The 22nd edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York City will open with the North American premiere of Étienne Comar’s Django, and close with the U.S. premiere of Jérôme Salle’s The Odyssey.
Django is the riveting saga of jazz legend Django Reinhardt’s escape from German-occupied Paris in 1943. Comar’s impressive debut feature, which stars Reda Kateb as the pioneering musician and Cécile de France as his friend and muse, will have its world premiere just two weeks prior as opening night of the Berlin Film Festival, where the film will screen in official competition. The filmmaker and stars will appear in person at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for Opening Night of Rendez-Vous.
Closing the festival is the U.S. premiere of Jérôme Salle’s The Odyssey, a generational drama about the life of legendary explorer-turned-filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, played by the magnetic Lambert Wilson, and the toll his ambition takes on his devoted wife (Audrey Tautou) and conflicted son (Pierre Niney). Salle will be on hand to participate in a Q&A on Saturday, March 11.
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema is presented annually by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance and takes place at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.).
FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
Étienne Comar, France, 2017, 115m
French with English subtitles
The world of legendary Romani jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt is brought to vivid life in this riveting saga of survival, resistance, and artistic courage. Reinhardt (Reda Kateb) is the toast of 1943 Paris, thrilling audiences with his distinctive brand of “hot jazz” and charming his admirers (including an intrepid friend and muse played by Cécile de France). But even as the rise of Nazism and anti-Romani sentiment force Reinhardt—whose music is considered degenerate under the Third Reich—to make a daring escape from the city, he refuses to be silenced, his music becoming his form of protest. The feature debut from acclaimed screenwriter Étienne Comar (Of Gods and Men) immerses viewers in a tumultuous chapter in the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest musical geniuses. North American Premiere
The Odyssey / L’odyssée
Jérôme Salle, France, 2016, 122m
French with English Subtitles
Lambert Wilson is magnetic in this grandly lyrical dramatization of legendary explorer-turned-filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. Spanning half a century and criss-crossing oceans, the film charts Cousteau’s professional triumphs and personal failures as he achieves renown for the underwater documentaries he produced on his oceanographic expeditions, amid the constant struggle to secure financial backing for increasingly ambitious scientific (and cinematic) objectives. Set against the backdrop of cross-generational family drama—centered on his long-suffering wife Simone (Audrey Tautou) and his talented, deeply conflicted son Philippe (Pierre Niney)—The Odyssey is an epic ode to scientific exploration and documentary filmmaking, and a celebration of the human drive to seek out new realms of discovery. U.S. Premiere