So far, 2012 has been a great year to see French movies in Chicago. The European Union Film Festival had local premieres from major directors Claire Denis (To the Devil), Bruno Dumont (Hors Satan), and André Téchiné (Unforgivable, which screens again next month at the Music Box), and Facets just presented a couple of masterworks by Mia Hansen-Løve (Goodbye First Love) and Philippe Garrel (A Burning Hot Summer). No less valuable have been the runs of Declaration of War, Polisse (which returns this week for a short run at Facets), and Bertrand Bonello’s House of Pleasures, three flawed but inarguably original films that offered plenty to chew on.
This week, the Landmark Century is running Farewell, My Queen, the latest from director Benoît Jacquot. While the print ads make it look like a middlebrow costume drama, it’s as much a piece of auteur cinema as any of the eight titles listed above. Jacquot, who’s been making movies for about as long as Téchiné, has developed a personal body of work that’s well worth delving into.