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June 14, 2012

RMA VEP INVADES CCP: AN OLIVIER ASSAYAS RETROSPECTIVE

 
The Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation with the Ambassade de France aux Philippines presents Irma Vep Invades CCP!, a retrospective of films by the acclaimed French director Olivier Assayas, on June  28-30, 2012.
 
Son of Jacques Rémy, who was a screenwriter for Christian-Jaque and Henri Decoin, Olivier Assayas started out as a critic for Cahiers du cinéma. He was one of the first European cinephiles to cast his eye towards the new wave of Asian cinema – he produced a documentary on the Taiwanese master, Hou Hsiao Hsien. In China he met Maggie Cheung, who he would later marry and cast in Irma Vep, a bold variation on a classic serial by Feuillade, presented at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section in 1996. 
 
French director Olivier Assayas
Keen to put theory into practice, Olivier Assayas was soon receiving acclaim for his short films (notably Laissé inachevé à Tokyo in 1982) and his work as a screenwriter on Rendez-vous, directed in 1985 by André Techiné, another former writer on Cahiers. The following year he made his first feature film, Disorder, a portrait of turbulent youth in which his passion for rock music is already evident. Praised for his stylish mise en scène, Assayas excels in filming young actresses such as Judith Godrèche (Paris Awakens, 1991) and Virginie Ledoyen (Cold Water, 1994), in stories which blend emotional intrigue and intergenerational conflict. In 1998, the bittersweet Late August, Early September, starring Jeanne Balibar and Mathieu Amalric as the leading couple, seemed to bring a cycle to a close.
 
Olivier Assayas subsequently strived to broaden the horizons of French cinéma d'auteur in a series of ambitious, eclectic projects. Les destinées sentimentales, an epic starring Emmanuelle Béart and Charles Berling, screened at Cannes in 2000, was followed by high-tech thriller Demonlover, which unsettled the Cannes jury in 2002. He surprised many by venturing into melodrama in Clean in 2004. A moving portrait of a reforming addict who vows to regain custody of her son, it earned Maggie Cheung, now separated from the filmmaker, the Best Actress Award at Cannes. Assayas the experimentalist then set off for Hong Kong to film Asia Argento in a foray into B movies, Boarding Gate, before returning to France to film, as part of a series commissioned by the Musée d'Orsay, Summer Hours, a family saga starring Juliette Binoche (2008). Seven films by Assayas will be featured at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater).
 
Seven films by Assayas will be shown at the CCP namely: Cold Water (June 28, 4 PM); Irma Vep (June 28, 7 PM); HHH A Portrait of Hou Hsiao-hsien (June 29, 4 PM); Les Destinées sentimentales (June 29, 7 PM); Demonlover (Jume 30, 1 PM); Clean (June 30, 4 PM); and Summer Hours (June 30, 7 PM)
 
Free admission.   Seating strictly on a first come-first serve basis. For more information, call CCP Film, Broadcast & New Media at 832 1125, locals 1704 & 1705.
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