Rendez-vous with French Cinema, the annual NYC showcase of the best and brightest new movies out of France, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a lineup that gives lie to the common misconception that French films look and sound the same.
In other words, these aren't just movies for film snobs.
Many genres are represented among the 22 features premiering between Friday and March 15. There are noir thrillers ("The Connection," starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin), a reimagining of Ovid's "Metamorphoses," films about serial killers ("Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart") and a coming-of-age romance that won three big awards at the Cannes Film Festival last year ("Love at First Fight").
There's an extraordinary collection of talent appearing at the festival, ranging from the wonderful actress Melanie Laurent, who comes to New York with her second directorial effort "Breathe," about a complicated teenage friendship, to Charlotte Gainsbourg, a co-star in the opening night flick "3 Hearts," in which she's one leg in a love triangle involving characters played by Chiara Mastroianni and Benoît Poelvoorde.
Quentin Dupieux, an auteur of quirk who once made a movie about a murderous tire, ends the fest with his surrealist horror flick "Reality." It stars "Napoleon Dynamite" himself, Jon Heder, among others and involves a videotape discovered in the carcass of a boar, a Philip Glass score, and a lot more weirdness.