrative structures in favor of a vertical film experience—diving straight into the fave stages of a seizure.
Filmatique conducted an exclusive interview with Zia Anger on the occasion of I Remember Nothing's screening this week on Le Cinéma Club. Based on conversations with an epileptic family member, Zia Anger's surreal, hypnotic 23' short screened at Locarno, AFI and New Directors/New Films.
Commemorating the 71st anniversary of the tragedy of Hiroshima, Le Cinéma Club screens a rare documentary on Marguerite Duras, a seminal voice in the French New Wave and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Alain Resnais' 1959 tour-de-force Hiroshima Mon Amour.
Marguerite telle qu'en elle-même is a portrait of the French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist and experimental filmmaker. This 100' documentary is directed by Dominique Auvray, one of Duras' trusted editors.
This week Le Cinéma Club screens Roadtrip, a short film from Xaver Xylophon. Xylophon is a 28-year old freelance animator, illustrator and filmmaker based in Berlin whose work has appeared in The New York Times and NPR. His 2014 short screened at many international film festivals, such as SXSW, New Directors/New Films, and Clermont-Ferrand.
Roadtrip is a 22' hand-drawn film about Julius, a lebenskünstler in Berlin who can't get to sleep. One day he decides to go on a trip, but somehow can't manage to leave. Roadtrip is about failure, insomnia, a red motorbike, pretty bargirls, and the desolateness of Berlin, even in summer.
Protect You + Me / Brady Corbet / 2008, Sundance special mention / 10'
Protect You + Me, Brady Corbet (2008)
This week Le Cinéma Club screens Protect You + Me, the first short film from Brady Corbet, occasioned by the premiere ofthe American actor and filmmaker's award-winning debut feature The Childhood of a Leader.
Protect You + Me offers a glimpse into a young man's long-forgotten memory that, triggered by someone watching him through a restaurant window, escalates to violence. Shot on 35mm by Darius Khondji, this 10' short earned Corbet an Honorable Mention at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Filmatique conducted an exclusive interview with Brady Corbet to discuss nascent trends among his two endeavors as a filmmaker: shooting on 35mm, the use of sound as an immersive force, and anger– and how it can quickly escalate to violence– as a theme in his work.
John's Gone tails street urchin John in a darkly humorous fever dream as he sells all his possessions shortly after his mother dies. Shot in Queens with 16mm lenses attached to Video8 cameras, this 22' short premiered at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.
John's Gone was preceded by Le Cinèma Club's 50th film: Ben Sadie's first short The Acquaintances of a Lonely John. John's Gone is its follow up a film, co-directed by Josh and Ben Safdie, the young New York filmmakers behind critically acclaimed Heaven Knows What.