1 March 2019.
JUSQU’ICI TOUT VA BIEN *** (vo French)
When they want to, the French can make great comedies, full of innovative ideas, often politically incorrect, with social connotations and above all hilarious.
This is one of them. Directed by the French/Algerian Mohamed Hamidi and produced by the famous French/Arab comedian Jamel Debbouze, it has a refreshing slant on the French class problem, plus a very positive approach which makes its humor that much more enticing and relevant.
The premise is of a thriving, trendy ad company in the best area of Paris that falls into big trouble with the tax authorities. The boss – played by the talented favorite boy of French cinema, Gilles Lellouche – has put a fake cover address for his business – in a deprived banlieue (the poor outskirts of the capital) – so as to be in a lower tax bracket. The crux of the film is how he is forced to move his whole enterprise to this precarious area full of drug dealers and hooligans, and how his team manages not only to integrate, but to befriend and incorporate the dubious inhabitants of the area.
This is a group yarn, full of fun characters, dicey situations and lots of laughs. But above all, a huge banner of hope and goodwill about new possibilities, for director Hamidi is a child of the banlieue and wants to show a more positive version of his difficult world. And why not, with all the miseries of racism, newly-rising totalitarianisms and class clashes happening all over France and Europe?
With a title like that, this film might continue…
IMPULSO *** (vo Spanish)
Flamenco’s intensity is no doubt due to its fire and sensuality, especially the earthy gypsy and oriental origins of its rhythms and motions. It can literally seep into your heart and blood, getting you high with its throbbing staccato. To be completely immersed, take a look at Carlos Saura’s 1995 film “Flamenco”, a superb portrait of various dancers, tableau after tableau. It may leave you in a sweat…
As will this documentary about Rocio Molina, the young flamenco choreographer and performer who has brought a new form to that grand Spanish tradition. The small, tightly-built ball of energy that is Molina had the dance bug from childhood.
She and her troupe have been traveling the world with their new form of this noble dance, always searching for new steps. Her variations come from her gut and from pure improvisation right there on the stage. She has not changed the old art of flamenco but has deepened and enhanced its movements and possibilities. Made it impulsive, like the title Impulso. One can say she has revived it to a higher artistic level.
Run to this documentary about the preparation for her performance at the National Theater of Chaillot in Paris. You have to see it to believe it for she is passionate about her work, and it is contagious.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.