Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, October 18:

Jean-Stéphane Bron

Rendez-vous with French Cinema 2017

Select Festivals:
San Francisco, Seattle, BAFICI, BelDocs, Docs Against Gravity, Moscow, Locarno, Melbourne, New Zealand, Biografilm, Jerusalem

An observational portrait of the French cultural institution over a tumultuous season.

A project in the vein of Frederick Wiseman’s institutional studies, Bron’s film provides audiences with a privileged behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Opéra de Paris, whose expansive mandate covers not only opera but orchestral concerts, ballets, and more. Eschewing interviews for fly-on-the-wall scenes, the filmmaker is presented with a bounty of goings on which could fill at least two features, from the debut and quick departure of celebrity ballet director Benjamin Millepied to a national strike hindering full productions to the terror attacks at the Bataclan and elsewhere around Paris, placing other cultural activities under high alert. Beyond the above, other threads include the experiences of a new Russian singer as he adjusts to the Opera and the search for a bull to take on a special role in the opening production of the season. It’s to Bron’s credit that he juggles these events as well as he does, though at times the film does suffer from being overstuffed. Still, it does succeed in offering a rare glimpse of what goes into pulling off world-class performing arts productions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.