The second day of the AFI FEST PRESENTED BY AUDI is an absolute treat for me. I’m still in that “new fest” phase where I’m hammering out my schedule for the rest of the week, seeing just how many screenings I can cram into a single day. I also have the adrenaline from Day 1 coursing through my system. No thought is given to the epic exhaustion I’ll be feeling in just a few short days, or the “fest delirium” that sets in after the third Midnight Screening in a row. It’s all unbridled excitement for new cinema, folks!
This will be my third year attending the AFI FEST PRESENTED BY AUDI. It’s been quite an interesting ride up to this point and I’ve seen some truly fun and amazing films. Ben Wheatley’s Kill List was quite the pleasant surprise last year, as was Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber the year before. I was introduced to the lovely filmmaker Hong Sang-soo by way of his film HaHaHa and then a year later with The Day He Arrives. Got a look into Norwegian crime with Headhunters and was wooed by the smooth melodies of Café de flore. It was also at this festival that I saw Melancholia as well as the US Premiere of The Adventures of Tin Tin. Like I said, quite the experience!
My Flickchart Ranking: #135
I tend to go into a lot of films at the AFI Fest 2011 Presented by Audi blind, doing little to no research beforehand. What ends up happening is that there’s a fairly even mix of films that impress and films that just don’t do anything for me. Then there are a few that just outright surprise me and end up ranking ridiculously high on my Flickchart. This would be that film.
Café De Flore has two stories happening in parallel, the first about Antoine, a popular Montreal DJ struggling with a recent divorce. Despite ruining the lives of his family with the separation he’s the happiest he’s ever been in his life. Happening in tandem to this is the story of Jacqueline, a single mother in 1960s Paris taking care of her special-needs son. Both stories are connected by the song Café De Flore and perhaps much more.
My Flickchart Ranking: #276
If ever I had a sweet spot when it came to film, television or books it would be in the dystopian genre. Usually you’ll have an oppressive government or force that has managed to subjugate it’s people and one person who awakes in the nightmare. In some of the more action-packed films in the genre, he’ll go on a crusade against “the man,” gunning down those who maintain the status quo. Carré Blanc opts for reflection and the attempt to find one’s place in a cruel system. Sweet spot indeed!
In Carré Blanc the population is on the decline. Folks just aren’t having babies anymore. Loudspeakers repeat the dwindling population numbers at every hour, as well as suggest to everyone that now is the perfect time to have children. Meanwhile, the dead get packed up and shipped to a processing plant where they get turned into the next day’s meat. We start the story as our main character Philippe gets sent to a boarding school to learn about the ways of the world. As he traverses the harsh landscape of growing up and eventually finds his bride to be, it becomes apparent that this system can’t last forever.