Just in time for December’s holiday gatherings and celebrations, the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles will screen Arnaud Desplechin’s 2008 film A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël), as part of its monthly series La Collectionneuse, which is devoted to French cinema and culture. The melancholy holiday movie, starring Catherine Deneuve, depicts the Christmastime reunion of the volatile Vuillard family, who learn that their matriarch needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. Featuring an incredible ensemble cast—including Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Emmanuelle Devos, Melvil Poupaud, and Chiara Mastroianni—A Christmas Tale is told in the emotionally unhinged register Desplechin does best, mixing storybook flights of fancy with genuine, heartbreaking drama. Enjoy the film on 35 mm next Wednesday, and in the meantime, see it featured below in our 2013 video essay “Blue Christmas,” written and narrated by longtime Criterion contributor Michael Koresky.
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.