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Mill Valley Festival – French selection

Festival, Film

Mill Valley, CA 94941

November 7 - November 15, 2023

The Mill Valley Film Festival returns this week, with an exceptional line up of French films! The program includes not only the 2023 Palme d’Or winner from the @festivaldecannes, Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet, but also A Taste of Things, directed by Trần Anh Hùng, which has been selected by CNC to represent France at the 2024 Oscars. 

Click Here for a quick look at the featured films this year, and check out the full program for more details.

The Taste of Things

“The Taste of Things” came as a surprise pick by the Oscar committee to represent France in the international feature film race this year. Loosely based on Marcel Rouffe’s 1924 novel “The Passionate Epicure,” French-Vietnamese director Tràn Anh Hùng tells the story of the multi-dimensional relationship between Eugénie, an esteemed cook and Dodin, the gourmet she’s been working for over the last 20 years. Starring Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel, the film takes a dual focus on haute cuisine and two soulmates maturing together both professionally and personally in 1885.  

Hùng took a unique approach to filming cuisine, calling on “gastronomic manager” @pierregagnaire and “culinary adviser” Michel Nave, a pair of Michelin three-star chefs to prepare the food before filming, requiring immense planning from technical teams to successfully capture the preparation of the dishes. The film won Hùng the best director prize at this year’s Festival de Cannes, and was acquired by IFC Films and Sapan Studios in June. 

The ways in which cuisine is prepared and enjoyed are integral in shaping identities and culture. Food Culture is a key theme of Villa Albertine this year, particularly in San Francisco, a city at the intersection of innovation and environmental awareness, where food becomes another lens through which environmentally conscious communities are cultivated. 

Presented with support from Villa Albertine and Tv5monde, catch “The Taste of Things” at this year’s screenings! 

October 11, 2023, 6:00pm, Smith Rafael Film Center 2 

October 12, 2023, 3:00pm, BAMPFA 

Anatomy of a Fall

Palme d’Or winner at this year’s @festivaldecannes, “Anatomy of a Fall” walks the line between moral dilemma, thriller, and courtroom drama, leaving the audience feeling uncertain, unable to decide from one scene to the next, who to root for. Sandra Hüller stars as Sandra, a German writer who is suspected of killing her husband Vincent, played by Swann Arlaud after his body is found dead in the snow outside their isolated chalet. Did he jump or was he pushed? 

As the film unfolds, director Justine Triet explores the mechanics of the tragedy, yet leaving more questions than answers. It was this sense of the unknown that Triet was particularly interested in — wanting to stay away from the narrative reflexes of a whodunit style film.  Actress Sandra Hüller herself didn’t even know the truth of her character but was told to “play her like she’s innocent.” 

Triet goes beyond the investigation at hand to explore the complexities of romantic relationships, and the audience’s perception of a woman, and how this perspective changes with every new piece of information revealed. The courtroom becomes not only an examination of the death, but ultimately of Sandra’s life and mind.  

Presented with support from Villa Albertine and Tv5Monde, catch “Anatomy of a Fall” at this year’s Mill Valley Film Fest screenings! 

October 7th, 2023, 2:30pm, Cinearts Sequoia 1 
October 15th, 2023, 6:30pm, BAMPFA 

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