2015, Magnolia Pictures, 123 min, France, Dir: Arnaud Desplechin

Mathieu Amalric reprises the role of Paul Dédalus from Arnaud Desplechin’s MY SEX LIFE … OR HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT in this origin story. Paul, now an anthropologist, prepares to leave Tajikistan and reflects on his life in a series of flashbacks covering three periods: his troubled childhood in Roubaix (newcomer Quentin Dolmaire portrays Paul as an adolescent); his trip to the U.S.S.R., where a clandestine mission led him to offer up his own identity to a young Russian; and university life, with its shifting circle of friends and their casual betrayals. But most of all, he remembers Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet), the beautiful, rude, haughty love of his life. An SACD Award winner at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

2017, Magnolia Pictures, 135 min, France, Dir: Arnaud Desplechin

Twenty-one years ago, she ran away; now Carlotta (Marion Cotillard) is back from the void. But Ismael (Mathieu Amalric) has been busy rebuilding a life for himself with Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and working on his next feature film. As Ismael's trials and tribulations unfurl, so too do those of the film-within-a-film’s protagonist: the idle, funny and reckless diplomat Ivan Dédalus (Louis Garrel), who, in a nod to earlier Desplechin films, is the brother of recurring character Paul Dédalus. With ISMAEL’S GHOSTS, Desplechin returns once more to the past and proves yet again that his brand of genius lies in his ability to find light in the darkest of places. This is the full-length director’s cut of the film, 20 minutes longer and markedly different in tone from the version that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

2011, Gkids, 89 min, France, Dir: Joann Sfar & Antoine Delesvaux

This Cesar winner for Best Animated Feature is set in Algeria in the 1930s, where a cat swallows a parrot and gains the power of speech. The feline’s owner is a widowed rabbi with a beautiful teenage daughter, and the cat’s outrageous running commentary shifts from philosophical to skeptical to lustful at a moment’s notice. Based on a popular graphic novel by Sfar (one of France’s most acclaimed comic artists as well as a filmmaker), THE RABBI’S CAT swirls with Chagall-like colors, Daumier-esque caricatures, and backgrounds so richly detailed you’ll forget they’re drawings. An Annie Award nominee for Best Animated Feature and Best Directing in an Animated Feature! In French with English subtitles.

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