CULTURE

Thessaloniki Film Festival prelude with six young French directors

Just one month before the beginning of the 45th Thessaloniki Film Festival, this year scheduled for November 19-28, movie lovers have the opportunity to watch recent French productions. This is an interesting tribute with a half-dozen films by young filmmakers, which was previously presented in Athens and provides a taste of what is to follow at November’s festival. All six films cast a fresh look at life, even though they deal with different themes. The tribute, which started on Friday and will run to Thursday, takes place at the Pavlos Zannas cinema on Aristotelous Square and reflects the tendencies of French cinema’s younger generation. One of the filmmakers is Zabou Breitman with her film «Se souvenir des belles choses» (Beautiful Memories), which won three Cesar awards in 2002. The film is about love, illness and obsession. Benedicte Lienard, who directed «Une part du ciel» (A Piece of Sky), created a dialogue between politics and personal relationships. Julie-Lopes Curval, with «Bord de mer» (Seaside), which won the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002, chose a reflective way of expression to capture certain moments of life. Directors Gerard Bitton and Michel Munz in «Ah! Si j’etais Riche» (If I Were a Rich Man) used laughter and caricatures to depict the essence of contemporary people. Guillaume Canet and «Mon Idol» (My Idol), nominated for 2 Cesar awards in 2002, poked fun at megalomania with boldness and black humor. Finally, Christophe Honore in «17 fois Cecile Cassard» (17 Time Cecile Cassard) poetically described the desire for death. Thessaloniki’s 45th Film Festival will begin and end with two of the year’s much-awaited films. Alejandro Amenabar’s «Mar Adentro» (The Sea Inside), a joint Spanish-French-Italian production, will open the festival. The film features actors Javier Bardem, Belen Rueda, Lola Duenas, Mabel Rivera and Celso Bugallo. Ramon, the leading character, is a quadriplegic and has been confined to bed for 30 years. His only window to the world is that of his room, which overlooks the sea, and his sole desire is to end his life in a dignified way. Yimou Zhang’s «House of the Flying Daggers» will close the festival; the film stars Zhang Ziyi and Takeshi Kaneshiro