CHOICE | 40 Movies to Discover in 2023 – Part 1

The year of cinema has come to an end, especially with the birth of an auteur from Pakistan at the last point, and we now have to launch ourselves into a new arena with many challenges. If the forward march of weekly releases has resumed its steady pace, the return to cinemas is only beginning to be felt in the figures of French exhibitors. With a heavy presence at major European festivals, our hopes for 2023 rest on films that have already been seen and are well received by many, but there are still a number of films that have been promised. That’s why this inventory is deeply ambivalent, between the happiness of sharing our discoveries of the past year, which will finally see fruition in theaters, and the high-stakes hopes for the future. This selection is not intended to be comprehensive, but is the result of our editorial review and subjectivity.

The first quarter will see a flowering of great films that have won the most prestigious awards possible at the Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice or San Sebastian festivals. The reservoir is therefore of high quality from January with programming Our sunsthe second film of the Catalan director Carla Simon. Golden Bear and a huge favorite at the recent Berlinale, the film tells the story of a family in the hinterland of Barcelona facing the crisis of the agricultural world. At the same time poignant, subtle and beautifully written, it is a confirmation of the pursuit of the author, who, at the age of 30, stands out for his maturity on stage and great quality in directing actors, all non-professionals. .

As with the beginning of every year, this is not one, but two filmsHong Sangsoo patiently waiting for their release date. If the second walknot yet officially registered in the French calendar, the first comes with the title on February 15, also awarded by the Grand Jury in Berlin. Novelist, film and happy coincidence. A frequent conversation with the Korean director is, above all, about the encounters here and the surprise that can arise from these scenarios on the edge of comedy. HSS achieves great talent in evoking a sensitivity and seriousness that contrasts with some of these recent films, highlighted by the ubiquity of death, a recurring motif in his recent work, and his choice of black and white. A hotel by the river.

Still in Asia, the village that picked us up is on the Chinese side Return of the swallows of Li Ruijun (February 8). We find a rather disturbing connection with the film of the Chinese author Carla Simon, which focuses on the plight of workers on the land, but is rejected here by their respective families. The couple at the center of the film is an arrangement, a combination of situations at the antipodes of traditional love stories. The austerity of the decor and the situations of this other China literally explodes the screen, celebrating the “wretched of the earth” whom no one wants but who struggle to live with extraordinary dignity.

Return of the swallows
Seven months after the end of the last Cannes festival, wonderful surprises are also close to their official releases. Little brother of Leonor Seraille (Young woman), which will allow for the highest number of revelations, concluding the official competitionAnnabelle Langronne, the majestic embodiment of this mother who came from Africa with her two sons. For more than two decades, Seraille tells us about this family’s difficult adaptation to French society, between zeal and failure, especially for this older brother, who struggles to find his place in the changing geography of his family, which his mother has left behind.

Little brother
Always on the side of the Cannes competition, we find the new film of the talented Kirill Serebrennikov, Tchaikovsky’s wife (February 15). after Petrov fever and its disturbing shape is a new film that is always demanding from the Russian director. A story full of surprises and pitfalls, you have to be able to fool yourself with a cinematic proposition that requires as much analytical ability as the on-screen twists and turns around a misbehaving, extremely lonely female character. .

Tchaikovsky's wife
A selection from the UN in some respects, Return to Seoul by Davy Chou is a testament to the great talent of this French-Cambodian author. Talented producer, we owe him Ono Arthur Harari opens 2023 from January 25 with this story of adoption in South Korea. Jimin Park Freddie was raised in France by his adoptive parents, and it is Freddie who suddenly finds himself in his country of origin against his will. Chou tackles the issue of adoption in Korea, the search for identity, and the confusion of a young woman who has so far suppressed all these steps. Each time, my tongue sees Freddie transform into someone else in leaps and bounds, a reimagining of himself. Return to Seoul It’s a beautifully sensitive film for an auteur who never stops progressing in his art.

Return to Seoul
This Cannes edition’s camera d’or, the award that crowns the best first film in all selections, war pony is the work of two directors Riley Keough and Gina Gammell. Immersed in the heart of a Native American reservation in the northern United States, this is a gallery of intergenerational portraits created by two authors. They focus on looking at young actors from adolescence to early adulthood with a gentleness and quality of writing that allows them to break free of the clichés that are often seen when it comes to these fringes. the youth of war pony of course, they are subjected to a lot of violence, but Gammell and Keough succeed in telling another picture of “Native American” masculinity thanks to the character of Bill, a changed young father who finally escapes the stigma of expected violence. With an against-the-odds smile and positive nature, Bill shines so brightly in the stories of other heroes, carrying a bright and glorious message of hope. Released on March 29.

war pony
To close the Cannes chapter, we have to highlight two big releases from the Critics’ Week selection, the first of which is by general representative Ava Cahen. It is above all a miracle after the sun Seen for release on February 1, it was first dedicated to online viewing on the Mubi website. As for The First Cow before that Kelly Reichardt’s distribution company Condor It allows you to discover the first film of the French public Charlotte Wells closed. Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio Play this father and daughter for what looks like their last vacation together. A syncopated story of a bygone era, illustrated with videos shot by a young girl, after the sun is an autobiographical film that, without idealizing the last happy and painful memories of a complicated father-daughter relationship, confronts the memories with drama and the banality that can manifest itself in a family’s life.

after the sun
Finally Eden (the Juria), the Critics’ Week Grand Prix, was announced for release on March 22. Set entirely in the Colombian jungle, this story explores the life of a small colony for the reintegration of young people who have been cut off from society after committing a crime. Between the story of the beginning and the dream given by these very special places, Andres Ramírez Pulido seduces with the beauty of his images that call the imagination a thousand miles away from the urban plan of the big cities of South America.

The Venice Film Festival was also a melting pot of ambitious and remarkable films, which does not allow to burn the great moments of the years to come. the Golden Lion the work of the American Laura Poitras under the poetic title of this latest publication, All beauty and gore. Scheduled for release on March 15, this documentary tells the story of the photographer’s crossover Nan Goldin and the painkiller oxycotin has killed 500,000 Americans in just over two decades. The balance between these two themes, and the unsettling parallel between a famous artist like Nan Goldin, the world of contemporary art, and the family that made their fortune on this scourge of oxycotin, is fascinating, a testament to all of her talent. film director.

All beauty
We will also remember the new film from the Mostra competition Joanna Hogg, Eternal daughter (March 22), a very British story about a mother and daughter’s journey down the road to memories, but also Greatness ofEmmanuele Criales (January 11), where the incandescent light shines Penelope Cruz, is just as comfortable in Italian as in native Spanish. The most significant shock was undoubtedly his first film Todd Field since 2006 (little children). with tarthe American director achieves the “Everest” of staging by creating the image of a conductor from scratch. Cate Blanchett at the top of his game (out January 25).

Finally, two films from the parallel selections of “Mostra” caught our attention. First of all, blue breed by Georgia Oakley (April 14), highlights a female character, teacher and queer living a double life in 1988 UK still very hostile to the LGBT community. Finally, for France of Rachid Hamithen his second feature film Melody (2016). We find there the brothers Karim Leclou and Shain Boumedine, against whom everything goes against them, until the death of the youngest while studying at Saint-Cyr. shocking story, for France From Algeria, where the family is, to Taiwan, where one of the brothers spent a year on Erasmus, he travels across several continents.

blue breed
To finish this first part of the panorama of our expectations, it is necessary to mention the new film Steven Spielberg, Fablemen (February 22), the author’s new autobiographical iteration The third type of dating. Each new film from the great American director seems like a testament to the work to come, which continues to be interesting with each addition to his already very long filmography.

Rule 34
As a post to this first part of our expectations for 2023 and as a final promise for this list of films screened by last year’s festivals, how can we not mention Rule 34 Brazilian Julia Murat, the big winner of the last Locarno festival. A different, unusual and ambitious gesture, this is a different and brilliant film promised for a French release on June 7. And finally, Los Reyes del mundo (March 29), golden crust at the last San Sebastian festival, by the Colombian director Laura Mora, takes us through the streets of Medellín to better get away and reach the hinterland of the country’s biggest city. These two films dedicate two young South American directors to two unique stage projects that will leave a mark in auteur cinema in 2023.

Coming soon: 40 movies to watch in 2023 – Part 2

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