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RIDICULE
1996, Park Circus/Miramax, 102 min, France, Dir: Patrice Leconte

Moved by the difficulties faced by peasants living in the mosquito-ridden swamplands near Lyon, aristocratic engineer Marquis Grégoire Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) devises a plan to drain the boggy land. But to gain an audience with King Louis XVI (Urbain Cancelier) in Versailles, he learns he must impress the royal court with his verbal wit. Drawn into a world of ever-shifting alliances where words are used as weapons, the marquis begins to lose sight of his noble intentions.


VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
2017, STX Entertainment, 137 min, France, Dir: Luc Besson

Luc Besson’s visually spectacular new adventure film is based on the groundbreaking comic book series. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha - an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force that threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha but the future of the universe. With Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu and Rutger Hauer.


FEMME FATALE
2002, Warner Bros., 114 min, Dir: Brian de Palma

Jewel thief Laure (Rebecca Romijn) gets more than she bargained for when she tries to double-cross her partners and start a new life in this fast, funny, deliriously sexy thriller. From its classic De Palma opening set piece (an erotically charged heist set against the backdrop of the Cannes Film Festival) to its provocative playfulness with the concept of “reality” and its elegantly constructed network of visual motifs, this is one of the director’s best and most underrated films. Antonio Banderas is terrific as the photographer who alternates between nemesis and love interest over the course of Laure’s adventure.


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