Carte Noire French Film Festival at the Irish Film Institute

Now is the time to rush to the French cinematic barricades

 

As the Carte Noire French Film Festival moves into the Irish Film Institute (until November 30th) we are reminded what a large part that nation plays in the story of serious film.

The event presses the case by dragging up a fine selection of films from the perennially influential Nouvelle Vague. The great Alain Resnais, cinema’s puzzle master, died in March and the organisers are screening his mighty Hiroshima Mon Amour in tribute. Dr Brigitte Le Juez, senior lecturer at DCU, will be on hand to help the audience break the code.

You can also catch a rare screening of François Truffaut’s underappreciated Mississippi Mermaid and a showing of Eric Rohmer’s fine Love in the Afternoon. Antoine de Baecque, professor of history and cinema studies at ENS and Nanterre University and curator of the sub-season, will host a free event on French New Wave and Cinephilia (a title that makes a lot of sense). Indeed, this year’s festival is teaming with guests. Pascale Ferran, director of the Cannes hit Bird People, will participate in a Q&A. Mathieu Amalric, the great actor and director, is here to talk about The Blue Room, his Simenon adaptation, and his appearance in Sophie Fillieres’s If You Don’t I Will. Other exciting new films include Bruno Demont’s hugely praised TV experiment Li’l Quinquin and Abderrahmane Sissako’s searing African drama Timbuktu.

The highlight of the event might, however, be the triumphant return to form of Jean-Luc Godard. The dark prince of French cinema offers brave followers a mind-distorting 3D picture entitled Goodbye to Language (left). Beware. At one point, the film (which stars the director’s dog) projects different images into either eye. Still awkward after all these years. DONALD CLARKE