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Strange Birds

Élise Girard
Drôles d'oiseaux
France 2016 / 70’
Son of the Snow Queen Summer 1993

Viviane, an aspiring provincial writer, moves to Paris, where she soon meets an elderly bookstore owner. Although the man at first comes across as somewhat bitter, there is something mysterious about him that arouses Viviane's curiosity. Their unexpected meeting provides Viviane not only with artistic inspiration, but also makes an impression on her that will last throughout her life. In less than 70 minutes, the director of Strange Birds manages both to create a credible image of loneliness in a big city and to tell the story of unrequited feelings. In doing so, Élise Girard skillfully fills the realistic plot with odd details that give the whole an aura of lyricism. The natural poetic feel and subtle humor lighten the weighty subject matter, making Strange Birds ideal for lovers of French social cinema. Girard's film should particularly appeal to fans of the later works of Alain Resnais, especially the wonderful Private Fears in Public Places.

Piotr Czerkawski

Élise Girard

Born in Thouars in 1974, Élise Girard is a French director and screenwriter. She began her career in the film industry as a press agent working for a network of studio cinemas called Action. In her first attempt at directing, she made documentaries about cult Parisian cinemas and cinema owners. This was also the sort of environment in which her feature debut was set, Belleville-Tokyo, which earned acclaim among both audiences and critics all over the world. Her latest film, Strange Birds, had its world premiere in the Forum section during this year's Berlinale.

Selected filmography

2003 Seuls sont les indomptés - L'aventure des cinémas action

2005 Roger Diamantis ou La vraie vie

2010 Belleville-Tokyo

2017 Dziwne ptaki / Drôles d'oiseaux / Strange Birds

Cast & Crew

director Élise Girard
screenplay Élise Girard, Anne-Louise Trividic
cinematography Renato Berta
editing Thomas Glaser
music Bertrand Burgalat
cast Lolita Chammah, Jean Sorel, Virginie Ledoyen
producer Janja Kralj
production KinoElektron
sales MPM
language French
colouration colour