In the first film of “Tales of the Four Seasons,” a burgeoning friendship between philosophy teacher Jeanne (Anne Teyssèdre) and pianist Natacha (Florence Darel) is strained by jealousy, suspicion, and intrigue. Natacha encourages Jeanne to pursue the former's father, Igor (Hugues Quester), in order to supplant Eve (Eloïse Bennett), the young girlfriend Natacha loathes. Natacha’s scheme, however, risks alienating those closest to her as well as entangling Jeanne in a romantic drama she has vowed to avoid. A Tale of Springtime demonstrates Rohmer in full command of subtle visual storytelling as he contrasts the brightness of his characters’ Parisian and suburban surroundings with their conflicting desires, ideas, and temperaments.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.