To end a year rich in cultural explorations on Numerama, we would like to offer you a slightly different advent calendar, without chocolate but with poetry, emotion, culture and travel. An advent calendar composed of two works that we will offer you daily until December 24th.
We only focus on films and documentaries, because we don’t imagine that you have the time to watch a series in one night. What’s more, after the fourth day, you’re sure to miss sleep.
Our selection is biased, inspired by current events or not, but we will always try to offer two proposals for each of the major streaming platforms available in France. The two proposed works will be linked either by a common theme, or by the same format or era.
Now, let’s get down to wintertime emotions…
The year 2012 was rich in beautiful little gems: few have seen everything that year. Among theOslo August 31, Love, Alabama Monroeand so many others, we all missed some. But not thisLouise Wimmer, which opened a great cinematic year and which is now available in streaming. A real punch (and hope, who knows?), this portrait of misery is bluffing. Corinne Maserio is simply staggeringly honest, never tragic, never false, always in the brutality of beautiful cinema. A portrait not to be missed, composed by Cyril Mennegun who takes his first steps outside of documentary film (with brilliance).
Facing Corinne Maserio, we ask for Tilda Swinton. Their two disturbing faces share something in common, a singular expressive force that works particularly well in portraits. Here is Julia (Tilda Swinton), a woman beyond reproach but whose smooth, bland existence weighs on her heart. Depression, without ever showing her face, pushes her towards alcohol. Then, one day a distressed mother throws her into the void, confronting her with her freedom: Can Julia kidnap this mother’s son who was taken from her? Camera on the shoulder, Erick Zonka runs straight into Swinton’s face, who slings himself with freedom… Impressive.
For Baz Luhrmann, regret is a light that flickers intermittently at the end of the horizon, a beacon in the memory that calls. From the beginning to the end of the film, this green light is everything Fitzgerald cried about in the story ofGatsby. The rest, the pomp, is there only to further darken the darkness of the present in which only regret breathes. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,ultimate and untranslatable fullness of a novel never well adapted, but never trashed. That is the magic of great literature.
Now a classic of American indie cinema,Blue Valentineis first and foremost a clever dissection of the couple. An almost taboo subject among our friends on the other side of the Atlantic, even though the death of love is to French cinema what identity is to our literature. But let’s not forget, ifBlue Valentinehas to be seen it’s not only for its originality, it’s for an indisputable mastery of the camera of the discreet Cianfrance, for Gosling but also for Grizzly Bear!
Aaron Swartz is a pioneer in the fight for information, net neutrality and respect for fundamental freedoms. An endearing and touching figure, the man of all fights took his own life in 2013. Since then, this documentary in Creative Commons allows the world, and the youngest, to remember the “martyr of the web“.
Into Eternityis a science fiction documentary. Not because he’s telling a fiction, but because the story is for the men of the future. An interesting twist that makes this dive into one of humanity’s most impressive projects dizzying: the underground cemetery of our nuclear waste.
Finally an animated film in which the bug doesn’t talk! She doesn’t need it because cinema makes real magic. The dragons are magnificent, the 3D is fluid, realistic, colorful, like a permanent show. The poetic film is of course easy, but the charm works.
With her frying pan, her long hair, her mischievous look, this Disney princess defies her own legend. And by tampering with the tale, by arranging with the story, Disney Studios offers a funny, poetic and frankly modern princess story. An unexpected success.
Barack Obama’s much-anticipated youth biopic comes out today on Netflix. Why deprive yourself?
Spike Lee is definitely a great master when it comes to passing on the legacy of black history to future generations. The biopic as performed by Lee is a political act, a powerful message and a great role for Denzel Washington. In 2015, the Guardian repeated: “Malcolm X is the biopic to review. »
Gaspar Noé divided Cannes as rarely withEnter the Void. This is the purpose of most of his works: to divide, to split, to disgust. So we have more perspective on this Tokyo psyche trip in which the camera plunges further and further into the meanders, the womb and the dead.
A true experimental piece of art, clearly bluffing by its realization,Enter The Voidremains definitely the war cry of a generation of kids in a bad way. It’s no coincidence to see the new depressed kids claiming the delirium of NoahEnter The Void – Lomepal.
” It’s not about the fall, it’s about the landing… “You know the drill, so far, so good. It’s 1995, the suburbs are burning, the police are bastards, the Young People are survivors. Mathieu Kassovitz, camera on his shoulder, sculpts in concrete blocks magnificent characters with high verbs and an unmistakable presence. Youth, wake up.
Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Albert Dupontel, Karine Viard, and Cedric Klapisch. Can you feel it coming, the good big French movie? We’re in the middle of it. But in his melancholy wanderings, Pierre (formidable Duris) sees Paris as he had never seen it before.
A city of fools, big kids and good-looking losers. The true success ofParisis not only to be found in its fresco of the capital, but much more in the Binoche/Duris relationship, which in the face of illness takes us towards the dream. A very good Klapisch who nevertheless collects the clichés of the director.
They’re brothers, they’re doctors, and they love her. She, the splendid Judith (Louise Bourgoin). A love triangle as we don’t see enough: original and above all sincere. The poetry of the realization takes nothing away from the purity of these hearts that panic like teenagers in the streets of the thirteenth century.
Spring Breakerssmelled like a turnip, too pretty girls, a trashy atmosphere and a thriller plot that seemed quite weak. But no, the feature film is in fact a long dive into an abject and ridiculous world, where emptiness is equalled only by stupidity. Impeccable photography, memorable soundtrack,Spring Breakersis a hallucinogenic trip to the end of modern America’s nightmare. Sublime above all.
Danny Boyle makes us suffer by his direction during this bluffing feature film And Franco plays an extraordinary role in it. What happens to us at the edge of our end? Alone, do our choices still make sense? Notice to the amateurs of hikes.
Magnificent in its subtleties, delicacies and poetry,Moonrise Kingdomonly confirms that Wes Anderson is indeed the genius the hipsters promised us. Bill Murray is full of mischief, and the young, novice actors, directed by Anderson, find a rare sincerity. We love it.
Pierre Niney was then just a little rascal of the Frenchman. He explodes in this intimate film in which he plays the beautiful flirt who invents a social condition in a France that falls into Mitterrandism. Out of love, our goofy high school boy is going to play the class defector… Bright and tender love film of youth.
Jiro Ono is 85 years old, he is the originator of the most beautiful sushi on the planet. A struggle between man and gastronomic perfection that is as fascinating as it is metaphysical. Behind Jiro’s passion, isn’t Japan and its mentality hiding? Brilliant documentary about a national treasure.
Jean Queyrat went to the heart of Vietnam to meet the gong founders. An activity that is lost and whose know-how is passed on as an inheritance, here it is the young Thang who lives in Phuc Kieu who learns from his uncle, Mr. Sang, one of the greatest gong founders in the country. For a special order, Sang will give Thang the mission to learn a unique know-how.
The Cidade de Deus is a favela far from being fictitious. Built as a housing estate in the 1960s, it took the writer Paulo Lins to write the memory of the slide from a despicable urbanist dream to a state of lawlessness. Between fury, violence and the absurdity of fate, nothing seems to survive inThe City of God, neither heart nor reason, both carried away by lawless men ready to do anything just to survive. Poignant. Note that Netflix also has the brilliant documentaryThe City of God, 10 years after.
To say no was to say yes. Pablo Larrain looks back on the popular enthusiasm that will lead Chile to end Pinochet’s dictatorship. A popular and personal story, sometimes funny and sometimes tragic. Larrain wrote one of the most beautiful pages of a country that has lived through so much drama. Exciting, revolutionary and joyful like politics when it is beautiful.
Sofia Coppola at the top of her game. Melancholy at will and an incomparable soundtrack,The Virgin Suicidesis one of the most striking works of the 2000s. Subtle, mysterious and impervious to all judgments, Coppola’s camera slides into a world that is fading away. The destiny of these beautiful young girls falls into an ethereal and masterful madness. A film that sounds like a shoegaze. And Kirsten Dunst… Unforgettable and magnetic.
1818, Keats is not yet in the process of becoming one of the world’s greatest poets. His heart is elsewhere, he loves as one loves only once. Jane Campion (The Piano Lesson) dissects there not the story of a historical love, but that of our loves, of our feelings never mawkish but powerful, driven by our solitudes and our failures. Wouldn’t true love just be impossible? Masterpiece.
Almost 20 years after its theatrical appearance, it is difficult to maintain the mystery surrounding the suspense ofTruman Show. But who seems to be watching, day and night, our Truman Burbank? You may already know the answer to this question that animates the film. But despite everything, the outcome remains a fascinating and accessible lesson about our societies, its surveillance and the supposed total transparency that some would like to impose on us.
So yes,Waveis pompous, heavy and demonstrative to the point of disgust. The staging is as inventive as a (Christmas) TV movie and the psychological sides of the plot are bigger than an overweight Santa Claus Good. Good. But isn’t there anything to learn fromWave? This ultra moralizing film carries a unique lesson that remains in people’s minds long after the end of the film. There you go.
In 1964,Fiddler on the roofis acclaimed on Broadway. Joseph Stein, its creator, was inspired by Cholem Aleichem’s novels to write about the life of a Jewish family in Eastern Europe, before and especially during the pogroms. According to the comedy’s libretto, its nameA Violin on the Roofis a metaphor, in which a man tries to play a virtuoso tune on the violin without ever finding a balance, the roof being slippery and dangerous. Maybe that’s what Teyve lives, a Jewish man who wants to respect his traditions and live a quiet little life… the film adaptation dates from 1971.
Les Chansons d’Amour is the musical that brought Christophe Honoré to international recognition, but we wanted to highlight another musical by the young master,Les Biens Aimés. Less well known, less successful some would say, but more ambitious and more faithful to the tradition of river musicals,Les Biens Aimésplays hide-and-seek with Jaques Demy, with modernity, drama and irony. Endowed with an unforgettable soundtrack for Beaupain fans (better at writing soundtracks than albums),Les Biens Aimésis a pleasure old and new at the same time, just like its cast : Catherine Deneuve is on first-name terms with her daughter Chiara Mastroianni.
Cute and clever, these three orphans have everything to please us. The kids of the 1990’s already know them well, they have surely devoured the saga that tells the story of their adventures that a certain Lemony Snicket wrote at the beginning of the millennium. But now, in 2004, they are making their return to the big screen
In a bursting universe that crystallizes all the darkness that the world of adults evokes to children, and served by a breathtaking cast (Carrey, Streep, Silberling),Disastrous Adventuresis a delight of inventiveness for older children. For those who haven’t yet forgotten the cynical magic of the Snicket saga, the shadowy bookstore rival of another orphan named Potter, and who are also waiting for the Netflix series about these kids.
Relentless is Burton’s style inSleepy Hollow, dazzling is Depp’s game inSleepy Hollow, fascinating are the images ofSleepy Hollow, cultissimo becameSleepy Hollow. If you’re still not convinced, let’s add that it’s one of the most touching and innovative Burtons. Skilful in his cinema and mocking in his pen, Tim takes his letters of nobility there, between burlesque and horror.
Moretti and his biting, intelligent and contradictory cinema returns with a film about the Vatican. The conclave has designated his new victim, the next Pope must speak before his thousands of faithful and perpetuate the eternal tradition of Peter. But this one, trapped in an anxiety attack, does not want to present himself from the top of the Vatican to the jubilant crowd. Then a psychoanalyst (Moretti himself) enters the scene, and the deaf dialogues begin. Cynical and comical,Habemus Papamis a true intellectual breath of accomplished and assumed Moretti.
Benigni signs here the greatest film on the darkness of fascism in the 20th century.Life is Beautifulresounds like a song about humanity and what is left of it when the world breaks up before the eyes of its victims. Here, love tries to wrest beautiful souls from the ugliness of fascism, and the heart fights one of its most beautiful battles. An ode to joy in the craziest thing she has, she who, according to Rosset, “is none other than a lucid, but assumed vision of the human condition.“Masterpiece.
In spite of its air of scientific documentary, this new title by Werner Herzog is a cultural and social exploration of volcanoes and their myths. Liked by the editorial staff for its images, tone and intelligenceDeep inside the furnaceis perfect for a Sunday evening
Does a dance movie have to be boring? No, and thisPinaby Wim Wenders is proof of that. The documentary filmmaker plunges into the creation of the ballet of one of the world’s most singular choreographers. The captured images show the Ensemble of Tanztheater Wuppertal, which will then give one of the most beautiful proofs of the creative power of the legendary Pina Bausch.
Unmistakable title of American independent cinema,Little Miss Sunshineis a beautiful family adventure, between drama and humour. Both sad with its detours into American society and full of hope, the comedy achieves a subtle mix that has earned it two Oscars. So get in this yellow van and hope, at the end of the road, to find meaning in your life.
One of the best Pixar,Monstres & Cieis an avalanche of tenderness, humour and adventure. To be (re)discovered as a family, the story of these monstrous creatures that try to scare children is timeless.
Joann Sfar succeeds with Antoine Delesvaux in a poetic and ambitious adaptation of his comic strips A talking cat? Yes, but a clever, philosophical and spiritual cat who tells the story of the landscapes and people of Algiers in the last century. A philosophical and humanistic tale for everyone, Rabbi’s Cat is as clever as it is funny.
Ah! Gregg Araki! How do we know what the brilliant and delirious director has in store for us for his works? Sometimes hallucinogenic (remember Smiley Face), sometimes dramatic and breathtaking (Mysterious Skin of course), the director brilliantly juggles between genres with only one constant: eternal youth. In Kaboom, we find the master in a psychedelic thriller in which masked men target young students… Between parties, debauchery, drugs and murder, is there a conspiracy behind it? Amazing.
In 2014, Jean-Philippe Amar realizes the adaptation of the comic bookPilules Bleuesfor Arte. A very moving family drama that retraces the unusual adventure of a home caught in the turmoil of AIDS. He’s a nice, handsome loser he’s been in love with since Cati high school One day, years later, they see each other again, but she is now HIV-positive. A couple’s magnificent war against death, loneliness and the collateral damage of disease ensues. We shed beautiful tears and we remain suspended in the poetic adaptation of Amar that forever links bubbles and images.
“J’y sketches a study of madness and suicide; the world as seen by reason and madness side by side.” wrote Virginia Woolf in 1922 on her next novelMrs Dalloway.The latter tells of the incommunicability of moral suffering:The Hours is a new reading, a new breath given to the book. Three destinies intertwine and suffer in the silence of the ineffable. Masterful, poetic and fair,The Hoursgives Meryl Streep one of her finest roles and Philip Glass the opportunity to compose one of her greatest works for the film.