The film by Nicole Garcia was received with warmth by a mature audience on its first screenings in New York this past weekend.
From Land Of The Moon, a film adaptation of the book of the same title by Milena Agus, is the most recent film by actor and director Lucile Garcia, which made its debut in the official selection of Cannes last year, recently receiving eight César Awards nominations.
In the US, the french production is being distributed by Sundance Releases (a branch of IFC Films) and is scheduled to hit the theaters this upcoming July. But for the New Yorkers who didn’t want to wait that long, the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Film Festival taking place in the Film Society of Lincoln Center from March 2 to 12, has included the film on its program. For the first public screening on Friday evening, the room was filled by a mature audience which rejoiced at the film and kept Garcia very busy answering questions during the Q&A following the screening.
The questions mostly revolved around the acting, driven by the beautiful performances, but also certainly taking into account Nicole Garcia’s experience in the field as an former actress herself. In fact, when questioned about how her acting experience affects her relationship with the actors of her film on set, she provided a meaningful reflection on the advantages of sharing the acting language with the actors. To her, work psychology on set is not important “because the actors are capable of grasping the emotions by reading the script, to repeat it is pointless.” The alternative, Garcia says, is to demonstrate. “I don’t tell them how to say things, but to show a lot, I’m very active on set”.
After seeing Marion Cotillard shine on screen as the troubled Gabrielle, there is no debating on the effectiveness of Garcia’s technique, which shows a woman who can fluctuate in instants between a melancholic and visceral performance. The latter, Nicole points out, it was her own input on the role, as Cotillard initially played her character in a more tranquil manner.
Garcia was also questioned by the novel about the adaptation of the novel, covering her first contact with the novel and how she opted for a free approach to the book, saying that the book as it is would need to be adapted as a saga. When asked about the change of locations from Italy to France she made the audience crack a smile by saying “if it was shot in Sardinia, it would be an Italian film”. Garcia concluded her Q&A addressing the English title, which was inherited from the book title. For her, the title does not make sense, as to her the title invoke dreams, while the subject of the film is much deeper than that.
Lincoln center is also to be congratulated on the choice of the interpreter who’s fluidity and precision on the translation of the director’s responses made the frequently disturbing experience of simultaneous translating very organic. And while The Land of The Moon only has one more screening scheduled on March 12 1 pm, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a dynamic translated Q&A during the all-french cinema event.
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, co-presented with UniFrance. The tickets are sold both online and at the box office. For sold-out sessions, there are a limited number of standby tickets which are released for sale prior to the screenings.
Photo Credit: IFC