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Director Claude Chabrol
Edinburgh Filmhouse 29 November 8.30pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 30 November 8.15pm
London Ciné Lumière 5 December 8.40pm
As has become his custom, police commissioner Paul Bellamy (Gérard Depardieu in his first role for veteran Claude Chabrol) takes his annual summer break in the south of France, staying with wife Francoise’s family in Nimes. This confirmed workaholic would rather be back in Paris fighting crime and certainly has no enthusiasm for his wife’s holiday plans. Fortunately, he is rescued by the unexpected arrival of two men – his good-for-nothing brother Jacques and a 40-something stranger, Noël Gentil, who is in desperate need of his help. The former takes a perverse delight in raking over old family grievances whilst the latter intrigues Paul with a bizarre tale involving a murder and faked insurance claim. This is the kind of holiday Bellamy prefers... This is a movie where people seem to be thinking about plots, schemes, and relationships that exist outside the story. The film is assuredly a dedicated character piece, with the story seeming to be one long series of extended conversations with deliciously sketched “types,” ranging from Jacques Gamblin’s schemer suffering moral mania to Clovis Cornillac’s hunkered down cliché of the family’s black sheep.
Cast Gérard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac, Jacques Gamblin, Marie Bunel, Vahina Giocante, Marie Matheron, Adrienne Pauly, Yves Verhoeven, Bruno Abraham-Kremer, Thomas Chabrol
Director Claude Chabrol
2009. 110 mins
Int. Sales TF1 International

Director Pascal Thomas
Aberdeen, The Belmont 24 November 6.30pm
Edinburgh Filmhouse 2 December 8.45pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 3 December 8.00pm CHANGED
The latest adventures of Belisaire and Prudence Bersford, adapted stylishlyfrom Agatha Christie, find the pair enjoying peaceful days in their château but Prudence is bored and longs for a crime. Bringing back most of the cast and crew from his two previous Christie yarns, By the Pricking of My Thumbs and Towards Zero, writer-director Pascal Thomas adds another instalment to a consistently entertaining series. Based primarily on the short story The House of Lurking Death, which appeared in the author's 1929 collection Partners in Crime, but also including shades of 4:50 From Paddington, Thomas brings back that uncanny duo Prudence (Frot) and Belisaire Beresford (Dussollier), last seen Sherlocking together in Thumbs. With Belisaire now retired from the secret service and the couple living tranquilly in the stunningly photographed Rhône-Alpes region, bored Prudence is just dying for a new crime to solve. Her wish is soon granted when visiting Auntie Babette (Annie Cordy in an engaging cameo) arrives on a train, on which she claims to have witnessed a murder.
Cast Catherine Frot, André Dussollier, Chiara Mastroianni, Hippolyte Girardot, Annie Cordy
Director Pascal Thomas
2008. 108 mins
Int. Sales Tamasa

Director Samuel Benchetrit
Warwick Arts Centre 23 November 8.30pm
Inverness Eden Court 26 November 6.25pm
Dundee DCA 28 November 8.00pm
Edinburgh Filmhouse 1 December 8.45pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 2 December 6.15pm
Samuel Benchetrit takes the helm for this laid-back crime comedy that weaves together four stories which all eventually convene at a roadside diner. Franck (Edouard Baer) is a petty criminal who is currently pondering the prospect of holding up a remote diner. When observant waitress Suzie (Anna Mouglalis) eventually realises that Franck has more than a meal on his mind, she reveals that she too had considered robbing the place. Set on the outskirts of Paris, the lives of several characters intersect… an amateur female thief, whose victim is herself an apprentice hold-up artist, two kidnappers who abduct a suicidal young teenage girl who keeps begging them to kill her and whose father refuses categorically to pay a ransom, and a singer suffering from creative block.
Screening with THE BARREL OF THE DANAIDES (12 mins)
Cast Anna Mouglalis, Edouard Baer, Jean Rochefort, Laurent Terzieff, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Venantino Venantini, Roger Dumas
Director Samuel Benchetrit
2007. 113 mins
Int. Sales Wild Bunch

Director Ilan Duran Cohen
Edinburgh Filmhouse 26 November 8.45pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 28 November 8.45pm
Inverness Eden Court 30 November 8.30pm
St Andrews NPH 6 December 2.00pm
Fasten your seatbelts for this witty spy-caper musical involving a missing key, duplicitous, bed-hopping spies and a seriously unusual singing class. Odd is the first word that springs to mind when describing this effervescent French spy comedy, with the words witty, unpredictable, delightful and original following close behind. Secret agents Muriel (Marina Fois) and the boyish Philippe (Lorant Deutsch) are sent on a mission to find a USB key possibly hidden by Constance (Jeanne Balibar), the fetching widow of a recently killed black market uranium salesman. In an effort to get close to the widow, the two are forced to enroll in Constance’s singing class.
Cast Marina Foïs, Lorànt Deutsch, Jeanne Balibar, Nathalie Richard, Julien Baumgartner, Caroline Ducey, Dominique Reymond, Guillaume Quatravaux
Director Ilan Duran Cohen
2008. 96 mins
Int. Sales Pyramide Distribution

Director Benoît Delépine
Aberdeen The Belmont 26 November 6.30pm
Dundee DCA 27 November 8.00pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 29 November 5.15pm
Edinburgh Filmhouse 30 November 8.45pm
London Ciné Lumière 2 December 6.15pm
Cornerhouse Manchester 6 December 4.00pm
After the sudden shutdown of their company, the factory workers, led by Louise (played by the iconic Yolande Moreau, 2009 César for Best Actress in Séraphine featured in Preview on Page 5), are determined to get their revenge on the boss responsible for the relocation. They hire Michel (Bouli Lanners), an incompetent hit man who proves unable to do the job. Louise decides to take matters in her own hands and teams up with Michel to hunt down the "boss." Along the way, the eccentric duo encounter a mad scientist (Benoît Poelvoorde), a singer (French pop artist Philippe Katerine) and a farmer played by writer-director-actor Mathieu Kassovitz who also co-produced the film. The slowly leaked revelation that both Louise and Michel are cross-dressers furthers the lunacy, as well as epitomizes the filmmakers' portrait of modern France as a place where inequality and unjustness compels people to mutate and/or deny their fundamental identities, a point that lends the bizarre tale an underlying strain of sadness.
Cast Yolande Moreau, Bouli Lanners, Benoît Poelvoorde, Albert Dupontel, Philippe Katerine, Mathieu Kassovitz, Pierre Broodthaers, Terence Debarle Robert Dehoux, Hervé Desinge, Yannick Jaulin, Jacqueline Knuysen, Francis Kuntz, Sylvie Vanhiel
Director Benoît Delépine
2008. 94 mins
Int. Sales
Funny Balloons

Director Emmanuel Mouret
Edinburgh Filmhouse 28 November 8.30pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 29 November 3.15pm
Emmanuel Mouret, a French Film Festival guest in 2004, has been described as a French Woody Allen because of the madcap style of his series of romantic comedies such as Change of Address and Shall We Kiss. In his latest Ariane (Frédérique Bel) believes that her partner Jean-Jacques (Mouret) is fantasising about another woman. Hoping to free him from his obsession, she asks him to have an affair with the woman in question (Judith Godrèche), who turns out to be the daughter of the French President! The film then launches into an extended bout of gags during which Jean-Jacques does his best to play it cool and hopefully go all the way. Blending his character's squeamish timidity with David Faivre's colourful set designs, Mouret uses the simplest setups to elicit maximum laughs. Despite all the twists and turns nobody manages to fulfil the promises of desire in this comedy of manners and errors, set to a catchy score that mixes classical tunes with cheesy '60s background music.
Cast Judith Godreche, Frederique Bel, Deborah François, Emmanuel Mouret
Director Emmanuel Mouret
2009. 90 mins
Int. Sales Pyramide International

Director Christophe Honoré
Edinburgh Filmhouse 14 November 6.15pm
Dundee DCA 24 November 6.00pm
Warwick Arts Centre 26 November 8.30pm
Gala Durham 30 November 8.30pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 2 December 8.45pm
St Andrews NPH 4 December 6.00p
Based on the French classic La Princess de Clèves Christophe Honoré’s film is set in a contemporary French high-school. After the death of her mother, Junie arrives at her cousin Mathias’ school in the middle of the year. A beautiful girl, she quickly attracts the attention of Mathias’ male friends, who compete to win her heart. Although she starts a relationship with shy and reserved Otto (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet), soon a mutual passion develops between Junie and Italian teacher Nemours (Louis Garrel), an incorrigible seducer already involved in an affair with a fellow teacher and a student. While Junie resists what she sees as an illusion of love and remains faithful to Otto, Nemours becomes increasingly confused and falls in love with her. Honoré brings to the mix a heartfelt empathy for the emotional enormity and painful yearning that are part and parcel of teenage relationships.
Screening with THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER (8 mins)
Cast Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Estéban Carjaval, Simon Truxillo, Agathe Bonitzer
Director Christophe Honoré
2008. 97 mins
Int. Sales Le Pacte

Director Josiane Balasko
Edinburgh Filmhouse 29 November 8.30pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 30 November 8.15pm
London Ciné Lumière 5 December 8.40pm
A successful middle-aged woman (Nathalie Baye) decides to avoid emotional entanglements and instead uses male escorts for her sexual needs in this classy, spirited and satisfying comedy, directed, written and co-starring Josiane Balasko (a regular previous guest of the festival). It emerges as a delightfully droll look at sexual mores with Baye excelling as TV presenter Judith who believes she’s found a way to have a satisfying sexual life amidst her chaotic professional life: instead of messy relationships. Opting instead for straightforward sexual servicing through a series of male escorts she chooses on the Internet she incurs the wrath of her sister Irene (Balasko) who couldn’t disagree more about her sister’s strategy. Judith, however, is adamant this laissez-faire arrangement works. And it appears to work for her until unconventional escort Patrick (Eric Caravaca) enters her life. Handsome in a suburban way and new to the servicing game, Patrick and Judith hit it off beautifully. The great acting of the three leads adds enormously the pleasure quotient. The word cliente denotes a female customer without specifying of what.
Cast Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca, Isabelle Carré, Josiane Balasko
Director Josiane Balasko
2008. 100 mins
Int. Sales Wild Bunch

Director Anne Fontaine
Edinburgh Filmhouse 12 November 8.00pm
Warwick Arts Centre 22 November 4.00pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 26 November 8.45pm
Inverness Eden Court 28 November 8.15pm
Bertrand Beauvois (Fabrice Luchini) is a brilliant lawyer hired to defend criminal Edith Lassalle (Stéphane Audran) at a high-profile trial in Monaco. Given the sensitive nature of the case, the overzealous bodyguard Christophe (Roschdy Zem) is assigned to protect him. However, the danger seems to come less from organised crime than from local weather girl Audrey Varella (newcomer Louise Bourgoin, a real life personality on TV channel Canal +). A stunning beauty, Audrey seduces and enthrals the otherwise austere lawyer, who falls head over heels for her. Luchini, 57, who has appeared in dozens of FFF UK-featured films, has over the years refined an adaptable persona that is recognisable across genres and periods. His startled-looking eyes, delicate chin and slight overbite convey a mixture of cynicism and cluelessness, as mature worldliness seems to do battle with childlike credulity. Anne Fontaine (who made Coco Avant Chanel and was the subject of a French Film Festival focus in her presence in1999), is clearly, at least in part, offering up a satire on male sexual vanity and the capacity for self-delusion it creates.
Cast Fabrice Luchini, Roschdy Zem, Louise Bourgoin, Stéphane Audran, Gilles Cohen, Jeanne Balibar, Pierre Bourgeon
Director Anne Fontaine
2008. 95 mins
Int. Sales Pyramide International

Director Robert Guédiguian
With the support of the Glasgow Marseilles Twinning Fund
MacRobert Stirling 17 November 7.30pm
Edinburgh Filmhouse 19 November 2.30pm/8.45pm
Aberdeen The Belmont 21 November 4.00pm
Dundee DCA 26 November 6.00pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 27 November 8.45pm
This recent offering from celebrated writer/director Robert Guédiguian whomade the recently released The Army of Crime as well as The Town Is Quiet, Marius & Jeanette, Marie Jo and Her Two Lovers, The Journey to Armenia and The Last Mitterand is a character-rich film noir, set in a wintry Marseille. Muriel (Ariane Ascaride), François (Jean-Pierre Daroussin) and René (Gerard Meylan) are three childhood friends from a working class neighbourhood, who robbed banks together back in the 80s but now see very little of each other. That is, until the day Muriel's son is kidnapped. As Muriel’s request for help goes out, the friends are soon united once again to set about gathering the ransom. And one thing quickly leads to another... Featuring a twisting narrative and sharp editing, Lady Jane (shown to mark Glasgow’s twinning with Marseilles) has an edgy, frenetic feel, but in his first foray into the genre, Guédiguian has more than noir in mind. Existentialism deepens the darkness, along with the irretrievable loss that surfaces when we revisit the past. His talented trio of actors (all Guédiguian regulars) are terrific, with Daroussin (FFF UK guest in 2008) again stealing the show. .
Cast Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gerard Meylan
Director Robert Guédiguian
2008. 104 mins
Int. Sales Films Distribution

Director Bruno Podalydès
Aberdeen The Belmont 20 November 8.45pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 22 November 2.30pm
Dundee DCA 25 November 6.00pm
Bruno Podalydès’ fifth feature is an ensemble film that has been lauded for its poetic humour which borders on the absurd and explores themes of urban solitude. As she does every morning, Lucie joins her colleagues at the office. Between games of solitaire and adverts on the Internet, it’s a working day just like any other. Then all activity in the office stops. All attention is turned towards the window of the building opposite and a banner reading: Man Alone. A hoax? A cry for help? What lies behind this mysterious message? The film's very loosely connected glimpses of a few dozen people in an office, a local park and a home-improvement store might be useful as a primer on current French film stars because it features everyone from Pierre Arditi, via Thierry Lhermitte and Josiane Balasko to Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric and Chiara Mastroianni. The title literally translates as Park Benches (Versailles – Right Bank), which explicitly ties the film to Podalydès’ debut, Versailles – Left Bank shown at the French Film Festival in 1992.
Cast Sabine Azema, Emmanuelle Devos, Pierre Arditi, Chiara Mastroianni, Josiane Balasko, Bruno Podalydès, Olivier Gourmet, Hippolyte Girardot, Thierry Lhermitte, Julie Depardieu, Nicole Garcia, Mathieu Amalric, Vincent Elbaz, Amira Casar, Michael Lonsdale, Florence Muller, Claude Rich, Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Poelvoorde
Director Bruno Podalydès
2008. 110 mins
Int. Sales Wild Bunch

Director Christophe Honoré
London Ciné Lumière 15 November 3.00pm
Edinburgh Filmhouse 23 November 8.45pm
Glasgow Film Theatre 1 December 6.30pm
Just as they are about to be sent to Iraq where the conflict is intensifying, a star radio journalist Franck (played by Gérard Lanvin) and his sound technician Poussin (Gérard Jugnot) lose their plane tickets and money for the trip. This leads them to pull off a major bluff: the duo hide in the Barbès area of Paris, where they pretend to report live from Baghdad. Lying low in a friend’s Parisian apartment, they manage to broadcast “live” from Basrah and Baghdad via a satellite phone and lots of cleverly inserted sound effects. The routine gets out of hand when Franck's so-called war stories begin affecting the actual conflict. Things also get complicated when Franck inadvertently sleeps with Poussin's wife (Valerie Kaprisky) before their mission. As the team's antics come dangerously close to being uncovered, Poussin's marital crisis places an immovable wedge between the two "correspondents."
Cast Gérard Lanvin, Gérard Jugnot, Omar Sy, Valérie Kaprisky, Anne Marivin, Serge Hazanavicius, Bertrand Lacy, Guillaume Durand
Director Frédéric Auburtin
2009. 93 mins
Int. Sales Europa Corp Distribution

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