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Connecting Through Storytelling

The 2016 Tournées French Film at Roger Williams University in collaboration with Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival

 

 

 

 

BRISTOL, RI: Roger Williams University (RWU) and the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) are proud to collaborate in the presentation of the Fourth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival. The theme for this year’s Festival is “Connecting through Storytelling.” The Festival will take place over a five-day period, April 4, 6-9, 2016 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 that will 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 newly refurbished Mary Tefft White Cultural Center in the Campus Library and the Global Heritage Hall, GHH01.

 

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 Fourth 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 Fourth 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 Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Communications; the Department of Theatre; Hillel; the Spiritual Life Program, the RWU Film Production Club and the Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival.

 

The Program Directors for the Fourth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival are Dr. Roberta Adams, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Dr. Jeffrey Martin, Professor of Theatre and Chair, Department of Performing Arts; 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.

 

HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR - Trailer from Rialto Pictures on Vimeo.

Alain Resnais' startling debut feature HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR,

written by Marguerite Duras and starring Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Eiji Okada.

 

Monday, April 4th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

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

 

HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR)

Directed by: Alain Resnais | 90 min. France, Japan, Mexico, 1959

CAST: Pierre Barbaud, Stella Dassas, Eiji Okada, Emmanuelle Riva

 

AWARDS: Best Supporting Actor, Niels Arestrup – César Awards (2014); Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival (2013)

 

One of the most influential movies ever made, Alain Resnais’s masterwork from 1959 would not only shape the Nouvelle Vague benchmarks made in its wake but also liberate filmmakers from linear storytelling. “[I]n my film time is shattered,” Resnais once said; indeed, Hiroshima Mon Amour, which was scripted by Marguerite Duras, consists of multiple flashbacks, a device that destabilizes chronology. Spanning approximately 36 hours, the movie centers around the time-toggling conversations of two characters, identified only as She (Emmanuelle Riva) and He (Eiji Okada). She is a French actress who has gone to Hiroshima to take part in a film about peace; He is her married lover, a Japanese architect who had served during World War II—and whose family was in Hiroshima the day the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city. While the two reflect on the horrors of wartime—She on living in a Nazi-occupied country, He on the incineration of more than 100,000 of his compatriots—they begin to debate the very unreliability of memory. The past and the present commingle in Hiroshima Mon Amour, a film that pointed the way to the future.

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 6th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

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

 

TIMBUKTU / TIMBUKTU

Directed by: Abderrahmane Sissako | 100 min. France, Mauritania, 2014

CAST: Pino Desperado, Fatoumata Diawara, Abel Jafri, Toulou Kiki, Kettly Noël, Hichem Yacoubi

 

Academy Award Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film 2015

 

In his magnificent fourth feature film, Abderrahmane Sissako demonstrates his remarkable ability to thoroughly condemn religious fanaticism and intolerance with subtlety and restraint. Timbuktu concerns the jihadist siege of the Malian city of the title in 2012. A ragtag band of Islamic fundamentalists, hailing from France, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, among other nations, announce their increasingly absurd list of prohibitions—no music, no sports, no socializing—via megaphone to Timbuktu’s denizens, several of whom refuse to follow these strictures, no matter the consequence. In one instance of such defiance, perhaps Timbuktu’s most indelible scene, a group of boys “play” soccer with an invisible ball; in another, a woman who has been sentenced to be flogged for singing continues her song between lashes (her punishment depicted discreetly). Upbraided by a local imam for entering a mosque with guns, the jihadists reveal themselves to be men less concerned with the teachings of the Koran than with enforcing draconian, and ever arbitrary, law. As further proof of Sissako’s great compassion, even these horribly misguided dogmatists are presented as multidimensional characters, though the intolerant way of life they insist on is never less than criminal.

 

“Not just a timely movie, a great one…Timbuktu feels at once timely and permanent, immediate and essential.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times

 

 

 

Thursday, April 7th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

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

 

DEUX JOURS, UNE NUIT (TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT)

Directed by: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne | 95 min. Belgium, France, Italy, 2014

CAST: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée

 

Arguably contemporary cinema’s greatest chroniclers of the working class, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne here join forces with one of the most talented performers working today, Marion Cotillard. The actress plays Sandra, an employee at a solar-panel factory in an industrial town in Belgium who took a leave of absence after suffering a bout of crippling depression. Although eager to return to work, the wife and mother of two young children is told that management is offering each of her colleagues a 1,000-euro bonus if they vote to make her redundant. Sandra, still emotionally frail, faces the daunting task of meeting with each of her 16 coworkers over the span of a weekend to convince them why they should forgo the cash and let her resume her position at the company. Each of these encounters reveals the Dardenne brothers’ signature compassion for characters torn asunder by the demands of late capitalism. The themes that dominate this unforgettable film—the fight for worker solidarity, the definition of sacrifice, the struggle to maintain self-respect—aren’t presented didactically but rather emerge organically as Sandra pleads, again and again, for the right not to be dismissed.

 

“The ticking time-bomb nature of the plot adds a whole new level of anxiety to the Dardennes’ typically uncanny depiction of human fallibility and determination. This is a humanist thriller set in the hothouse of late capitalism—Nerve-racking and profound.” —Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

 

 

 

Friday, April 8th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

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

 

LA FRENCH (THE CONNECTION)

Directed by: Cédric Jimenez | 135 min. Belgium, France, 2014

CAST: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche

 

A companion piece of sorts to William Friedkin’s New York City–based classic The French Connection (1971), Cédric Jimenez’s high-energy true-crime tale tracks the six-year crusade of a law officer to bring down a seemingly untouchable drug kingpin. Police magistrate Pierre Michel (Jean Dujardin) has recently been transferred to Marseille, a city all but controlled by the ruthless gangster Gaëtan Zampa (Gilles Lelouche), who oversees an enormous heroin syndicate. Pierre is determined to destroy the drug lord’s operations and put him behind bars for good, a task that proves even more insurmountable once the policeman realizes how many of his colleagues are on Zampa’s payroll. In between the tense, superbly shot action sequences, The Connection focuses on the domestic life and the off-duty hours of its two principal antagonists, slyly suggesting that the cop and the crook may have more in common than either would have dared imagine. Dujardin, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as a silent movie star in The Artist (2011), plays magnificently against type in Jimenez’s thriller, a film that immerses us in the sights, sounds, and spectacles of the 1970s.

 

“Thrilling…enough drama for a dozen crime films.” —The Hollywood Reporter

 

Because I Was A Painter (Trailer) from Cinema Guild on Vimeo.

A film by Christophe Cognet.
A Cinema Guild Release.

 

Saturday, April 9th

Time: 2:00 p.m.

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

 

PARCE QUE J’ETAIS PEINTRE / BECAUSE I WAS A PAINTER

Directed by: Christophe Cognet | Documentary, 100 min. France, Germany, 2014

 

Christophe Cognet’s absorbing documentary about artworks created by those imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II explores a number of paradoxes. Can a drawing of unimaginable horrors, for instance, ever be considered “beautiful”? What, exactly, is “beauty”? The surviving artists, interviewed in in their homes in Israel, France, Poland, and other countries, express a range of opinions on these matters; one painter asserts that depicting his surroundings, no matter how gruesome, on paper was the only way to endure the torture. Others declare that sketching people, places, and events from the past was crucial to their survival. The testimony of these subjects is profoundly moving, never more so than when they offer a close critical analysis of the pieces they made during their incarceration. Cognet also meets with several museum curators and art historians who shed light on the trove of works left by those died in the camps—including the scores of portraits that Dinah Gottliebova, who was assigned to work with Josef Mengele, did of Roma detainees shortly before they were killed. Tackling two seemingly irreconcilable subjects—the atrocities of the Holocaust and the drive to create art—Because I Was a Painter provides a vital discussion of both.

 

“A meditation on suffering and beauty and how art can bridge the gap between the two.” —The Hollywood Reporter.

 

 

 

Time: 4:00 p.m.

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

 

SILS MARIA / CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

Directed by: Olivier Assayas | 106 min. France, Germany, Switzerland, 2014

CAST: Juliette Binoche, Chloë Grace Moretz, Kristen Stewart

 

Olivier Assayas’s magnificent Clouds of Sils Maria explores the unstable boundaries between performing and being. Juliette Binoche plays Maria Enders, an internationally renowned star; Kristen Stewart, as Valentine, is Maria’s personal assistant. Maria, who’s “sick of acting on wires in front of green screens,” is considering whether to star in a revival of the stage drama that launched her career twenty years ago, in which she played a cunning ingénue who seduces, abandons, and then drives to suicide her older boss. In the remounting, Maria is to portray the spurned middleaged lover; the part she originally inhabited is offered to Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloë Grace Moretz), a rising phenomenon with a Lindsay Lohan–like penchant for scandal and self-destruction. Though Valentine’s position requires constant deference to her employer, the aide doesn’t hesitate to challenge her boss. In one crucial scene, she offers a passionate defense of blockbusters, the well-reasoned words emerging from the mouth of the young woman who, in real life, starred in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. Throughout Clouds of Sils Maria, the ingeniously cast performers refract and reflect their own off-screen personae, creating a hall-of-mirrors experience that is never less than exhilarating.

 

“Daring. Exhilarating. Precious and rare. A multi-layered, femme-driven metafiction that pushes all involved—including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz—to new heights…. Rich and tantalizingly open ended.” - Peter Debruge, Variety

 

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 Fourth 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 Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Communications; the Department of Theatre; Hillel; the Spiritual Life Program, the RWU Film Production Club and the Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival.

 

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