The French Film Festival is Back at the Institut français

It’s always great to see a broad range of cinema available, not just the usual US and UK movies. Hooray then! Because hot on the heels of the London Film Festival, we now have the French Film Festival back at Ciné Lumière in London from 3 to 13 November and in 32 other cinemas UK-wide until 15 December.

Most of the films showing at Ciné Lumière will be UK premieres and were presented at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, including the Palme d’Or winner Titane. But there will be some classic French movies, too.

Directors Bruno Dumont and Catherine Corsini will respectively be travelling from France for the screening of France, starring Léa Seydoux, at the Festival opening night (3 November), and The Divide (6 November).

Other highlights include Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma, Paris, 13th District by Jacques Audiard, and OSS 117: From Africa with Love starring Jean Dujardin.

Here’s a trailer and I’ll put the programme and full details after the jump, complete with trailers! Just between you and me, I feel I should point out I just copied and pasted from the web site, but I think this makes it easier to see everything at a glance.

I feel Rob would want me to point out that there will be two French TV shows screened as part of the festival as well: UFOs and All The Way Up.

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Streaming TV

What have you been watching? Including Lupin – part two and Loki

TMINE has been busy/stuck under something heavy for the past few weeks, which means it’s hideously behind on its viewing. A whole bunch of new shows arrived last week, and I’ve not had a chance to watch any of them: Republic of Sarah (US: The CW), Whitstable Pearl (US: Acorn), Kevin Can F**k Himself (US: AMC), The Unusual Suspects (Australia: SBS) are all looking at me, shiftily, waiting for me to grace them with my attention. I’ve not even caught the first episode of the new season of Evil (US: CBS).

But that’s okay. I’m going to put the effort in this week. And I really, really, really hope to review them as well. Ooh.

Instead, my viewing has mainly consisted of Mythic Quest (Apple TV+), La Haine (1995), Fleabag, Superman & Lois (US: The CW), Loki (Disney+) and the whole of part two of Lupin (Netflix) – I could actually review a whole boxset on a Monday like I used to! If I had the time. Sorry. Things will settle down again soon, I promise.

Mythic Quest has been pretty decent, but none of the subsequent episodes have quite lived up to the delights of the 70s flashback episode, even the two-hander between William Hurt and F Murray Abraham a couple of weeks ago (although that was pretty great).

Superman & Lois, meanwhile, has been nothing but magnificent. I am now going to officially declare this the best superhero show I’ve ever watched (although there are some very close runners-up to that title, to be fair). Everything is just so well done and it’s great that they can really mess around with the Superman mythos as much as they like since it’s so far along in the character’s story now.

Loki is the latest spin-off Disney+ Marvel spin-off from the MCU, explaining what happened to Loki after Avengers: Endgame when he gets hold of the Tesseract thanks to some bad time travelling cock-ups by the Avengers. He’s soon intercepted by an agency dedicated to keeping the timelines intact who want to recruit him to stop… him. Yes, another Loki is going around messing with the the timelines.

If I hadn’t already seen Legion (US: FX), I’d probably be blown away by Loki since it is visually magnificent in more or less the exact same way Legion was. The visuals – and the timey-wimey plot, particularly the arrival of (spoiler) (spoiler alert) Lady Loki or is it the Enchantress? in episode two – are what make the show, since it’s really quite a talky affair that largely relies on Tom Hiddleston’s massive charisma to get by otherwise. It could do with more than that, for sure, but that’s enough to keep me going and I’ll happily watch the rest of it, since it’s certainly better than Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

La Haine (1995) wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. A French classic set on a Paris banlieue, where a few youthful inhabitants get hold of a policeman’s gun after it’s dropped in a riot and events unfold from there. But despite that premise and the film’s name (‘The Hate’), it’s actually a pretty funny, hopeful affair about people finding a way through life, even in a crappy environment like a banlieue, while it simultaneously dissects racism, police brutality and more. Equally, it’s amazing to see the likes of Vincent Cassel and Saïd Taghmaoui back when they were young unknowns.

That’s on the BFI Player, at least, and probably elsewhere, too.

Fleabag, which is currently on Amazon Prime, as part of a National Theatre collection of plays – the National Theatre now has its own app, BTW – is a pretty dark affair. The source of the TV show, it’s a really interesting, not especially funny look at lack of intimacy leads to lack of self-worth and ultimately self-destruction, particularly for women.

The second set of episodes of the first season of Lupin were solidly decent. After a slightly shaky start, the show started to pick up again reverting to our gentleman thief doing more hijinks and capers in a very well executed way. There are some very clever reveals, too, and I did enjoy the various references to Lupin stories – and the fact that copyright being laxer then, Lupid could meet Sherlock Holmes…

The Dig
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What have you been watching this week? Including The Dig and Walker

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

It’s been another slightly underpacked viewing schedule for TMINE this week. WandaVision (Disney+) has thankfully decided to explain a little about what’s been going on in the outside world, and if you’re an MCU fan it’s been majestic, with characters from Thor, Ant-Man, and even Captain Marvel, all showing up.

I’ve now finished the first five episodes of Lupin (Netflix). The final two fleshed out the characters and gave us some actual thrills and spills, rather than simply Now You See Me in France. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the next set of episodes, which are set to arrive on our screens in summer.

Walker — “Pilot” — Image Number: WLK101d_0125r — Pictured (L-R): Lindsey Morgan as Micki Ramirez, Coby Bell as Captain Larry James and Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Now on TMINE

I’ve also seen some new stuff, though. As threatened, I tuned in for Walker (US: The CW), which is a reboot of Chuck Norris’ finest – and cheesiest – hour.

I have to say it’s weird. They’ve got the guy from Supernatural playing an ex-marine turned Texas Ranger who’s also turned to alcohol since the death of his wife (played by the guy from Supernatural‘s real-life wife, usual as a ghost/in flashback). Most of the first episode is about him coming back to his normal life and job after ten months away and then having to deal with his mardie teenage daughter and the rest of his cliched family.

He does investigate crimes, with the help of his new Mexican-American partner. But does he kick arse? No! She does, a bit, but that’s about it. Who remakes Walker Texas Ranger without so much as a roundhouse kick? The mad fools.

I also watched The Dig (2021), which is a semi-fictional account of the unearthing of Sutton Hoo that sees Ralph Fiennes playing self-taught excavator Basil Brown, Carey Mulligan playing landowner Edith Pretty, who invites Brown to excavate two big earth mounds in her fields that she suspects could be historically highly significant, just as World War 2 is about to break out.

So it’s got a lovely cast, and Fiennes is clearly loving sporting a Suffolk accent and playing the working class boy being underestimated by the establishment. The shooting of the scenery is lovely and the recreation of a time that feels more like 200 years ago at points, with an actual ferryman having to row Fiennes over to meet Mulligan like a segment of Lord of the Rings.

But it’s actually a little short of archaeological detail and the second half of the movie starts to sag a bit from the addition of a fictional sub-plot that features Lily James as Peggy Piggott having to deal with her gay husband (Ben Chaplin) and her own desire for Johnny Flynn. I’m pretty sure it’s also a bit unfair to most of the British Museum archaeologists, particularly Piggott.

I don’t even remember them showing off the famous iconic helmet, but maybe I’d got a bit distracted by that point. All the same, a decent enough way to spend two hours and Mulligan’s relationship with her son as well as Fiennes are joys to behold.

But how about you? What have you been watching?

One Night in Miami
Streaming TV

What have you been watching?

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

This week, I’ve not been watching much. WandaVision (Disney+) has moved on to the 70s and The Brady Bunch, amongst other sitcoms, and the story is slowly opening up. I’ve got as far as episode three of Lupin (Netflix), which proved to be a bit darker than the preceding episodes, but still quite fun.

In films, I tried to give One Night in Miami (2021) (Amazon Prime), based on the play of the same name, a go. But despite some great performances, I found it a bit dull (possibly because it works better as a play), so gave up after about 45 minutes.

But that’s about it. I’m going to try to give The CW (US)’s Walker a whirl some time this week – it’s a reboot of Walker Texas Ranger (US: CBS). But it’s Lockdown 3.0, so who knows?

How about you, though? What have you been watching?

Streaming TV

What have you been watching? Including Lupin, WandaVision and Wonder Woman 1984

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

Previously on TMINE

Lockdown 3.0 occurred, that’s what happened.

Now on TMINE

Happy New Year! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? TBH, I’m still not feeling the TV buzz. Or even seeing much new TV or movies. I’m also still ridiculously busy, which given January is normally my quietest month work-wise is insane.

But… I’m not not watching things, you know? And I do have some time occasionally to write something.

So TMINE ain’t going back to normal any time soon. But I am going to at least try to do one of these every Monday or Tuesday.

This is predominantly going to be What Have You Been Watching? – a chance for you to let everyone know if you’ve found some gems out there to while away the quarantine. I haven’t really got the time or energy for full reviews of things, but I am also going to talk a little about what I have been watching – both film- and TV-wise – so I can at least flag things up.

After the jump then, what I’ve been watching, since I have seen some new things at least since last we spoke: Netflix’s Lupin, Disney+’s WandaVision and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

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