Yesterday I found out about an intriguing new movie, “Recipe For Murder,” and I look forward to speaking with writer/director Sonia Bible. It was news to me that in the early 1950’s, Sydney was a city in the grip of a deadly crime wave. In just over a year, more than 100 people were poisoned; most of the killers were women. “Recipe For Murder” tells the true story of three notorious perpetrators: Yvonne Fletcher, Caroline Grills and Veronica Monty.
The 52-minute film combines gritty archive footage, film-noir re-enactments, interviews with witnesses and a score from “Animal Kingdom” composer Antony Partos. Last month, “Recipe For Murder” won a Silver Hugo award (documentary category, history/biography) in the Chicago film fest’s 2011 Hugo Television Competition.
B&W Boudoir: In the June issue of Elle, Rachel McAdams and the magazine’s creative director Joe Zee reinterpret Catherine Deneuve’s look in “Repulsion,” from 1965, by Roman Polanski. “Noir, Now” also features boudoir dressing suggestions, edited by Kyle Anderson. McAdams nails the film-noir vibe and it’s an excellent issue overall, particularly Cintra Wilson’s piece on how learning flamenco changed her life.
In Cannesclusion: Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes film fest, which ended Sunday. Kirsten Dunst snared best female actor for her role in “Melancholia” by Lars Von Trier. Harvey Weinstein calls this the best Cannes in 25 years. Read Peter Bradshaw’s wrapup in The Guardian at https://bit.ly/iZXTeV.
Tickets are going fast for the 15th annual City of Lights, City of Angels (COL•COA) Film Festival that runs today through April 18 in Los Angeles.
In addition to 26 shorts, the festival will present 34 features, including several premieres. “The relationship between COL•COA and our audiences has evolved into a genuine love story over the last 15 years,” says Director and Programmer François Truffart. “We are thrilled that for this 15th anniversary year, we will bring an equally exclusive and high-profile lineup, keeping the passion for French cinema alive.”
At 5:45 p.m.: In “The Night Clerk” Vincent Rottiers plays Frédéric, a young man trying to return to society after his release from prison. He finds work in a mountain hotel owned by the bad-tempered Jacques (Jean-Pierre Bacri). Though Frédéric suspects Jacques may be involved in the mysterious disappearance of a hotel client, he remains silent to protect him. But police inspector Sylvie Poncet (Sylvie Testud) makes it harder and harder for Frédéric to keep quiet. Directed by Raphaël Jacoulot.
At 7:45 p.m.: “The Big Picture” stars Romain Duris as a successful lawyer who seems to lead an enviable life. When he learns his wife is having an affair, he accidentally kills her lover. His orderly life now in ruins, he assumes the dead man’s identity and flees to the former Yugoslavia. Supporting actors include Catherine Deneuve, Branka Katic and Niels Arestrup. Based on a novel by Douglas Kennedy; directed by Eric Lartigau.
At 10:15 p.m.: “The Long Falling” tells the story of a battered woman (Yolande Moreau) who kills her husband of 30 years, tries to reunite with her estranged son and ends up on the run. Based on a novel by Keith Ridgway; directed by Martin Provost.
Other highlights include the following; see the site for details:
*CLASSIC REVIVAL: “Cold Cuts” (Bertrand Blier, 1977) With Gerard Depardieu, Bernard Blier, Jean Carmet. Classic black comedy about three inept murderers. Cast member Bernard Blier, a famous French actor, is director Bertrand Blier’s father.
*CLASSIC REVIVAL: “Les Bonnes Femmes” (Claude Chabrol, 1960). With Bernadette Lafont, Stephane Audran and Claude Berri. Noir master Chabrol’s classic New Wave tale of four Parisian shopgirls and their lives and dreams.
*“His Mother’s Eyes,” a drama starring Catherine Deneuve as a celebrity news anchor and Nicolas Duvauchelle as a troubled young author who wants to write her unauthorized biography and seduces her estranged daughter (Géraldine Pailhas) as a means of gathering information. Directed by Thierry Klifa.
*“The Clink of Ice,” Bertrand Blier’s new film; Blier will appear for discussion.
*Also be sure to check out: New films by well-known French directors Claude Lelouch, Guillaume Cantet, Catherine Breillat, Cedric Klapisch, Nicole Garcia, Jean Becker and Benoit Jacquot.
*To celebrate the announcement and recipients of the 2011 COL•COA awards, two of the winning films will be re-screened for free on Monday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
All films are screened at the Directors Guild Theater Complex, 7920 Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles (half a block west of Fairfax Avenue and two blocks east of Crescent Heights). Free parking is available at the Directors Guild. Enter on Hayworth Avenue.
This week, the French comedy, “Potiche,” directed by François Ozon, opens nationwide. Potiche is French for arm candy/trophy wife or husband. It stars Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve, who recently came to the LA County Museum of Art for a Q&A after a preview of the movie. She was magnificent! Granted, “Potiche” is not a noir, but why pass up a chance to see a blonde legend like Deneuve on the big screen?
Chicago fans can see a sneak preview of “Potiche” on Wednesday, as part of the Music Box Theatre’s program that also includes “Repulsion,” “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “Belle de Jour,” “ 8 Women” and “The Last Metro.”