They’re the King and Queen of Australian film and have reigned supreme for the past, well, ever. Yet although David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz may have officially called cut on ABC’s At The Movies, they’ve by no means stepped away from the spotlight. The pair are patrons of the 2015 French Film Festival which is playing in selected theatres across Australia from March 3. Both “major lovers” of French cinema – which they consider some of the best in the world – they’ve selected three films each which will screen as part of the extensive line-up. From a little-seen Viggo Mortensen vehicle to a wartime classic, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton explain their cinematic choices for Graffiti With Punctuation.
THE BLUE ROOM (La Chambre Bleue) – David’s pick
“I’ve always been a fan of thrillers and this is a good ol’ fashioned thriller. It’s a very tense little film about a secret love affair in a small town and it’s just beautifully done. I saw it last year at Cannes, which is really the Olympic Games of film festivals. It has more prestige than any other festival and it’s the one festival anybody involved with film goes to. It’s secured that spot for itself over the years and you go expecting to see the very best the world has to offer. There’s something special about Cannes.”
FAR FROM MEN (Loin des Hommes) – Margaret’s pick
“This is a really beautiful film set in the Atlas Mountains which, for some reason, I’ve always wanted to go there. And you really go there in this. For someone from a non French-speaking background, French people say Viggo Mortensen truly gets that accent perfect. I think he’s such a brilliant, charismatic actor. There are also some beautiful moral teasings in this one.”
TOKYO FIANCÉE (Tokyo Fiancée) – David’s pick
THE LAST HAMMER BLOW (Le Dernier Coup de Marteau) – Margaret’s pick
“Alix Delaporte made a film that I’d seen at a festival that I was really impressed by – Angel and Tony – which was her first feature in 2010. I was interested in following up her career and this one was really extraordinaire. This kid Romain Paul gives an amazing performance: he has a sick mother and he’s estranged from his famous conductor father and it follows him trying to bridge that gap. It’s a film with a woman’s eye – so many of the views we have on screen are from the men’s perspective. I still think it’s pretty much a boys club, this whole movie business, but things are kind of broadening out. We’re lucky in this country the film industry re-jigged itself in the Seventies when feminism was riding high and women were given great choices.”
GRAND ILLUSION (La Grande Illusion) – David’s pick
“It’s not only one of the greatest French films of all time, but one of the greatest films of all time period. It’s also one of the great antiwar films. It looks at the second World War from a very different perspective. French films really do have an exquisite flavour.”
3 HEARTS (3 Coeurs) – Margaret’s pick
“This is one of those films where you’ve got to swallow your disbelief because we’re asked to believe two women fall in love with this man in a nano-second and give up everything for it. It’s one of those missed connection films. Fabulously performed, it is a melodrama and it is a romantic one. I’m a sucker for romantic melodrama – what’s not to love in that one?”
OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/
Maria Lewis – follow Maria on Twitter here: @moviemazz or on top-rating film podcast Pod Save Our Screen, available now on iTunes.