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THE TRUTH (2019)
LA VERITÉ
2020, IFC Films, 106 min, France/Japan/Switzerland, Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is an aging French movie star who, despite her momentary lapses in memory, remains a venerable force to be reckoned with. Upon the publication of her memoirs, her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) returns to Paris from New York with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and their young daughter to commemorate its release. A sharp and funny battle of wits ensues between the mother-daughter duo, as Lumir takes issue with Fabienne's rose-colored version of the past. Reflected cleverly by Fabienne's latest role in a sci-fi drama, their strained relationship takes a poignant journey toward possible reconciliation. Charming, bold, and imbued with endless emotional insight, THE TRUTH offers a relatable look at human relationships, featuring exquisite performances from its all-star cast.


IRMA VEP
1996, Janus Films, 97 min, France, Dir: Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas’ live-wire international breakthrough stars a magnetic Maggie Cheung as a version of herself: a Hong Kong action-movie star who arrives in Paris to play the latex-clad lead in a remake of Louis Feuillade’s classic 1915 crime serial LES VAMPIRES. What she finds is a behind-the-scenes tangle of barely controlled chaos as egos clash, romantic attractions simmer and an obsessive director (a cannily cast Jean-Pierre Léaud) drives himself to the brink to realize his vision. Blending blasts of silent cinema, martial arts flicks and the music of Sonic Youth and Ali Farka Touré into a hallucinatory swirl of postmodern cool, Assayas composes a witty reflection on the 1990s French film industry and the eternal tension between art and commercial entertainment.


SUMMER HOURS
L’HEURE D’ÉTÉ
2008, IFC Films, 108 min, France, Dir: Olivier Assayas

Juliette Binoche stars in this haunting family drama from director Olivier Assayas, which follows three siblings as they grapple with the death of their mother (Edith Scob). Tasked with dispersing their mother’s valuable assets, Adrienne (Binoche) and her brothers, Frédéric (Charles Berling) and Jérémie (Jérémie Renier), begin to realize their deeply personal attachments to their inheritance, as their childhood memories flood back into focus only to fade once more. “In spite of its modest scale, tactful manner and potentially dowdy subject matter, [the film] is packed nearly to bursting with rich meaning and deep implication.” - A. O. Scott, The New York Times.


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