Irish Film Institute -ESTHER KAHN



142 minutes, France-U.K., 2000, Colour, 35mm

Besides Desplechin’s new film, Jimmy P, Esther Kahn is the director’s only other period piece and as such makes an interesting point of comparison in an output otherwise distinguished by a sense of contemporaneity. As well as his only two English-language films, both are screen adaptations of relatively esoteric books. 

Based on a short story by British writer Arthur Symons, the film follows Esther, a young and awkward Jewish actress growing up in late 19th century London, played by the alluring Summer Phoenix. This makes for an historically significant coming-of-age tale, that draws intriguing links between performance and the pressure to conform. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

This film is screening as part of the Arnaud Desplechin Programme which will continue during the 14th Carte Noire IFI French Film Festival (November 20th – December 1st 2013).

The full season features five of Desplechin’s films: The Sentinel (1992), My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument (1996), Kings and Queen (2004), A Christmas Tale (2008) and the premiere of his latest work, Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) (2013).

We are delighted and honoured that Arnaud Desplechin will be attending the Festival to introduce his films Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) and A Christmas Tale, and will host a masterclass on November 22nd.

Esther Kahn will screen in its original English language format.


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