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Connecting Through Storytelling

The 2018 Tournées French Film at Roger Williams University in collaboration with Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival

 

 

 

 

BRISTOL, RI: Roger Williams University (RWU) and Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) are proud to collaborate in the presentation of the Sixth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival. The theme for this year’s Festival is “Connecting through Storytelling.” The Festival will take place over a six-day period, April 2-7, 2018 and will be free to the general public and campus community. The RWU Tournées French Film Festival was made possible by a $2,200 grant from the French American Cultural Exchange, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes French culture through grants and special projects in arts and education.

 

The RWU Tournées French Film Festival will present six new and classic French feature films, (all with English subtitles); along with a selection of shorts films that the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival will premiere through its partnership with UNIFRANCE set to precede each feature.

 

The Bristol, RI campus of Roger Williams University will serve as the host location for the Festival, with screenings to take place at the Feinstein College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Room 157.

 

For the past few decades, an array of contemporary French filmmakers have sought to use film as a means to wrest us from the illusions provided by the narrative of global connectivity. Often focusing on protagonists who exist outside dominant culture, or who feel detached from it, these filmmakers have tried to illuminate the realities of social oppression, isolation and alienation, while simultaneously foregrounding the powerful human desire for acceptance, intimacy and belonging.

 

The Sixth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival offers films that continue on in this vein. Each film centers on characters struggling to make social connections in a world that is often constructed to keep them apart.

 

Aesthetically, these films eschew Hollywood’s affinity for vibrant imagery, hyper-kinetic editing, broad characterizations and closed endings. Long-takes, hand-held-cameras, natural dialogue, complex characters and ambiguous narratives are used to create cinematic experiences that feel like life-as-it-is-lived; these are all films that invite the audience to engage with the world, rather than escape from it.

 

The Program Directors for the Sixth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival are Dr. Roberta Adams; Dr. Jeffrey Martin, Professor of Theatre and Chair, Department of Performing Arts; the Rev. Nancy Soukup, RWU Spiritual Life, and George T. Marshall, Executive Director, Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival. The RWU Film Production Collaborative has provided event technical support. For more information, please go to www.RWU.edu.

 

 

Monday, April 2rnd

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) 157, RWU, Bristol, RI

 

ELLE

Paul Verhoeven, Director | 130 min. France, Germany, 2016

 

The first French film by Paul Verhoeven, the Dutch provocateur behind such sneakily subversive Hollywood fare as Robocop and Basic Instinct, Elle is a work of startling moral complexity, a constantly surprising narrative that provides an in-depth, occasionally uncomfortable portrait of a well-do-do Paris woman with more than a few secrets. The film begins when Michèle Leblanc, the co-owner of a successful video game company, is sexually assaulted by a masked man in her own home. Through Michèle’s unusual response to her assault and eventual discovery of the culprit, the viewer learns about her past and comes to understand what has shaped her blunt, sometimes shocking personality. Elle explores the dark, mystifying sides of the psyche, but with a light touch and fast pace that allow Verhoeven to make the most of his characters’ comic foibles. One only has to compare Elle’s bumbling men to its powerful heroine to realize that this is a feminist film, one that furthers the discussion on rape and trauma, but, most importantly, portrays women in positions of strength. Nominated for a 2017 Academy Award for her work in Elle, Isabelle Huppert delivers another brave, illuminating performance. As Verhoeven has stated in interviews, one always sees what Michèle is thinking in Huppert’s eyes. In a film that plumbs the depths of human complexity, this access to the intricacies of the mind is nothing short of riveting.

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 3rd

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) 157, RWU, Bristol, RI

 

Frantz

François Ozon, Director | 113 min. France, Germany, 2016

 

Shortly after World War I, in a provincial German town conspicuously devoid of its young men, Anna discovers a stranger at the grave of her late fiancé Frantz, one of the thousands of young Germans killed in the war. The stranger soon introduces himself to Anna and Frantz’s parents as Adrien, a French friend of the dead soldier. Growing fond of Adrien, Anna begins to come out of mourning for Frantz and once again embraces her future. Then Adrien makes a terrible confession and disappears, forcing Anna to go searching for him in Paris. With this stirring adaptation of Ernst Lubistch’s classic melodrama Broken Lullaby, François Ozon, a master of cinematic dissemblance, delivers a sumptuous period piece that asks whether a lie can ever be healthier than the truth. Coming at a time when the European Union appears at its most vulnerable, Frantz is also a meditation on Europe: Anna’s journey to France mirrors Adrien’s to Germany, bridging the bloody differences between the two nations in 1919 to show how much they have in common—as well as the nagging strains of nationalism and xenophobia. But this lush romance filmed in black and white and color is above all a profoundly unusual and effective pacifist film, which—aside from one brief but devastating flashback—takes place entirely after the war, surveying the human damage both on the winning and the losing sides.

 

 

Wednesday, April 4th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) 157, RWU, Bristol, RI

 

LA BELLE ET LA BETE (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)
Jean Cocteau, Director | 93 min. France, 1946

 

When the beautiful Belle volunteers to take her ruined father’s place as the prisoner of a mysterious Beast who lives in a castle on the other side of the forest, an unexpected romance blossoms between the reclusive monster and the innocent maiden. Soon the question arises whether the real monster is the Beast or Belle’s avaricious siblings…especially since the Beast is actually a cursed Prince (played by the uncannily handsome Jean Marais). A defining influence on filmmakers as different as Ingmar Bergman and François Truffaut, this adaptation of the classic fairy tale by iconoclastic novelist, playwright, artist, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau is that rare film that truly deserves to be called “magical,” a deeply ambiguous yet supremely romantic work that turns cinema into a spectacular conjurer’s trick, full of magic mirrors and golden keys, misty woods and ominous palaces. Shot in atmospheric black and white by the great cinematographer Henri Alekan, Beauty and the Beast is rightly considered one of the absolute masterpieces of French cinema, a film fantasy that Cocteau said was “for grown-ups who haven’t lost their childhood” …or for children ready to marvel at the best that cinema can offer.

 

 

 

Thursday, April 5th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) 157, RWU, Bristol, RI

 

MARGUERITE

Xavier Giannoli, Director | 129 min. Belgium, Czech Republic, France, 2016

 

Marguerite Dumont is an incredibly wealthy woman who has devoted her life to singing opera. There’s only one problem and it’s a problem no one will dare to mention to her, starting with her husband: she cannot sing in tune to save her life. From this brilliant premise based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the American socialite and calamitous singer who inspired the recent Meryl Streep film (and a character in Citizen Kane), writer-director Xavier Gianolli draws a marvelously rich tale, mining the comic possibilities as well as the genuine tragedy of a woman living in a world of illusion sustained by sycophants. Gianolli also creates a striking portrait of Paris in the twenties, taking in the aristocratic milieu as well as the ferment of subversive art movements and the Bohemian demimonde. Marguerite is a tour de force of controlled chaos, brimming with eccentric characters and opulent set pieces, all orbiting around the irresistible figure of Marguerite, a woman whose dedication is an inspiration—until it turns to madness and cautionary tale. For her unforgettable performance in Marguerite, Catherine Fort was awarded the 2015 César (French Oscar) for best actress in a leading role.

 

 

 

Friday, April 6th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) 157, RWU, Bristol, RI

LGBTQ Screening

 

QUAND ON A 17 ANS (BEING 17)

André Téchiné, Director | 116 min. France, 2016

 

With Being 17, the great French writer-director André Téchiné returns to the subject matter of his masterpiece Wild Reeds, a 1994 feature about the sexual awakening of a handful of teenagers in the rural southwest of France during the Algerian war, and a landmark in the representation of gay youth in French cinema. In this new film, the time is the present and the setting the majestic landscape of the Pyrenees. Seventeen-year-old Damien lives alone with his mother, a doctor, while his father is deployed overseas with the French army. At school, he is a good student but an outsider. He is frequently bullied by Thomas, a biracial boy who must commute several hours a day from his adoptive family’s remote farm high in the mountains. When Damien’s mother meets Thomas through an emergency house-call to his mother, she discovers the hardships the boy must face to go to school and eventually invites him to move in with her family to be close to the classroom. The relationship between Damien and Thomas only gets worse and the two boys soon come to blows. Yet as both their families face major upheavals, Damien realizes he is in love with Thomas. With Being 17, Téchiné has made his best film in years, returning to his winning mix of subtly observed naturalism and narrative developments worthy of the great melodramas to give us another memorable depiction of the trials and triumphs of coming of age and coming out.

 

francophonie

 

Saturday, April 7th

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI

 

FRANCOPHINE FILM FESTIVAL / A Celebration of French Short Films

Directed by: Various | 100 min. France, Belgium, Canada, 2016 -2018

 

 

 

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI

ANIMATION Focus

 

MA VIE DE COURGETTE (MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI)
Claude Barras, Director | 68 min. France, Switzerland, 2016

 

Though bravely realistic, Swiss director Claude Barras’s charming stopmotion animated film is
an unexpectedly uplifting look at childhood tragedy. After his alcoholic mother’s death, nine-year-old Icare—known to his friends as Zucchini—is placed in a group home where he soon forms alliances and rivalries with a group of kids in equally difficult circumstances, including the son of drug addicts and the daughter of a deported refugee. But it takes the arrival of the recently orphaned Camille for Zuchini to know he has found a friend for life. Which means that when Camille’s nasty aunt appears to take her away, the kids band together to find a way to keep her at the home. Though Barras and screenwriter Céline Sciamma (a powerhouse of contemporary French cinema as the writer/director of international hit Girlhood) never pull punches in describing the challenges faced by their characters, My Life as a Zucchini is imbued with a real-life sense of childhood wonder, both through its inventive animation and its commitment to exclusively telling the story from the children’s perspective. The result is a marvelously nuanced, finely crafted depiction of childhood, as appealing to young people as adults. Following a triumphant premiere at the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival,

 

For more information, call Flickers at (401) 861.4445.

 

See below for directions to Roger Williams University • Interactive Map of RWU Campus


RWU PARKING INFORMATION: From Providence: Take Routes 136 South or 114 S passing campus on the left. Take a left at the traffic light just before the Mount Hope Bridge, onto Old Ferry Road. Take the first right into the parking lot.

 

From Newport: Take 114N over the Mount Hope Bridge and take the first right off the bridge onto Old Ferry Road. Take the first right into the parking lot.

 

Guests should enter through the main entrance at the fountain. they will be able to obtain a guest parking pass. Lot 24a will be blocked off for guests of the festival. Proceed through the main entrance through to the lot 24a on left. Events will take place in the Global Heritage Hall.


The Sixth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund. The Festival is presented in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Communications and Graphic Design; the Department of Theatre; Hillel; the RWU Spiritual Life Program, the RWU Film Production Collaboratuve and the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival.

 

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