Cameron University Presents French Film Festival – Free and Open to the Public
The Cameron University International Film Club will present the first French Film Festival featuring six contemporary French language films on August 21-23 and August 28-30. The festival includes critically acclaimed subtitled films from a variety of genres. Screenings will take place in the University Theatre at 7 p.m. and are open to the public at no charge.
“Date Night” films will be shown on Thursday, August 21, and Thursday, August 28. “The Artist” is scheduled for August 21, and “L’Herisson” (“The Hedgehog”) is slated for August 28.
Films suitable for families will be shown on “Family Night,” Friday, August 22, and Friday, August 29. “A Cat In Paris” (“Une Vie de Chat”) is slated for August 22, and “Monsieur Lazahr” will be shown on August 29.
Two pictures aimed at “Mature Audiences” will be show on Saturday, August 23, and Saturday, August 30. “Amour” will be presented on August 23, and “The Intouchables” is slated for August 30.
A synopsis of each of the films follows.
Winner of the 2011 Academy Award for Best Picture, “The Artist” is a heartfelt and entertaining valentine to classic American cinema. Set during the twilight of Hollywood’s silent era and shot on location in Los Angeles, “The Artist” tells the story of a charismatic movie star unhappily confronting the new world of talking pictures. Mixing comedy, romance and melodrama, “The Artist” is itself an example of the form it celebrates: a black-and-while silent film that relies on images, actors and music to weave its singular spell. (Rated PG-13)
A hand-drawn caper set in the shadow-drenched alleyways of Paris, “A Cat In Paris” (“Une Vie de Chat”) is an animated adventure/crime film that tells the story of a young Parisian girl whose cat leads her to unravel a thrilling mystery over the course of a single evening. Dino, the pet cat, leads a double life. By day he lives with Zoe, a mute girl whose mother is a detective in the Parisian police force. But at night he sneaks out the window to work with Nico, a slinky cat burglar with a big heart. The cat's two worlds collide when Zoe follows Dino on his nocturnal adventures and falls into the hands of a blustery gangster. The film was nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. (Rated PG)
Winner of the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, “Amour” focuses on an octogenarian couple who find their love put to the ultimate test when one of them suffers a stroke and the other must assume the role of the caretaker in this compassionate yet unsentimental drama. Georges and Anne are retired classical music teachers savoring their golden years in a comfortable apartment when Anne experiences a stroke that leaves her partially paralyzed. As devoted Georges struggles with the formidable task of becoming Anne's full-time caretaker, a visit from their adult daughter Eva reaffirms just how secluded from society the highly educated couple have become since retiring. (Rated PG-13)
A moving story about love, life and the beauty of unexpected friendships, “L’Hérisson” (“The Hedgehog”) was inspired by the best-selling novel “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery. The 2009 film focuses on Renée, the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, and 11-year-old Paloma, who is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her. Renée meets society’s expectations of what a concierge should be: reliable though totally uncultured. But beneath the façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers, with their outwardly successful abut emotionally void lives. Paloma, in an effort to show how absurd her life is, decides to film the people around her. Unknown to them both, a chance acquaintance with their elegant and enigmatic new neighbor, Mr. Ozu, will change their lives forever. (Not rated/contains mature themes)
A Canadian French-language production nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, “Monsieur Lazhar” tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher, who committed suicide in the classroom. Bachir Lazhar, a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. (Rated PG-13)
An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, “The Intouchables” broke box office records in its native France and across Europe shortly after its 2011 release. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicapped millionaire and his street smart ex-con caretaker, “The Intouchables” depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common. (Rated R)
The French Film Festival features film selections from the Tournées Festival, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which brings French cinema to American college and university campuses. Additional funding is provided by Cameron University Lectures and Concerts Series and the Cameron University Office of Academic Enrichment.