Want the best of world cinema? SBS World Movies has you covered. Premium double features every evening provide the perfect opportunity to sample the best films from around the world. Whether you’re after an insightful and thought-provoking character study or a chance to put your feet up and take a road trip without leaving the couch, World Movies has just the thing to keep you watching.
With strong performances at their centres, next Friday's (August 30th) Euro-centric double feature of Paris Can Wait and Girl make for compelling viewing. They’re both films that do what films do best: take you to another world and put you in someone else’s shoes.
Paris Can Wait
7:30PM, SBS World Movies
When a post-Cannes ear infection prevents Anne (Diane Lane) from flying to Paris with her film producer husband (Alec Baldwin), his producing partner Jacques (Arnaud Viard) offers to drive her there instead. Initially it’s meant to be a quick trip from A to B, but it rapidly slows down into a seductive road trip soaking up the sights of the south of France.
Writer-director Eleanor Coppola (wife of Francis Ford Coppola; this is her first fiction feature after a series of documentaries) gives this flirtatious tale the light touch it needs. Jacques and Anne have an engaging chemistry together – even though Anne remains slightly suspicious of the over-the-top Frenchman’s motives for much of the film – and while this isn’t exactly edge of your seat drama, the developing relationship between the pair is a warm and watchable one.
Really though, the appeal here is watching the always charming Lane checking out the amazing countryside with the occasional stop-off at a cathedral or crumbling chateaux, and on this front the film definitely doesn’t disappoint. Paris Can Wait is both a love letter both to France and to its star.
9:10PM, SBS World Movies
Lara Verhaeghen (Victor Polster) is a fifteen year-old transgender girl who wants nothing more than to be a ballerina. Her father, Mathias (Arieh Worthalter) is supportive; her six year-old brother is, well, a little brother. When she’s accepted to a prestigious Dutch ballet school, the family relocates to be nearby, and while the stresses of a new school and her gender dysphoria take their toll, she’s a keen student and is readily accepted by her peers.
Refreshingly, this isn’t a film about external conflict. While there are a number of incidents involving Lara’s trans status, this isn’t about the fear and hatred of others. Instead, the conflict is internal, as Lara struggles with a body that isn’t what she wants and won’t do what she demands of it. As she begins the process for sex reassignment surgery and starts on hormone replacement drugs, the pressures of ballet training – and being a teenager - begin to mount.
These are edgy topics even now, and this film has attracted its fair share of controversy. What stands out throughout the film though, is its firm commitment to treating the issues faced by its lead as personal ones. It’s an important film because it’s not trying to make a wider statement; rather, it constantly goes out of its way to underline that this is the story of one person dealing with their own issues – and those issues couldn’t be more topical.
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