Auteurism – that sometimes questionable practice of attributing films entirely to their directors, superseding all other collaborators – is the predominant language of serious cinephilia, and serious cinephile streaming sites tend to follow suit. Mubi, for example, tends to be director-led in its programming, dedicating the bulk of its retrospectives and guest-curator spots to the artists calling the shots behind the camera. Yet its current themed season, dedicated to the work of Juliette Binoche, makes a compelling case for the actor as auteur. The selected films, the bulk of them by celebrated film-makers in their own right, are tonally and stylistically disparate, yet bound by the French star’s singular screen magnetism: a presence at once serene and febrile, with ideas and desires twitching beneath that extraordinary face.
Now in her 50s, with more than 65 film credits to her name, Binoche is as busy as ever, with Claire Denis’s brilliant High Life fresh in our film-going memories, Olivier Assayas’s chic, limber Non-Fiction hitting screens (and Curzon Home Cinema) in October, and a new film with Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda, The Truth, opening the Venice film festival in a few weeks.
Woman - Thousand - Faces - Mubi - Best-of-Binoche
Subtitled “The Woman With a Thousand Faces”, Mubi’s best-of-Binoche roundup is thoughtfully chosen and aptly rangy, even if it kicks off with one curious clanger (and one of the actress’s few visibly unconfident moments) in Louis Malle’s erotic melodrama Damage. From there on, however, the pickings get much richer. Before they shuffle off the end of Mubi’s curated queue, you have a few days left to catch her two films with madcap visionary Leos Carax. In Mauvais Sang, one of her earliest breakout roles, her glowing ingenuousness is the stabilising influence in a thrillingly deranged Aids-era gangster thriller. Five years later, in the ravishing, punk-operatic vagrant romance The Lovers on the Bridge,...
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