Distributed February 13, 2003
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Sixth annual event

Brown to present French Film Festival Feb. 20 through March 2

Brown will present its annual French Film Festival Feb. 20 through March 2, 2003, at the Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main St., Providence. Eighteen French films will be screened throughout the 11-day festival, which is open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Some of the best films recently produced by the French film industry can be seen by local audiences when Brown hosts its sixth annual French Film Festival Feb. 20 through March 2, 2003, at the Cable Car Cinema.

Eighteen French language films, all with English subtitles, will be screened during the 11-day festival. In addition, director Jérôme Bonnell will join in a roundtable discussion on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m., following the screening of his first feature film, Le Chignon d’Olga. On Saturday, March 1, at 4:30 p.m., director Jeanne Lebrune and actor/screenwriter Richard Debuisne will lead a roundtable discussion on their collaboration in C’est le Bouquet!

All of the festival events are open to the public and will take place at the Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main St., Providence.

The French Film Festival is sponsored through a collaboration of various University departments and programs as well as several community organizations. The festival director is Richard Blakely, a visiting assistant professor of French studies at Brown. Assistant directors and curators for this year’s festival are Brown film archivist Richard Manning, Jeff Reichert of Magnolia Pictures, and Alexandra Siegler of the Toronto International Film Festival. Susan McNeil is the festival manager; festival coordinator is Sandra Vines.

Tickets are available at the Cable Car Cinema and are $6 per screening for general admission, $4 per screening for students. Passes are also available for eight screenings at $30 for general admission and $20 for students. All ticket proceeds provide funding for the festival. For further information, visit www.provfrenchfilm.com or contact ali@siegler.com or call (401) 272-3970. The schedule of screenings follows.

Thursday, Feb. 20

  • 7 p.m. – Satin rouge (Red Satin): Raja Amari, director; France and Tunisia, 2002, 95 minutes. A sensual and sumptuous film that is reminiscent of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows and 1940s and 1950s Golden Age Egyptian musicals.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Le chignon d’Olga: Jérôme Bonnell, director; France, 2002, 96 minutes. Nearly a year after their mother’s death, Julien and Emma still live in the house where they grew up, where they and their father, Gilles, are dealing with their grief in their own private way.

Friday, Feb. 21

  • 7 p.m. – Friday Night (Vendredi soir): Claire Denis, director; France, 2002, 90 minutes. Denis, one of the pillars of the festival, offers a new film with stunning visuals that allow viewers into the mind of the main character, Laure.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Merci pour le chocolat: Claude Chabrol, director; France, Switzerland, and Spain, 99 minutes, 2000. A film based upon Charlotte Armstrong’s novel The Chocolate Web.

Saturday, Feb. 22

  • 12 p.m. – To Be and To Have (Etre et avoir): Nicolas Philibert, director; France, 2002, documentary, 104 minutes. An evocative excursus into education at a rural single-class school, where children of varied ages reap from and struggle through the learning process.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Le chignon d’Olga
  • 4:30 p.m. – Roundtable discussion with director Jérôme Bonnell
  • 7 p.m. – Alias Betty (Betty Fisher et autres histoires): Claude Miller, director; France and Canada, 2001, 103 minutes. A French interpretation of Ruth Rendell’s novel A Tree of Hands, a story of three women and their sons, both living and dead. The three actresses playing the mothers jointly won the Best Actress award at the Montreal Film Festival.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono): Abderrahmane Sissako, director; France and Mauritania, 2002, 95 minutes. Sissako’s first feature film, La vie sur terre, impressed audiences at the festival two years ago. His films are exquisite meditations on time, waiting and displacement, including this film, which examines the question, can one go home again?

Sunday, Feb. 23

  • 12 p.m. – Inch’Allah dimanche: Yamina Benguigui, director; France and Algeria, 2001, 98 minutes. Four years ago Benguigui presented her epic documentary Memoires d’immigrés at the festival. In her most recent film, she returns to her examination of Algerian immigrants in France, this time using the narrative form.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Safe Conduct (Laissez-Passer): Bertrand Tavernier, director; France, 2002, 170 minutes. Cinephile warhorse Tavernier has generated controversy in Europe with this film, which explores the relations of Vichy filmmakers and civil servants with the Nazis – and has been labeled “revisionist” and “reactionary.”
  • 7 p.m. – Waiting for Happiness
  • 9:30 p.m. – Ma camera et moi (My Camera and Me): Christophe Loizillon, director; France, 2002, 85 minutes. All Max has ever wanted to do is photograph God, girls and himself – until he falls in love with a young blind woman named Lucie, who only thinks of photographing him. A film about the mania of home movie-making that, according to Loizillon, is not about movies, but about the power of images and memory.

Monday, Feb. 24

  • 2 p.m. – To Be and To Have
  • 4:15 p.m. – Waiting for Happiness
  • 6:15 p.m. – Safe Conduct
  • 9:30 p.m. – Merci pour le chocolat

Tuesday, Feb. 25

  • 2 p.m. – Le chignon d’Olga
  • 4:30 p.m. – Satin rouge
  • 7 p.m. – To Be and To Have
  • 9:30 p.m. – Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi: Jeanne Labrune, director; France, 1998, 110 minutes. In a relationship in which the woman holds the money and power, can the strength of the couple’s passion carry them through? This film reveals Labrune’s darker side and poses some deeply troubling questions.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

  • 2:30 p.m. – The Gleaners and I (Les glaneurs et la glaneuse): Agnès Varda, director; France, 2000, documentary, 87 minutes. Varda, a former member of the French New Wave, used a digital camera to produce this critically acclaimed portrait of the age-old tradition of gleaning. (Gleaners are those individuals who pick at already-reaped fields for the odd potato or leftover turnip.)
  • 4:30 p.m. – The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later: Agnès Varda, director; France, 2002, documentary, 60 minutes. This work moves beyond a simple accounting of various players at a later time to also offer a discourse on the craze over The Gleaners and I.
  • Both Gleaners can be seen for the price of a single admission.
  • 7 p.m. – Ça ira mieux demain: Jeanne Labrune, director; France, 2000, 89 minutes. An accurate and amusing depiction of the chaos of modern day life in Paris, as a circle of friends spins out of control; the first in a triptych of “fantaisies,” of which C’est le bouquet! is the second.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Marriages (Mariages): Catherine Martin, director; Canada, 2001, 95 minutes. Lead actress Marie-Eve Bertrand’s strong performance marks this 19th century ghost story set in French Canada. When Yvonne’s young romance is thwarted by her sister, she heads to the woods in search of a supernatural solution.

Thursday, Feb. 27

  • 2 p.m. – Merci pour le chocolat
  • 4:30 p.m. – Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi
  • 7 p.m. – Ma camera et moi
  • 9:30 p.m. – Alias Betty

Friday, Feb. 28

  • 2 p.m. – Alias Betty
  • 4:30 p.m. – Marriages
  • 7 p.m. – C’est le bouquet! Jeanne Labrune, director; France, 2002, 99 minutes. In this satiric comedy, an early morning phone call from a forgotten ex-lover leads Catherine and her husband Raphael from one tumultuous event to another, causing him to lose his job and her to nearly lose her mind.

Saturday, March 1

  • 12 p.m. – Ça ira mieux demain
  • 2:30 p.m. – C’est le bouquet!
  • 4:30 p.m. – Roundtable discussion with director Jeanne Labrune and actor/screenwriter Richard Debuisne
  • 7 p.m. – The Son (Le fils): Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, directors; Belgium and France, 2002, 103 minutes. As in earlier Dardenne films (La Promesse and Rosetta), the filmmakers use claustrophobic, hand-held camera work to explore the lower classes with gritty realism and authenticity.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Satin rouge

Sunday, March 2

  • 12 p.m. – Inch’Allah dimanche
  • 2 p.m. – The Gleaners and I
  • 4:30 p.m. – The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later
  • 6:30 p.m. – Friday Night
  • 9 p.m. – The Son