Thursday, 30 June 2011

Potiche of genius!

Went to see French film Potiche at the lovely Barbican cinema. I was also treated to a short film before the main title by animator and filmmaker Jessica Wainwright, as part of the Watch Me Move Exhibition currently on in the main gallery.
This short film animation is both lovely, charming and a joy to watch. Constructed together around a monologue text by Betty, images are created and quickly dissolve into the next thought. If you have a nan or are indeed (as myself) from Wales you'll find this film funnily quite close to home. The innocence of the character Betty displays warmth and beauty, I'm glad this was found, please watch....

Betty from Jessica Wainwright on Vimeo.

"Catherine Deneuve excels as a trophy wife (potiche) turned factory boss in Fran├žois Ozon's hugely enjoyable, witty farce set in seventies France based on a stage play by Pierre Barrilet and Jean-Pierre Gredy.

Suzanne (Deneuve) lives a comfortable but limited life as an affluent housewife. Her husband, the arrogant, philandering Robert (Fabrice Luchini) runs the umbrella factory her father created (a return to umbrellas for Deneuve, almost 50 years on from her role in Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). But it's 1977 and Robert is hospitalised following an encounter with strikers when unrest hits the factory. Suzanne takes the reigns and is aided in worker relations by old flame and communist major (Gerard Depardieu)".

This beautiful French film had me in tears of joy, happiness, laughter, sadness and at times sheer anger and disbelief at individual attitudes towards women in the work environment. Cleverly crafted with a superb cast makes this film one of the best I have seen this year. The mature storyline allows romances to be rekindled and sparked while the choice of career and love and in debate. The plot issue of women having power within the workplace reminds me of how far we have come as a society now, though only too real that these subtle issues, may be subtle, but are still relevant today. I may not class myself as a feminist but I completely agree with the principles! I couldn't stop watching, and by the audiences reaction this film was a great success!