Le Concours / aka The Graduation
2016, Claire Simon, France, 121 min.
- Sat, Mar 2nd 4:45pm
- Thu, Mar 7th 8:15pm
"The extraordinary achievement of Claire Simon's latest film relies on its ability to capture power at work...[THE COMPETITION] is a potent film: it doesn't exalt the role of institutions but exposes their limits, absurdity, and humanity."--Matías Piñeiro, Film Comment
This fascinating documentary was originally given the less-accurate English title THE GRADUATION, but an even more fitting handle might be THE EXAMINERS EXAMINED. Its subject is La Fémis, the most prestigious French film school. A onetime faculty member herself, veteran filmmaker Simon enjoys unprecedented access as she examines the school's brutally competitive admissions process. Unlike in most "contest-format" documentaries, the main focus is not on the eager aspirants but on those who judge them. Especially prominent are the panels of film-industry professionals who interview the candidates and then assess them in remarkably revealing closed-door sessions that lay bare the conflict between egalitarian ideals and elitist biases, and the tendency of institutions to perpetuate the status quo at the expense of eccentricity and innovation. In French with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)
Director Claire Simon is scheduled to appear for audience discussion on Saturday, moderated by Ron Falzone, Associate Professor, Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College Chicago, and Instructor at Harold Ramis Film School at Second City.