Culture DOCS

BARDOT, THE MISUNDERSTOOD
Directed by David Teboul
(Gaumont Television, 2013)    
    
Blending previously unseen family archives with passages from Bardot's autobiography, and the photographs that shaped her image with the films in which she starred, this documentary provides a subjective and sensitive rereading of the Bardot myth.  For the first time, we see a darker side of Brigitte Bardot, alluded to in her own writings and in the movies that drained her. What lay behind her sunny, blond, natural, dream-girl image?    

English version available     
Format:
1x52' ou 1x114'"    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr 


CRUCIFIXION - THE HOLY SCANDAL
Directed by Olivier Besse
(Mara Films, 2012)

Obsessed by American artist Andres Serrano's Piss Christ - the astonishingly beautiful image of a crucifix plunged in urine, which has been causing a scandal for over twenty-five years - the director of this film examines the multiple representations of the crucifixion. How did this abject form of torture become the symbol of Christianity? What approaches do the various contemporary artists have, who explore or pervert this icon, thereby incurring the wrath of fundamentalist movements and of certain worshippers? From New York to Avignon, where the Piss Christ was vandalised in 2011, from Rome to Issenheim, this film involves us in a fascinating investigation, in a bid to untangle the impassioned relationships between religion and art.

English version available  
Format:
1x52'  
Cost: $250
Distributor: ARTE SALES (France)
Contact: Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


IN MONDRIAN'S STUDIO    
Directed by Francois Levy-Kuentz

(Cineteve, 2010)     

The work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) marked a turning point in the history of modern painting. Initially influenced by Cubism, Mondrian invented an original universal language of geometric shapes and primary colours in the early 1920s. Along with Kandinsky and Malevitch, he was one of the pioneers of pure abstraction, an innovative trend that strongly influenced 20th century art.

Filmed in the exact replica of his studio at 26 rue du Départ in Paris, this docu-fiction brings Mondrian back to life. It portrays the man who was passionate about dance and jazz and retraces his artistic path, from his first realist works to his mystical years, from the Stijl movement to his departure for New York, where he died in 1944.

This captivating film retraces the intellectual and human process that led Mondrian to geometric abstraction, the highly characteristic style that made him one of the major figures of the international artistic avant-guarde.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: Contact Films Media Group  (US) 
Contact: Films Media Group  (US)
Customer Service: custserv@films.com


DARIUS MILHAUD AND HIS MUSIC FROM PROVENCE TO THE WORLD    
Directed by Cécile Clairval-Milhaud

(Steinval Production, 2010)

This film invites us to discover Milhaud's life, so as to understand his work better.
Darius Milhaud was without doubt one of the most fertile composers of the 20th Century, leaving behind an extensive artistic legacy of nearly 450 Opuses that stands out as one of the most original in French music of his time.

Before being recognized and accepted, many of his works caused scandal and gave rise to impassioned controversy due to their non-conformism and their pioneering character. He also came to prominence in the 1920s as the leading light in the ""Groupe des Six"".
 His music, and more particularly his lyric works, express his greatest sources of inspiration:
- his attachment to popular roots, such as those of his native Provence, but also those he adopted in his encounters with other cultures, such as Brazilian folklore or jazz
- his religious faith, marked by the Jewish tradition of the Comtat Venaissin
- his humanist convictions, expressed in his choice of texts and historical figures that express a will for the progress and liberty of mankind, such as Christopher Columbus, Maximilien or Simon Bolivar.

Aided by his wife's reminiscences and by the artist's own comments, this film looks at the work and life of Darius Milhaud, a man that stood for universality and for dialogue between cultures.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


FELIX VALLOTTON, LIFE AT DISTANCE
Directed by Juliette Cazanave
(Cineteve, 2013)    

"Throughout my existence, I have been looking through a window at life and not living life." Félix Vallotton was a brilliant and subversive engraver and illustrator. He was also a prolific sketcher and portrait painter - of nudes, of mythological scenes and of landscapes. He had a plural nature, and was very different from one period to the next.
 Quite exceptionally, or perhaps even uniquely in the history of art, he was also a man of letters who penned critiques, essays, stage plays and novels. Vallotton the polymorphous artist escaped all categorization. He was a rebellious anarchist yet was resolutely bourgeois; he was a member of the ""Nabis"" yet was an unrepentant loner; and he was humorous yet was somewhat depressive.

Both the man and his oeuvre are complex and mysterious. To understand them, the viewer is invited to take part in a form of treasure hunt. Through the different styles of the artist and to the very core of the writer, two clues emerge: a distance from the world and an obsession with water.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


J. M. W. TURNER   
Directed by Alain Jaubert
(Les Poissons Volants, 2010)    


Joseph Mallard William Turner is probably the most famous British painter. An artist with incredibly early ability, he was nicknamed ""the painter of light"" and was also the precursor of impressionism.

This documentary is not a simple biography, but rather a study, carried out in the company of a few specialists, around themes that are common to the life and work of this strange and tetchy character. Water: watercolours, seascapes. Fire: yellow and red, fire, the industrial era. Land: English, French and Italian landscapes, the legacy of Claude Lorrain, the desert. Air: clouds, the dissolution of forms, the temptation of nirvana. Secrets: the double character, eroticism, absolute freedom. Travel: a jealous solitude, discovering the world. Inventions: the new techniques of watercolour, the portable studio, the folly of varnishing.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
Directed by Jean Michel Vecchiet
(Penelope Films, 2010)   

When came the mid-1970s, the Pop Art movement was giving out its last twitches, its last breath, entrapped by the very soulless, cold and mechanical society it would depict. Calling it ""an art makeable by everyone"" in the early 1960s, Andy Warhol had indeed given its recipe.

And there came Jean-Michel Basquiat, telling another story in this period marked by a deep emptiness soaked with images cancelling each other out.

And Warhol, the master thinker of this hyper Western world, the symbol of a mostly White culture, would become the student and learn about the world, practise his scales all over again with this African-American kid.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's work will be presented through a major exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris on the last term of 2010.    

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


KARL LAGERFELD SKETCHES HIS LIFE  
Directed by Loic Prigent
(Story Box Press, 2013)   

Karl Lagerfeld draws his childhood home, his father, his mother, his school, and Germany. He draws post-war Paris, where he arrived alone, to start a career in the very closed world of fashion. He draws all the fashion periods and trends he has experienced, and which he has marked with his creative genius.    

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


SCANDALOUS IMPRESSIONISTS    
Directed by Francois Levy-Kuentz

(Scotto Productions, 2011)  

This film retraces the adventure of a group of young painters, who from 1874, launched an aesthetic that broke away from the style of historical paintings displayed in the official Salons of the era.

Inspired by the Barbizon Realism School of painters such as Corot, Rousseau, Millet and Daubigny, this new generation featured names such as Courbet, Pissarro, Jongkind, Renoir, Bazille, Cézanne, Caillebotte, Berthe Morisot and Claude Monet, their leader. The documentary explains the public's and art critics' mistrust in relation to this "revolutionary" struggle that questioned ways of seeing forms and light. A struggle that finally gained recognition thirty years later, with the support of art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel when major works were displayed in the French National Museums. From period documents this rich and well-documented film traces the path of the popular movement that lay at the origins of modern art.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


MAGRITTE, NIGHT AND DAY
Directed by Henri de Gerlache
(Alize Production, 2009)    


An exceptional painter of mental images, Magritte explores the relationship between objects and their representation, with a view to giving new meanings to familiar objects.  
Every visible thing hides something else which is visible. The artist's memories and places he visited are evoked in "Magritte, Day and Night", which provides an overview of the life of the artist and the man. The contradictions and mystery surrounding his work are presented here and illustrated by the peregrinations of an actor who dreams of one day playing Magritte."    

English version available    
Format:  1x52'    
Cost: $169.95    
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


MAHLER'S FIFTH SYMPHONY
Directed by Pierre-Henry Salfati
(13 Productions, 2008)    


"With measured steps" is the tempo indication Mahler wrote on the score at the beginning of the first movement of his Fifth Symphony, a monumental funeral march.
A military parade with measured steps... But Mahler fled the family home, driven away because he could no longer bear to see the terrible beatings his father gave his mother, which finally made her lame. This trauma was so painful that Mahler finally mentioned it to Freud, with whom he had a memorable encounter, a turning point in his life as a man and as a composer. The two took a walk together one day in August 1910, a long stroll... with measured steps.
The psychoanalytic journey lasted four hours. Four hours is both long and short. Yet the miracle took place: Sigmund Freud changed Mahler's life, insofar as both creation and love were concerned. The two men never saw each other again. Freud later said he'd never met a person with greater insight into psychoanalysis than Mahler. As for Mahler, he acknowledged the clarity the encounter with Freud brought to his vision of the world. We will be returning to this event again and again as a reference, a journey in the form of a session between two great minds.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


MEMORIES OF ORIGIN - HIROSHI SUGIMOTO    
Directed by Yuko Nakamura
(TV Man Union Inc, 2012)    


This documentary follows 200 days in life of the contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto - a leading presence in the world of modern art. He has taken the medium of photography and perceiving it as a form of conceptual art, has extended the barriers of expression.

He is the winner of many prestigious awards and his photographs are sold for millions of yen at overseas auctions. The film shows the sites of the Architecture series shot in southern France, the huge installation art work at 17th Biennale of Sydney, his new work Mathematics at Provence, his art studio at New York while working on Lightning Fields, his recent direction and production of tradition Japanese performance art and so on. It thoroughly pursues the question Sugimoto's works pose - "living in modern times, what are these works trying to tell us?" A thrilling look into the world of Hiroshi Sugimoto.

English version available    
Format:  1x52' or 1x90'    
Cost: Contact Films Media Group  (US)
Contact: Films Media Group (US)
Customer Service: custserv@films.com


MERCE CUNNINGHAM, THE LEGACY   
Directed by MARIE-HELENE REBOIS
(Daphnie Production, 2012)


Directed by Marie-Hélène Rebois, MERCE CUNNINGHAM : THE LEGACY, shot in HD, is realized on the occasion of the dissolution of the Cunningham's company at the end of 2011: the opportunity to return, with the total complicity of the company and a privileged access to Merce Cunningham's archives, on the career of this brilliant choreographer, on his creations and on the numerous Twentieth Century artistic movements which accompanied and influenced his creations.

The dissolution of the company at the end of the year, and its last representations we will film in Paris and New York City, will also be the occasion to open the "dance capsules" which contain the story of his creations: A real film testament.    

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


ROMEO IN THE LAND OF THE SOVIETS: THE HISTORY OF A BALLET    
Directed by IOSSIF PASTERNAK 
(13 Productions, 2011)

    
Having spent a long time living away from his native Russia, and drawing his inspiration from a fertile Western background, Serguei Prokofiev returned with his wife and children to his homeland, which by then had become the Soviet Union. It was an unsettling return: he no longer recognised his country. In return, the Soviet public were slow to welcome his ballet Romeo and Juliet: dance theatres refused it, and the dancers could not understand the rhythm. The ballet disturbed people, and was only performed four years later… to rapturous applause.

The work echoes its composer's stormy life, which was made up of both great successes and deep pain. Sergueï Prokoviev fluctuated between compositions that extolled the regime, and free creations, such as the score for Serguei Eisenstein's final film, ""Ivan the Terrible"", which was censored.

Like a Shakespearean tragedy, this film orchestrates the history of his work, his love life, and the political history of the country, and reveals an implicit constant struggle between the artist and the Soviet regime, between creative freedom and restricting ideology.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


EDWARD HOPPER AND THE BLANK CANVAS    
Directed by JEAN-PIERRE DEVILLERS
(Ideale Audience, 2013)


To better understand the work of this paradoxical artist, the film takes us on a trip from his studios in New York, Cape Cod and Nyack, to Paris, guided by the voice of Edward Hopper himself, in an original interview, and also by the voice of Brian O'Doherty, Hopper's friend and the last witness to have filmed him, and the voice of Wim Wenders, who speaks about light and cinema. The film draws on rare footage of Hopper (some of it previously unaired), and also on the MoMA storerooms, on the collection of paintings, on documents, on notebooks, and on photos given by his wife Jo to the Whitney Museum. It also draws on film extracts and on numerous archives on the artistic and social life in the America of the 1930s to the 1960s.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: Contact Films Media Group  (US)   
Contact: Films Media Group  (US)
Customer Service: custserv@films.com


LIVING WITH CAMUS    
Directed by Joël Calamettes
(Chiloe Productions, 2013)   

Camus' admirers form a vast "community" that extends far beyond borders. A cheerful and improbable community made up of people, unknowingly, from different walks of life, including singers (The Cure, Patti Smith...), a Breton priest, an American abolitionist, a Chicago attorney, a Japanese calligrapher and a dancer from Yaoundé.    

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


YASMINA KHADRA, MOHAMMED and YASMINA   
Directed by Regine Abadia
(La Huit Production, 2012)

    
His real name is Mohammed Moulessehoul, a former Algerian army officer who fought against the rise of Islamist extremism that plunged his country into a bloodbath. He spent his sleepless nights writing novels that were published under a pseudonym composed of his wife's first two names. Structured as a road movie between Algeria and France, this documentary takes us on a journey through the work of Yasmina Khadra, the author's complex personality and his life, which is inextricably tied to the history of Algeria since its independence.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr


ROLL ON CINEMA    
Directed by Jérôme Prieur
(Melisande Films, 2011)


This film endeavours to show how the invention of cinema was in no way inevitable, and how it may well have been a mere accident.To pinpoint the start, it all began in the heart of Paris, in the depths of darkened room, on 28 March 1798, when Etienne-Gaspard Robertson gave one of his first screenings of his ""Fantasmagoria"" - making ghosts and spectres dance.
But how did we move from perfecting the magic lantern to the cinematography of the Lumière brothers?

The invention was born throughout the 19th century, out of the unpredictable crossing of two parallel research paths - that of philosophical toys and the photography of movement.
Originally-named optical devices - such as the kinesigraph, the zoetrope, the praxinoscope and the phenakistoscope, without forgetting the photographic revolver or gun - associated the realm of toys with the realm of thought, reflecting both a fascination for the magical effects produced by animation and speed, and a desire to understand human anatomy, and analyse the phenomenon of vision.

All these pre-cinema optical devices literally stemmed from a desire for spectacle and the will to acquire knowledge. Robertson, Reynaud, Plateau, Muybridge and Marey spearheaded the adventure. Thanks to these brilliant inventors, we travel across the 19th century, ending in Paris in 1895 in the Salon Indien du Grand Café, where the first public movie screening took place.    

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: Contact Films Media Group  (US)   
Contact: Films Media Group  (US)
Customer Service: custserv@films.com


THE FOUR SEASONS, THE HISTORY OF A HIT    
Directed by Philippe Beziat 
(13 Productions, 2012)    

    
From its debut performance in Venice, in the 1720s, this expressive and sophisticated music received incomparable international acclaim. Antonio Vivaldi was its best ambassador; as a virtuoso violinist, he delivered the quintessence of his art only when performing for an audience.

One of the keys to the work's popularity is its program defined by four sonnets. The Four Seasons are unique in being program concertos; that is, they suggest a series of events. The Seasons are a literary narrative expressed in music, a sort of natural opera theater, in which the soloists are no longer the heroes of antiquity, but simple beings like animals or wine-makers; natural elements or dreamlike realms.

The success of the four concertos, however, eclipsed the rest of Vivaldi's work. It took two centuries to realize the brilliance and diversity of his other compositions.

English version available    
Format: 1x52'    
Cost: $250      
Contact: ARTE SALES (France), Anne VOIRIN, a-voirin@artefrance.fr