Felicity Chaplin

Felicity Chaplin

Felicity Chaplin teaches in the European Languages program at Monash University. She is the author of two books, Charlotte Gainsbourg: transnational and transmedia stardom (Manchester University Press, 2020) and La Parisienne in cinema: between art and life (Manchester University Press, 2017), and is a contributor to the forthcoming edited collection Refocus: The films of François Ozon (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). Felicity has written extensively on cinema, stardom, celebrity, fashion, French female identity, and cultural histories of Paris. Her work appears in Australian Book Review, Australian Journal of French StudiesCelebrity StudiesMetroScreening the Past, and Senses of Cinema.

‘Sundown: Michel Franco’s ruined paradise’ by Felicity Chaplin

ABR Arts 04 July 2022
‘Sundown: Michel Franco’s ruined paradise’ by Felicity Chaplin
Michel Franco’s Sundown opens with a close-up of fish slowly suffocating on a boat deck, the first of many enigmatic interjections that punctuate the film. We begin with a family vacation in Acapulco. The Bennetts, an apparently typical nuclear family, swim, sip margaritas, and joke around on the terrace of their luxury resort suite.  They attend a cliff-diving contest at the iconic La Queb ... (read more)

‘Lost Illusions: Capturing Balzac’s troubled humanism on film’ by Felicity Chaplin

ABR Arts 15 June 2022
‘Lost Illusions: Capturing Balzac’s troubled humanism on film’ by Felicity Chaplin
Xavier Giannoli calls Lost Illusions less an adaptation of Honoré de Balzac’s three-volume novel (1837–43) than a transfiguration, comparing it in form to Max Richter’s celebrated reworking of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Richter’s ‘Spring’ appears in the film, and a famous quote from Oscar Wilde finds its way into the dialogue, signalling Giannoli’s intention to remake the novel in a ... (read more)

‘Everything Went Fine: Death’s intimate challenge’ by Felicity Chaplin

ABR Arts 16 May 2022
‘Everything Went Fine: Death’s intimate challenge’ by Felicity Chaplin
When a father asks his daughter to help end his life, is it out of love or perversity? In Everything Went Fine, it is both. François Ozon’s films typically belong to the French tradition of intimiste cinema, melodramas centred on the bourgeois patriarchal family. Everything Went Fine (Tout c’est bien passé, 2021), Ozon’s twentieth feature film, is no exception. This preference for melodram ... (read more)

'The French Dispatch': Wes Anderson’s new palimpsestic film

ABR Arts 06 December 2021
'The French Dispatch': Wes Anderson’s new palimpsestic film
Devotees of Wes Anderson know what to expect, and they certainly get it in spades in The French Dispatch. Those who sensed that the American director lost his way with The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), may feel he has strayed even further from the simplicity of the works that made him famous, such as the understated Bottle Rocket (1996), the quirky and endearing Rushmore (1998), and that masterpiec ... (read more)

Felicity Chaplin reviews 'Dark Matter: Independent filmmaking in the 21st century' by Michael Winterbottom

December 2021, no. 438 24 November 2021
Felicity Chaplin reviews 'Dark Matter: Independent filmmaking in the 21st century' by Michael Winterbottom
Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon is perhaps the best-known film never made. But what about others that never happened? What might a closer look at these reveal about the state of filmmaking? Such unmade films constitute the ‘dark matter’ of British director Michael Winterbottom’s book Dark Matter: Independent filmmaking in the 21st century. The invisible dark matter of the cosmos shapes our univ ... (read more)

French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

ABR Arts 01 July 2021
French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Given that the NGV has postponed Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2020: Pierre Bonnard until 2023 due to the pandemic, and that international borders will remain closed for the foreseeable future, it is a relief that this major exhibition has gone ahead, notwithstanding a month-long delay because of the latest lockdown. We are indeed fortunate to see Impressionist works from a renowned international ... (read more)

Felicity Chaplin reviews 'Women vs Hollywood: The fall and rise of women in film' by Helen O’Hara

June 2021, no. 432 26 May 2021
Felicity Chaplin reviews 'Women vs Hollywood: The fall and rise of women in film' by Helen O’Hara
In recent years, Hollywood has been forced to take a long hard look at itself. Since Alyssa Milano popularised the hashtag #MeToo in 2017, and the Time’s Up movement was launched in 2018, women in the film industry have been sharing their stories of sexism, discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Film critic Helen O’Hara’s Women vs Hollywood is not the first attempt at a revis ... (read more)

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021

ABR Arts 16 March 2021
Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021
The Alliance Française French Film Festival is on again. After a stop-start 2020 with the Festival twice interrupted by lockdowns and then cancelled altogether, it is good to be back in the cinema (masks ‘strongly recommended but not compulsory’). This year the festival has a new artistic director, Karine Mauris, and there is a diverse range of films from France and the Francophonie. Summer ... (read more)

The Truth (Palace Films)

ABR Arts 18 December 2019
The Truth (Palace Films)
For much of his working life, Hirokazu Kore-eda has been preoccupied with the question of what makes a family a family. Following on from the critically acclaimed Shoplifters (2018), which received the Palme d’Or at Cannes, The Truth continues to explore the idea of family, the roles we assume, the parts we play, and, above all, the lies we tell. It also interrogates our attachment to the i ... (read more)

Halston

ABR Arts 16 September 2019
Halston
The fashion documentary is a subgenre of a larger wave of films about fashion that have proliferated in recent years, including biopics such as Coco Before Chanel (Anne Fontaine, 2009) and Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, 2014), documentaries such as Lagerfeld Confidential (Rodolphe Marconi, 2007) and The September Issue (R.J. Cutler, 2009), and, in a similar vein, the 2018 Netflix true crime seri ... (read more)
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