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.
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.
2003 Seuls sont les indomptés - L'aventure des cinémas action
2005 Roger Diamantis ou La vraie vie
2017 Dziwne ptaki / Drôles d'oiseaux / Strange Birds