The Midwife (Sage Femme) dir. Martin Provost

Claire Breton is surrounded by life. She is an old-school midwife, coaching women in the art of breathing, listening to their bodies, and making birth joyful. She owns a little patch of a vegetable garden on the banks of the Seine, where her tomatoes and lettuces flourish. Her son Simon is about to become a…

Pendular dir. Julia Murat

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Sally Potter’s 1997 The Tango Lesson. A woman, an artist, starts from a blank canvas. There is an empty, large space of floor waiting to be filled with movement, and large, white sheets of paper ready to be filled with screenplay. Her creative process is two-directional; some days…

After The Storm (Umi yori mo Mada Fukaku)

Kore-eda is very much a filmmaker of place; he has lived and known many of the cities and towns in which his films are set. We are thus treated to an insider’s view of a place, not the Japan of tourist brochures or sumptuous period films, but ordinary Japanese places which feel very much like…

Frantz by François Ozon

Frantz Hoffmeister, a soldier, fiancé, son, and friend, is dead and thus physically absent, but you know from the first five minutes of the film that he will continue to be unnervingly present. Like memories of World War I and the resentment between Germans and French at that time, Frantz is kept alive. His young…

CAAMFest 35: Bachelor Girls

The “Bachelor Girls” interviewed in Shikha Makan’s brisk documentary are professional women in their 20s and 30s, educated and gainfully employed in the large, cosmopolitan Indian city of Mumbai. For some landlords, these women would be ideal tenants: white-collar, responsible, educated, capable of paying rent regularly, stellar character references from heads of banks and human…