Léa Seydoux (No Time to Die, The French Dispatch) brilliantly holds the center of Bruno Dumont’s unexpected, unsettling new film, which starts out as a satire of the contemporary news media before steadily spiraling out into something richer and darker. Never one to shy away from provoking his viewers, Dumont (The Life of Jesus) casts Seydoux as France de Meurs, a seemingly unflappable superstar TV journalist whose career, homelife, and psychological stability are shaken after she carelessly drives into a young delivery man on a busy Paris street. This accident triggers a series of self-reckonings, as well as a strange romance that proves impossible to shake. A film that teases at redemption while refusing to grant absolution, FRANCE is tragicomic and deliciously ambivalent—a very 21st-century treatment of the difficulty of maintaining identity in a corrosive culture.
In the heart of the Tibetan highlands, multi-award-winning nature photographer Vincent Munier guides writer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to document the infamously elusive snow leopard. Munier introduces Tesson to the subtle art of waiting from a blind spot, tracking animals, and finding the patience to catch sight of the beasts. Through their journey in the Tibetan peaks, inhabited by invisible presences, the two men ponder humankind's place amongst the magnificent creatures and glorious landscapes they encounter along the way.
Gorgeous and humbling, THE VELVET QUEEN is not only about beauty and beasts but also the very human urge to make sense of our place in it all. Images of exquisite beauty are complemented by poignant original music composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and together make this a film made for the theatrical experience.
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