Do you ever flick through your local chain cinema’s new releases and feel slightly bored with the films available? A solution to your cinematic woes could be taking a slight detour and trying something at a foreign film festival. As much as it can make one feel like a slightly alternative, cultured, up tight, hipster, there are some gorgeous benefits to giving these films a go. If you have a bit of free time in the next few weeks, try the Alliance French Film Festival running in Sydney which ends on 30th March.
French films can be noticeably different in a couple of ways. The most obvious is the use of more realistic looking actors and filming techniques. French films seem to be happy to embrace natural looking people of all different ages and shapes. Try 150 Milligrams and it’s a nice shock to see a middle aged looking woman wearing everyday clothes on the screen. Another option is In Bed with Victoria and see the main love interest look like the dork that was next to you on the morning train. It’s a little refreshing having a break from the ‘Stepford Wife’ gloss that seems to coat most American movies.
The storylines seem to be another point of difference. The ‘end of the world’ or ‘alien/space drama’ themes seem to be a depressingly recurring favourite in big box office American films for the last ten years. The French film festival seems to be able to offer films that are about things that exist here on earth; happening now; that don’t predict the imminent threat of the end of your life or those of your children’s children.
The sex scenes. Oh the sex scenes. For a country of the land of free and endless opportunity, American films actually don’t show much full body nudity and if it involves sex, it’s usually comedic or a stereotypically “hot” act. French films seem to be more comfortable showing the naked body as it is and filming more natural sex scenes that if you aren’t slightly used to can make you squirm a little in your seat. It’s a pleasurable experience to say the least and can leave you not comparing yourself and your sex life to fake movie scenes.
Grab a friend, your aunty, your mother or a partner and peruse the Alliance French Film Festival site. The festival is running at Palace Norton St Cinema, Palace Cinema at Paddington and at the Hayden Orpheum at Cremorne. These locations alone provide their own experience due to the charm of their interiors. If you can’t make the Alliance French Film Festival over the next couple of weeks, these venues are also hosting the Spanish Film Festival starting 18th April.