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"French Cinema Now"

Eleven films, most of them actually from France, screen in San Francisco through Wednesday.

"The San Francisco Film Society's annual French cinema roundup stretches its national mandate a bit this year," writes Max Goldberg in the Bay Guardian, noting the inclusion of The Kid with a Bike by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, "one of the best films of the year regardless of country of origin," and Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre. "Also worth checking out is Pierre Schöller's fascinating train wreck of an information age political thriller, The Minister, starring longtime Dardennes player Olivier Gourmet as a compromised bureaucrat. The Long Falling [image above], Martin Provost's second match up with actress Yolanda Moreau after Séraphine (2008), purposefully shuttles from a hardened Belgian village to an unmoored Brussels and features Agnès Godard's characteristically probing camerawork, itself a pride of French cinema."

From the lineup of eleven films, the Chronicle's Mick LaSalle picks out six to highlight, including Katia Lewkowicz's Bachelor Days Are Over, which "tells the story of a man (Benjamin Biolay) in the days leading up to his wedding — a wedding that might not happen, after all. Biolay is backed by some fine actresses (Emmanuelle Devos, Valérie Donzelli and Sarah Adler). People will talk about the movie afterward." It opened the series yesterday and screens again on Sunday.

Toward the top of his overview of the series, which runs through November 2, Michael Hawley is "happy to report that while festivals increasingly lean towards digital exhibition, eight of this year's FCN entries will be screened in 35mm (see the Film on Film Foundation calendar for specifics)."

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