The Class (2008) - News Poster



Iffam: Festival Jurors Put Focus on Asian Experience

Iffam: Festival Jurors Put Focus on Asian Experience
Asia was understandably the focus of the competition jury at the debut of the 2nd International Film Festival and Awards Macao (Iffam). Addressing a press conference chaired by Iffam artistic director Mike Goodridge, jury president, French filmmaker Laurent Cantet said that he walked for a few hours once he reached Macau, trying unsuccessfully to get lost.

“I like to film away from my country,” said Cantet, winner of the 2008 Palme d’Or for “The Class.” “The distance it gives to your point of view is interesting.” Cantet has filmed in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Corsica, besides his native France.

Singaporean filmmaker, Royston Tan (“15: The Movie,” “881”) suggested that the establishment of a residency program in Macau would help filmmakers from around the world to get to know the place and the culture.

British author Lawrence Osborne, whose 2014 novel “The Ballad of a Small Player” is set in the casinos of Macau, is fascinated
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Official Oscar® Entry Best Foreign Language Film from France: ‘Bpm (Beats Per Minute)

Official Oscar® Entry Best Foreign Language Film from France: ‘Bpm (Beats Per Minute)
In this year’s foreign-language race, a number of Lgbt-oriented titles are vying for attention. France’s Bpm (Beats Per Minute), directed by Robin Campillo, could be the favorite: a rich, sensual, impassioned study of early AIDS activism and gay awakening in Paris, it took the Grand Prix at Cannes and has been winning hearts on the festival circuit and kudos from critics.

After Cannes, Bpm (Beats Per Minute) played Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival among others, winning many awards along the way.

“Impassioned and deeply absorbing. Notable for both its hot-blooded sensuality and its intricate, bittersweet play with memory.”

- Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“Broadly enlightening and piercingly intimate. A vital contribution to queer and political cinema. Campillo has given his movie the breath of true life. It grieves and triumphs and haunts with abounding grace and understanding, its heartbeat thumping with genuine, undeniable resonance.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Venice Film Review: ‘Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno’

Venice Film Review: ‘Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno’
Late in “Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno,” two characters make plans for a quiet, home-cooked pasta dinner. Just tomatoes, basil and garlic for the sauce, slow-cooked until rich and integrated in flavor: It’s critical, they agree, that it takes its time to simmer. Abdellatif Kechiche’s filmmaking often follows a similar recipe of everyday components turned flavorfully complex with the patient investment of time: It’s how his Palme d’Or-winning “Blue is the Warmest Color” turned an ostensibly simple story of first love and heartbreak into a human odyssey of intricate interior detail. Another gorgeous three-hour study of young, attractively housed hearts in often turbulent motion, “Mektoub” is a frequently seductive sensory epic of equivalent ambition, yet despite its woozily pleasurable set pieces, the fraught emotions binding them are less urgent, and the perspective of its protagonist far less immediate.

Somehow Kechiche — loosely adapting the novel “La blessure, la
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Return to Ithaca review – Palme d'Or winner's Cuban comrades clean out their closets

Laurent Cantet, director of The Class, zeroes in on a Havana roof terrace for this wistful chamber piece in which old friends meet up to drink, reminisce and exhume old secrets

Laurent Cantet set the seal on his pre-eminence by winning the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2008 with the tough school drama Entre les Murs, or The Class; and then his English-language debut Foxfire (2012), adapted from Joyce Carol Oates, was respectfully received. But this is a very low-key chamber piece from 2014, about a reunion of middle-aged friends, which of course turns out to be an autumnal, bittersweet affair involving the exhumation of painful secrets. It is set mostly in one spot: a roof-terrace overlooking Havana’s Malecón, and has evidently grown out of Cantet’s contribution to the portmanteau movie 7 Days in Havana (2012).

Five old Cuban comrades meet up for drinks: troubled Tanía (Isabel Santos), boisterous neocapitalist Eddy (Jorge Perugorría
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Back to school for a class act by Richard Mowe

Actress Sara Forestier and director Hélène Angel on the set of Elementary Photo: Unifrance The French, without wishing to sound chauvinistic, hold their education system in high regard. Cinema has reflected that interest in films from Jean Vigo’s Zero de Conduite in 1933, through the gentle documentary about life in a country infant school Etre et Avoir (2002) by Nicolas Phlibert to Laurent Cantet’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Class (2008), set in a raw inner city school. And let’s not forget Abdellatif Kechiche’s L’Esquive (2003), Louis Malle’s 1987 Au Revoir Les Enfants, Julie Bertuccelli’s School of Babel (2013), and Christophe Barratier’s 2004 The Chorus.

Joining the throng is director Hélène Angel with Elementary (Primaire) in which Sara Forestier plays a primary school teacher who has no time for a personal life and lives in an apartment in the grounds with her ten-year-old son.

Angel says: “Education is
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Win Raw on DVD

Author: Competitions

To mark the release of Raw on 14th August, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on DVD.

Unsuspecting Justine (Garance Marillier) enrolls into veterinary school without the slightest idea that she’d graduate as a fully-fledged carnivore with an insatiable desire for human flesh. This young woman soon pays the price of trying to fit in when she is tempted into a hazing ritual which involves eating a piece of raw meat, thereafter her animalistic desires spiral out of control. Before she knows it Justine has bitten off more than she can chew, and will soon face the terrible consequences of her actions as her true self begins to emerge.

Ducournau’s breakthrough French speaking film with English subtitles, Raw, has received award wins at Cannes, Toronto and London Film Festivals. Starring an all-French cast, Garrance Marllier as Justine (Junior, It’s Not a Cowboy Movie
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Rare Cannes Swedish Favorite, AIDS Drama and Best Actor Winner Phoenix Oscar Chances?

Palme d'Or winner 'The Square' with Claes Bang: 'Gobsmackingly weird' Cannes Film Festival favorite may have a tough time landing a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nomination. Ruben Östlund's comedy-drama is totally unrelated to Jehane Noujaim's 2013 Oscar-nominated political documentary of the same title, which refers to downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square. Cannes' Palme d'Or winner 'The Square' & other Official Competition favorites' Oscar chances Screenwriter-director Ruben Östlund's The Square was the Palme d'Or winner at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which wrapped up on May 28. (See list of Palme d'Or and other 2017 Cannes winners further below.) Clocking in at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, Östlund's unusual comedy-drama revolving around the chaotic p.r. campaign to promote the opening of the titular installation – a symbolic square of light – at a contemporary art museum in Stockholm has been generally well-received by critics. In the opinion of The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Curzon adds Cannes quartet including 'I Am Not A Witch'

  • ScreenDaily
Curzon adds Cannes quartet including 'I Am Not A Witch'
Exclusive: Claire Denis comedy and Léonor Serraille’s Camera d’Or winner also among haul.

UK art-house kingpin Curzon Artificial Eye has locked up a further four Cannes titles bringing its current haul from the festival to a mighty 10 movies.

New to the slate are Claire Denis’ Let The Sunshine In (Un Beau Soleil Interieur), joint winner of the Sacd award in Directors’ Fortnight, Laurent Cantet’s well-received The Workshop (L’Atelier), Léonor Serraille’s Camera d’Or winner Young Woman (Jeune Femme) and Rungano Nyoni’s striking Directors’ Fortnight entry I Am Not A Witch.

As previously announced the distributor has acquired Palme d’Or winner The Square, Grand Prix winner 120 Beats Per Minute, best screenplay winner The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, Fatih Akin’s Competition drama In The Fade (Aus Dem Nichts), for which Diane Kruger won the best actress prize, Michael Haneke’s Happy End and Francois Ozon’s L’Amant Double.

See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cannes Awards: Controversial Swedish Satire ‘The Square’ Wins Palme d’Or

Cannes Awards: Controversial Swedish Satire ‘The Square’ Wins Palme d’Or
Cannes — The 70th anniversary Cannes Film Festival has wrapped, culminating with an unconventional awards ceremony in which Pedro Almodóvar and his jury bestowed a couple unexpected bonus prizes, including a tie for screenplay and a special award to Nicole Kidman, who appeared in four projects in this year’s official selection, including competition titles “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “The Beguiled,” season two of “Top of the Lake” and special screening “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.”

Meanwhile, the fabled Palme d’Or went to Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s cutting art-world (and real-world) satire “The Square,” which dares to bring aspects of conceptual and performance art into the sphere of cinema. The choice came as something of a surprise, if only because the masterful, 142-minute film has divided audiences so far, and jury prizes rely on consensus.

Östlund’s follow-up to Un Certain Regard winner “Force Majeure,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Look-back: "The Class"

As we await the Cannes closing ceremony with all its awards glamour, let's take a look back at a previous Palme winner which has connections to a competition entry this year. Here's John Guerin...

The Class, Laurent Cantent’s 2008 Palme d’Or winner, left me both exhausted and inspired. An autobiographical chronicle of François Bégaudeau’s first year of teaching French language and literature at an inner-city high school in Paris, The Class is an entirely self-contained glimpse into the daily challenges, joys, dead-ends, nuisances, amusements, and tensions in one especially spirited classroom. Although The Class is spatially confined to the school building, the currents of the outside world frequently wash ashore and brush up against Bégaudeau’s attempts to lead a discussion of the imperfect tense or find meaning in The Diary of Anne Frank or do just about anything constructive.

Cantent and Bégaudeau, with the assistance of co-writer
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Cannes Review: ‘The Workshop’ is an Intense Return to Form for Laurent Cantet

Laurent Cantet has been a bit absent in the international cinema scene ever since winning the Palme d’Or for 2008’s The Class. It’s not for a lack of trying, of course. He’s released two feature since then (Foxfire and Return to Ithaca), but they just didn’t catch on the way his best movies (Time Out, Human Resources) have in the past. He’s now back at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section with The Workshop, (L’Atelier), which has Cantet’s gift of mixing social relevance through wordy dialogue with nail-biting tension, and is as relevant as anything playing at the festival. The tension takes time to build, but when it finally explodes, it brings a whiplash one never sees coming.

Its characters, all high school students off for the summer, attend a workshop for fictional writing headed by well-known French novelist Olivia (Marina Foïs). The multiculturalism is,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Workshop’

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Workshop’
For how long can a film level-headedly discuss the rules and mechanics of a thriller before becoming something of a thriller itself? That’s the teasing hook, but not even the most loaded question, dangled by “The Workshop,” a sly, supple and repeatedly surprising collision of literary, moral and political lines of debate that marks an enthralling return to form for writer-director Laurent Cantet. Gathering a diverse group of teens to intellectually tussle in a structured educational environment — in this case, a summer creative writing workshop moderated by an acclaimed novelist — the film initially recalls the lively docu-fiction form of Cantet’s 2008 Palme d’Or winner “The Class.” Yet Cantet isn’t out to make the same film twice, deftly wrongfooting viewers as focus is pulled by the group’s most reactionary, volatile member, brilliantly played by newcomer Matthieu Lucci. The tense, excitingly topical result is entirely its own animal,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Workshop’ Cannes Review: Art and Politics Collide in Timely Drama

‘The Workshop’ Cannes Review: Art and Politics Collide in Timely Drama
Playing in Un Certain Regard at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, “The Workshop” reteams Laurent Cantet and his co-screenwriter Robin Campillo (also the writer/director of this year’s awards frontrunner “120 Beats Per Minute”) in what initially seems like an attempt to make lightning strike twice. Cantet’s “The Class” scored a stunning Palme d’Or upset at Cannes in 2008 Cannes. His was the last film screened, and few had particularly high hopes for it in a competition that also included Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo” and Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir.” But Cantet’s film about a multi-ethnic Paris high school turned out.
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L'Atelier review – words become weapons in Laurent Cantet's study of a writing workshop

The Palme d’Or winner (for The Class) returns with a drama that throws together disparate aspiring writers, in a film that suggests debate can be as exciting as action

Laurent Cantet’s L’Atelier shares a highly effective central device with his 2009 Palme d’Or winner The Class: the social and economic issues of a place – in L’Atelier’s case the once-thriving port town of La Ciotat, near Marseille in the south of France – are explored through the medium of education.

Related: Oh Lucy! review – Japanese tale of office worker in love with her teacher is a little wonky

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'The Workshop' ('L'Atelier'): Film Review | Cannes 2017

'The Workshop' ('L'Atelier'): Film Review | Cannes 2017
French writer-director Laurent Cantet is perhaps best known for his 2008 Palme d’Or-winning docudrama The Class, but some of his earlier films – especially the haunting unemployment saga Time Out and the taut workplace drama Human Resources – reveal a predilection for dark, character-based thrillers where the line between reality, fiction and a certain kind of madness is not always easy to discern.

These elements are all bound together in his latest feature, The Workshop (L’Atelier), an intense yet true-to-life story about an accomplished writer’s relationship with a student who troubles her as much as he leaves her constantly intrigued. Featuring...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Cannes 2017. Ecstatic Abandon—Robin Campillo's "120 Beats Per Minute"

Making his first appearance in competition as a director (after having previously written Laurent Cantet's Palme d’Or-winning The Class), Robin Campillo already has a triumph on his hands with 120 Beats Per Minute, which centers on the efforts of the activist group Act Up in Paris, patterned after the New York group of the same name formed in 1989. Enriched by Campillo's own experiences with AIDS activism in the 1990s, the film—which runs close to two-and-a-half hours, one of the longer titles in competition—has a canvas both intimate and expansive, brimming with both specificity and bracing sincerity. It's the rare film that documents both a personal story and a larger movement with verve and grace, creating a compelling, often moving experience.The opening alone, which sees four new members integrated into Act Up’s weekly meetings, is impressive, laying out not just the group’s organization and rules (e.
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Cannes Review: ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ is a Powerful Drama About the Fight for Survival

Sometimes a movie doesn’t need much character development to make an impact. The ensemble cast that comprise Robin Campillo’s AIDS activists in 120 Beats Per Minute all work together to be the same voice. Through this group, the director captures a force that resonates more in message than in any of the conventional, dramatic sparks you might find in a Hollywood version of this story. This is one of the most politically-minded movies to come around in quite some time as Campillo stages heated strategy sessions between the activists of Act Up like a Godard cinematic political essay post-La Chinoise. Through effective direction, the activism on display here is inspiring enough to rile one up to set aside preoccupations and try to make a difference in the world.

Campillo hasn’t really made a splash as a director over the years, unless you count 2013’s vastly underseen (at least stateside) Eastern Boys.
See full article at The Film Stage »

French AIDS Crisis Gets Definitive Big Screen Treatment In ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ — Cannes 2017 Review

French AIDS Crisis Gets Definitive Big Screen Treatment In ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ — Cannes 2017 Review
It takes close to an hour before any backstories emerge for the ensemble cast of AIDS activists in “120 Beats Per Minute.” Before then, Robin Campillo’s engrossing drama lingers in heated strategy sessions and hectic activism, as the members of France’s early ‘90s Act Up movement toss fake blood at their targets in between arguments about the effectiveness of their tactics. Rather than attempting any big twists, Campillo lingers in this passionate world, sketching out the nature of their cause before filling in the details. The only real character arc is that sick people keep getting sicker.

This isn’t a characteristic project for Campillo, best known to English-language audiences for “They Live,” the film that inspired the “Twin Peaks”-like TV series “The Returned,” and “Eastern Boys,” a taut gay thriller in which Russian men posing as prostitutes rob an older man. “120 Beats Per Minute” contains no such far-reaching hooks,
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Cannes Film Review: ‘Bpm (Beats Per Minute)’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Bpm (Beats Per Minute)’
What does it take to fight a pandemic? Knowledge, courage and resilience, certainly, but also rough-and-tumble argument, a range of friendships both consoling and abrasive, a healthy sense of gallows humor and soul-sustaining supplies of loud music and louder sex. French writer-director Robin Campillo understands all of this in “Bpm (Beats Per Minute),” his sprawling, thrilling, finally heart-bursting group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists in the early 1990s. A rare and invaluable non-American view of the global health crisis that decimated, among others, the gay community in the looming shadow of the 21st century, Campillo’s unabashedly untidy film stands as a hot-blooded counter to the more polite strain of political engagement present in such prestige AIDS dramas as “Philadelphia” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” Candidly queer in its perspective and unafraid of eroticism in the face of tragedy, this robust Cannes competition entry is nonetheless emotionally immediate enough to break out of the Lgbt niche.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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