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FIAF Virtual Cinésalon Series: Homage to Jean-Pierre Bacri

Image: "Family Resemblances" by Cédric Klapisch

This spring, FIAF honors the great French actor and screenwriter Jean-Pierre Bacri who died at the age of 69 in January 2021. Throughout his lauded career, Bacri exuded a touching humanity that shown through his gruff exterior and his prose.

The first half of the series highlights two films in which Bacri’s skill as an actor and screenwriter—collaborating with his longtime partner Agnès Jaoui—is on display: Cuisine et dépendances (1993), their first screenplay; and The Taste of Others (2000), which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. The second half spotlights Bacri’s ability to shine as both a supporting actor aside Isabelle Huppert in Right Here Right Now (2016) as well as the central figure holding together the screwball comedy C’est la vie! (2017).

Upcoming Screenings

Cuisine et dépendances - March 30–April 5

Dir. Philippe Muyl, 1993, 94 min
With Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnès Jaoui, Zabou Breitman, Sam Karmann
In French with English subtitles

This film adaptation of Bacri and Jaoui’s Molière-winning play centers around Jacques and Martine who have planned a special dinner party reuniting a group of friends from 10 years earlier. But the evening goes off the rails quickly: the guests of honor are two hours late, the smoked haddock is too salty, George is an impenitent misanthrope, not to mention the endless poker game that gets underway at the end of the meal. Cuisine et dépendances marked Bacri and Jaoui’s first screenplay and launched a three-decade collaboration that resulted in nine films and three César awards for best screenplay.

The Taste of Others - April 6–April 12

Dir. Agnès Jaoui, 2000, 112 min
With Anne Alvaro, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Alain Chabat, Agnès Jaoui
In French with English subtitles

Winner of four César Awards including best screenplay for Bacri and Jaoui, this comedy of manners follows a business executive who meets an actress who’s the friend of a barmaid who meets a bodyguard who works with a chauffeur who drives an interior decorator who’s the wife of the business executive who would like to be friends with the artists, and so on. There’s no accounting for people’s tastes. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, The Taste of Others examines our preconceived notions and the difficulty of breaking them.

Right Here Right Now - April 13–April 19

Dir. Pascal Bonitzer, 2016, 98 min
With Agathe Bonitzer, Vincent Lacoste, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Isabelle Huppert
In French with English subtitles

This A-list ensemble piece takes place in the high-pressure world of finance, where 30-something Nora Sator (Bonitzer) is trying to climb the corporate ladder at a mergers and acquisitions firm. However, she learns that her boss, Arnaud Barsac (Wilson), his partner (Greggory) and Barsac’s wife, Solveig (Huppert), all knew her father Serge (Bacri), a researcher who bristles against the idea of selling out. Family secrets, romantic adventures, and career aspirations become inextricably tangled until a destiny-shattering resolution emerges.

C'est la vie! - April 20–April 26

Dir. Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, 2017, 117 min
With Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Eye Haidara
In French and Tamil with English subtitles

Max (Bacri), a wedding planner/caterer, must pull off a magnificent wedding in a 17th-century French château as the celebration and his personal life descend into chaos. He has hired his brigade of waiters, cooks, and dishwashers, advised the couple on a photographer, booked an orchestra, and arranged the decorations. All the ingredients have been brought together to ensure a grand success. But soon Max is dealing with missing staff, a former admirer of the bride, a demanding groom, a malfunctioning electrical system, a substitute DJ, and that’s not all. It’s also Max’s birthday, he’s recently separated from his wife, and his mistress is threatening to leave him. Hijinks ensue as Max and the staff scramble to keep the party going.

More information here.

CinéSalon is supported by BNP Paribas and Sofitel. CinéSalon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Series curated by FIAF Film Curator Delphine Selles-Alvarez with Louise Bertin.