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FLICKS: Renoir, Frances Ha & Fatality Fest

Posted on 30 May 2013 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


As one would expect, Renoir is a pure art house movie, with a slow pace and gorgeous cinematography. Not quite a historical drama, the characters linger in a way that one wants to learn more about the subjects – the family Renoir. In terms of the summer Blockbuster season, Renoir is the quiet vacation for people who want to get away from it all.

This movie would have been more accurately titled Renoirs, for it is a generational story about a father and his son. Painter Pierre- Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) is a crippled father who has yet to create his final masterpiece (The Bathers) with a paint brush, oils and optimal sunlight. A wounded warrior, Jean Renoir (Vincent Rottiers) limps through his father’s garden and talks about new things, like airplanes and moving pictures. Andrée Heuschling (Christa Theret) is the object of both men’s eyes. She is the muse who poses nude for Papa Renoir.

In spite of the impressionistic motifs, performances are good. The beauty is as real as a primavera Sunday afternoon, but so is the pain of a man struggling in pain with inflamed and gnarly hands. As the senior Renoir says, “The pain passes, beauty remains.”

Frances Ha opens next week in The Living Room Theater in Boca Raton. The title character (Greta Gerwig) shares similar characteristics as Andrée Heuschling, a struggling artist who seeks to develop as performance. Unlike Renoir, Frances Ha is filmed in black & white and contains no nudity.

As a dancer for a Manhattan Dance Company, Frances has enjoyed the Bohemian lifestyle. Now in her late twenties, Frances is forced to mature as her friends form families and her dance skills diminish.

With the black-and-white cinematography and Manhattan setting, Frances Ha is influenced by Woody Allen. Yet Frances is not another pseudo intellectual Catskills comedian, she is an endearing character who learns to embrace her California roots and artistic desires.

In two weeks, Fatality Fest opens in West Palm Beach. For the first time in 10 years, a horror movie convention opens south of Orlando. Expected to attend will be Dee Wallace (E.T., Cujo, Ten); Camille Keaton, Buster’s granddaughter; Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, JAG, OZ) and the queen of independent filmmaking Debbie Rochon. For ticket information, visit – http://www.fatalityfest.com/ west-palm-beach.html

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