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Film and Photography

French Film festival in Whitianga 24 films

Thurs 30 May to Wed 12 June – Mercury Twin Cinemas
 |  The Informer  | 

ROSALIE

115 mins Rated M Biography Drama Historical. Sun 2 June Time: 4.15pm

France, 1870s. Rosalie, is a young woman unlike any other. Born with a face and body covered in hair, a condition known as hirsutism, she has concealed her reality all her life, shaving to fit in.

When Abel, (The Piano Teacher) an indebted bar owner, unaware of her secret, marries her for her dowry, the defiant young woman decides to learn how to embrace her unconventional appearance. Inspired by the experiences of actual historical figures, this passionate and empowering drama is a beautifully-crafted parable about intolerance and attitudes towards body diversity.

THE TASTE OF THINGS

135 mins Rated PG Drama. 2 screenings Sun 2 June & Tues 11 June Time: 6.45pm.

1885. Peerless cook Eugenie has worked for the famous gourmet Dodin for the last 20 years. As time goes by, the practice of gastronomy and mutual admiration turns into a romantic relationship. Their association gives rise to dishes, one more delicious than the next, concoctions that confound even the world’s most illustrious chefs. An intense and poetic celebration of the pleasure of the palate, mind and heart. The Taste of Things has won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2023.

BONNARD, PIERRE & MARTHE

123 mins rated R16 (nudity & suicide) Biography. Sun 2 June Time: 1.30pm

1893. This is a beautiful and transporting new historical drama about the turbulent love story between the famous impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard (Macaigne) – a protégé of Claude Monet and his lesser known, but highly influential wife. The film is a vigorous, joyful and refreshing portrait of an atypical couple: an artist and his muse who holds the key to their bohemian existence.

THE SITTING DUCK

122 mins Rated M Drama. 2 screenings: Mon 3 June & Sat 8 June Time: 6.45pm.

Adapted from Caroline Michel-Aguirre’s book “La Syndicaliste,” “The Sitting Duck” tells the true story of Maureen Kearney, the head union representative of a French multinational nuclear powerhouse who becomes a whistleblower, denouncing top-secret deals that shook the French nuclear sector. One day, Kearney is found in her home, tied to a chair, the letter “A” carved into her abdomen, and a knife handle inserted into her vagina. Traumatized, she has no memory of the assault. However, after an investigation, the police accused her of staging the attack herself.

JEANNE DU BARRY

116 mins Rated M Biography. 2 screenings: Mon 3 June, Friday 7 June Time: 4.15pm

18th Century, pre-Revolution France. Jeanne Bécu (Maïwenn), the illegitimate daughter of a monk, hungers for culture and pleasure, and is determined to escape her commoner upbringing. With charm and sharp wit, and with the help of her benefactor, the Comte du Barry she is presented to the widowed King (Johnny Depp), a renowned womaniser. It’s intoxication at first sight; soon the King anoints her as his new favourite. Unapologetically ignoring propriety and etiquette, with the help of his valet La Borde, Louis moves her into his Versailles palace, sparking both derision and scandal… and jeopardising relations with the newly-arrived Marie Antoinette, the Austrian queen-in-waiting…

SUDDENLY

111 mins | Rated M Drama. 2 screenings: Tues 4 June & Tues 11 June Time: 7.00pm

Suddenly is a gripping tale of romance and survival. Ben (Gilles Lellouche) and Laura (Mélanie Thierry) have spent five years together. Their decision to embark on a global sailing adventure takes an unexpected turn when they detour to a remote island near the Antarctic coast. Caught in a storm, their boat disappears, leaving them isolated, alone, and in danger as winter approaches. Now, they must fight not only for survival but also to preserve their relationship. Ben and Laura grapple with unimaginable challenges and confront a haunting question: Is it better to survive alone or face death together?

THE CRIME IS MINE

102 mins Rated M Comedy

In this screwball comedy, an aspiring caress and her lawyer best friend Spina murder accusation into a shot at fame. Madeline is a pretty, young penniless actress in 1930’s Paris. A surprising twist. Don’t miss it!

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME

103 mins Rated M Comedy. Tues 4 June Time: 11.00am

When down on her luck Marie-Line appears before Judge Gilles d’Outremont, he sees something in her that nobody else does. He hires her to be his driver, and the result is a poignant, fun-filled and ultimately life-changing road trip. This gloriously mismatched odd couple’s journey together makes for a delightful film about the most unlikely of friendships, and the unexpected joy of second chances.

DIVERTIMENTO

114 mins PG Biography. Wed 5 June Time: 10.45am

The amazing true story of Zahia Ziouani who dreams of becoming an orchestra conductor while Fettouma, her twin sister, a professional cellist. But living in underprivileged Parisian suburbs in 1995 with their Algerian background, their dreams of becoming an orchestra conductor and a cellist seem very far away. They are top of their class and try to integrate into a world that is not theirs. A maestro, discovers that Zahia has what it takes to become a maestro. Driven by determination, passion, and courage, the two create their own orchestra, Divertimento. Inspired by the life of Zahia Ziouani, one of the few worldwide renowned female conductors.