Barbara

Director: Mathieu Amalric
Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Jeanne Balibar, Aurore Clément, Vincent Peirani
Country: France
Language: French with English subtitles
Year of production: 2017
Genre: Drama, Biopic, Musical
Duration: 97 min
Festivals: Cannes International Film Festival (Un Certain Regard) 2017
Awards: Cannes 2017 — Best Poetic Narrative

“A mega-meta, dreamily blurred biopic-within-a-film.” The Guardian

Synopsis

An actress prepares to play the singer Barbara as the film shoot is about to start. She rehearses, works on her character, sings, dances, reads her script, moves in and out of her role. Whilst she relives the singer’s life, the actress finds herself overwhelmed by her own performance and absorbed by the singer’s aura. The film director observes her, films her and gets drawn into the actress’ transformation and interpretation.

Actor-writer-director Mathieu Amalric (also in Ismael’s Ghosts) and actor-singer Jeanne Balibar pay a memorable tribute to Barbara, one of France’s most unusual and gifted mid-20th century chanteuse, rendering her prodigious talent and undiminished emotional pull. Breaking conventions of the traditional biopic, Amalric transcribes authentic aspects of Barbara’s personality through allusions and quick revelations rather than a linear retelling of her life and career. The singular power of the singer’s art is retold in the fascination the actress and the filmmaker experience (both as characters in the film they make and as themselves in Barbara) while re-enacting and interpreting her musical works.
The film constantly blurs the boundaries between on-screen and on-stage real performances and being a protagonist in a film. A self-reflexive mirroring, Barbara draws the viewer into the fascinating world of artistic creation, into the mystery that can be music, just as the characters experience it in the film.

Trailer

Screenings

Ticket links will be added as they become available
Note that in Arrowtown tickets are only available from the cinema.


AUCKLAND – RIALTO CINEMAS NEWMARKET
Fri 2 March 6:50 pm
Tue 6 March 12:20 pm
Sat 17 March 6:40 pm
Tue 20 March 8:30 pm

AUCKLAND – BERKELEY CINEMAS TAKAPUNA
Thu 8 March 6:10 pm
Fri 16 March 10:30 am
Mon 19 March 12:50 pm

CHRISTCHURCH – HOYTS RICCARTON
Thu 8 March 4:00 pm
Tue 13 March 6:10 pm
Thu 22 March 10:30 am

WELLINGTON – EMBASSY THEATRE
Thu 8 March 4:20 pm D
Tue 13 March 10:30 am D
Sun 18 March 6:20 pm D
Mon 26 March 8:20 pm E

NEW PLYMOUTH – EVENT CINEMAS
Fri 16 March 6:20 pm

NELSON – SUTER THEATRE
Thu 22 March 11:15 am
Wed 28 March 6:10 pm

TIMARU – MOVIE MAX DIGITAL
Sat 24 April 6:20 pm

TAURANGA – RIALTO CINEMAS
Fri 16 March 6:15 pm
Sat 24 March 1:40 pm

HAVELOCK NORTH – EVENT CINEMAS
Fri 23 March 6:15 pm
Sat 31 March 1:20 pm

DUNEDIN – RIALTO CINEMAS
Fri 23 March 12:00 pm
Sat 31 March 8:30 pm

HAMILTON – LIDO CINEMA
Sat 24 March 2:00 pm
Sun 1 April 5:25 pm

ARROWTOWN – DOROTHY BROWNS
Sat 7 April 11:00 am
Thu 12 April 6:00 pm

PALMERSTON NORTH – EVENT CINEMAS
Tue 10 April 8:15 pm
Sun 15 April 1:30 pm

E Embassy Theatre
D Deluxe Theatre

More films from this category of the 2018 French Film Festival