Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

New French film festival? Merci!

<eat for movie enthusiasts, the Tournées Film Festival brings together language, culture and cinematic art from Sept. 22 to Oct. 20. The Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema will showcase a range of films that represent the best of the French movie industry. Organized by the Department of French and Francophone Studies, this festival covers a range of themes, genres, stylistic techniques, geographies, time periods and stories. 

“I chose films that, first, I hoped would appeal to a diverse audience, and, second, were representative of the work of some of the leading filmmakers working in France today,” said Dana Strand, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of French and the Humanities and Chair and Director of French and Francophone Studies.

Coline Maestracci, the current French Language Associate, highlighted the variety demonstrated in the movie selection. “The choice of films is interesting for several reasons – the films are quite new and few people have had the opportunity to see them here. But above all, these films show really different French directors, who represent French cinema in their own way,” she explained.

The movies will be screened on the dates noted below at 7:30 p.m. and will include both English and French subtitles; the festival is free and open to the general public. The series is made possible by a grant offered to Carleton by the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE). The Office of Corporate Relations and the French Department received a notice about the grant last spring, and saw it as a good opportunity to coincide with the opening of the Weitz Center.

According to FACE’s website, the organization provides various American colleges and universities with about $200,000 annually in the hope that schools exposed to French cinema will institute their own festivals. The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the French Embassy, the French Ministry of Culture, the Centre National de la cinématographie, the Grand Marnier Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment also provided support for the festival, which is expected to draw a large audience from Carleton and Northfield: “We’re hoping for a large turnout, since the best way to appreciate great films is through a shared viewing experience,” said Strand.

Upcoming Film Dates:

Sept. 22 : Un Prophète (A Prophet), 2008. Directed by Jacques Audiard, this film tells the story of Malik, a 19-year old French-Arab criminal who enters prison as an uneducated naif. By the time he leaves jail, he knows how to read and how to kill. Audiard examines prison as its own specific social system, and its corruption, cronyism, and racism. as a reflection of France at large.

Sept. 27 : L’Illusioniste (The Illusionist), 2010. Directed by Sylvain Chomet, this is an animated film set in the early 1960s and is about a middle-aged, slightly stoop-shouldered magician who makes a devoted teenage friend, Alice, whom he meets during his tours in Scotland. Though neither the magician nor his young charge speak each other’s language, the movie beautifully shows the ways people understand each other nonverbally.

Oct. 6: White Material (White Material), 2008. Directed by Claire Denis, this film unfolds as a fever dream, a haunting, enigmatic look at the horrors of colonialism’s legacy. Set in an unnamed African country in an unspecified time, the story centers on a coffee plantation owner who is blindly determined to continue her business while civil war rages around her.

Oct. 11: Potiche (Potiche), 2010. Directed by François Ozon, the film’s title translates as “the trophy wife”. Set in the 1970s, the film is about Suzanne Pujol who has for decades held that very title in her loveless marriage, until her husband suffers a collapse, causing her to assume control of his factory in the midst of a labor unrest. As Suzanne breaks free of her coddled life, she realizes, just like many other women who discovered feminism in that time-period, that the personal really is political.

Oct. 20: Un secret (A Secret), 2007. Directed by Claude Miller, the film follows the life of a Jewish family in post-World War II Paris. François, the son of Maxime and Tania, is a solitary and imaginative child who invents for himself a brother and the story of his parents’ past. One day, he discovers a dark family secret that shatters his life forever.

List of films and synopses courtesy of the Department of French and Francophone Studies.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *