2011 festival

2011 Festival2011 Festival

3 p'tits cochons (3 Little Pigs)
DIRECTED BY Patrick Huard
Québec | 2008 | 124 mn
CAST Claude Legault, Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Paul Doucet
As their mother lies comatose in a hospital bed, three brothers dutifully keep vigil. Not the expected set up for comedy. But, as the days go on, their standard topics of conversation – marriage, children, money – are exhausted. Things become interesting when they start talking about their sexual lives, fantasies, and the pros and cons of infidelity.

L'Arnacœur (Heartbreaker)
DIRECTED BY Pascal Chaumeil
France | 2010 | 105 mn
CAST Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier
Alex's specialty is breaking up couples – for a fee. He and his two associates will not be deterred. Their latest challenge: to stop the wedding of a rich heiress. Their problem: they only have ten days. An unpretentious romantic comedy, fast-paced and funny. This will probably be remade soon by Hollywood studios. Come see the original..
L'armée du crime (The Army of Crime)
DIRECTED BY Robert Guédiguian
France | 2009 | 139 mn
CAST Simon Abkarian, Virginie Ledoyen, Robinson Stévenin
This is a revealing thriller about the early days of the French Resistance when many of the movement's leaders and foot soldiers were foreigners who feared the French collaborators as much as the Germans. With an Armenian poet/factory worker as its leader and a resolute assortment of volunteers, the group became the deadliest, best organized anti-Nazi Force in Paris. The London Observer called the film "a much needed antidote to the inanities of Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds."


Barbe bleue (Bluebeard)
DIRECTED BY Catherine Breillat
France | 2009 | 82 mn
CAST Dominique Thomas, Lola Créton
Bluebeard's setting immerses the audience in a world that is far removed from today's realities, yet teenage newcomer Lola Créton gives Marie-Catherine a playful confidence and pride to go along with her natural purity and innocence in a way that speaks to today's feminist sensibilities. Going backwards and forwards in time also highlights the universal qualities inherent in the Gothic fairy tales that, even when they are decidedly dark as in this case, have a lot to teach us about confronting our fears, lessons often hidden by the pandering of Walt Disney animation. Resonant with wit and sexual tension, Catherine Breillat has, in Bluebeard reestablished the reality of the world of children both full of terror and untold beauty and, in the process, has created a minor masterpiece.Un capitalisme sentimental (A Sentimental Capitalism)

DIRECTED BY Olivier Asselin
Québec | 2008 | 92 mn
CAST Alexander Bisping, Sylvie Moreau, Lucille Fluet
Follow aspiring artist Fernande Bouvier from Paris to New York, from bohemia to high finances and her unwitting role in the Great Depression of 1929. Director Asselin gives us a visually stunning homage to classic cinema.

Les doigts croches (Sticky Fingers)
Québec | 2009 | 108 mn
CAST Roy Dupuis, Patrice Robitaille, Aure Atika
Six inept Montreal gangsters attempt one last job that will certainly make them rich. But they're caught and only one of them, Charles, gets away with the cash. While Charles wants to give his buddies their share when they're released from prison, he has conditions. This witty first film by director Ken Scott is served by an exceptional cast.

Gainsbourg, vie héroïque (Gainsbourg)
France | 2010 | 135 mn
CAST Eric Elmosnino, Laetitia Casta, Lucy Gordon
Part bio-pic, part fantasy, Joann Sfar mixes facts and self-generated legends to retrace the life of French singer-songwriter and agent provocateur Serge Gainsbourg. From his Jewish childhood in Nazi-occupied France, Gainsbourg rose to fame in the Sixties writing songs for the stars of French pop music, including Brigitte Bardot, France Gall, and Jane Birkin. But self destructive tendencies and sexual proclivities were never far from the surface. This is the first film for director Sfar, an award-winning graphic novelist.

Les herbes folles (Wild Grass)
DIRECTED BY Alain Resnais
France | 2009 | 104 mn
CAST André Dussolier, Sabine Azéma, Mathieu Almaric
Veteran film director Alain Resnais teams up with some of his favorite actors for this joyous comedy. It all starts simply enough: a stolen wallet found by Georges, an obsessive need to speak to its owner, an overzealous police inspector who thinks he has found a serial killer. But things are never that simple in Resnais's world and chance meetings, hidden secrets and a large number of surreal scenes arise to spice things up.

Hitler à Hollywood (Hitler in Hollywood)
DIRECTED BY Frédéric Sojcher
France- Belgium | 2010 | 95 mn
CAST Maria de Medeiros, Micheline Presle, Wim Willaert
In an age of conspiracy movies, director Sojcher offers a refreshing theory on the cause of the end of the preeminence of European cinema after WWII. Starting with a mockumentary on classic film star Micheline Presle, the film quickly turns into a chase where real actors and fictitious characters are mixed. What if the American government was involved in the destruction of European film studios after WWII? Who is really manipulating things in the background?

Un homme qui crie (A screaming Man)
DIRECTED BY Mahamat Saleh Haroun
France - Belgium - Chad | 2010 | 80 mn
CAST Youssouf Djaoro, Diouc Komac, Emile Abbosolo M'Bo
Set in present-day Chad, the story centers on Adam, a former swimming champion who now sees his world falling apart. ''With his country in the throes of a civil war and rebel forces attacking the government, Adam gives in to pressure from local leaders and sends his son off to war. Director Haroun said "The film can be read as a metaphor for Africa... Fathers are mortgaging coming generations' future." The film was the first official entry from Chad at Cannes and won the Jury Prize 2010.

Il a suffi que Maman s'en aille (When Mother went away)
France | 2007 | 90 mn
CAST Jean-François Stévenin, Marie Féret, Charlotte Duval
Olivier has been too preoccupied by his work to notice his wife drifting away from him. When his wife leaves, Olivier seeks revenge by demanding custody of their daughter, a child he neither knows nor understands. The two will have to learn to respect each other before they can start loving again. A beautiful film by René Féret, who directs his own daughter, Marie, for the first time in a riveting performance.

DIRECTED BY Olivier Masset-Depasse
France - Belgium - Luxemburg | 2010 | 95 mn
CAST Carla Besainou, Julia Artamonov, Kérian Mayan, David Chausse
A former teacher from Russia,Tania, has been living illegally in Belgium for ten years with Ivan, her 14 year old son. Following a routine police check, she is arrested and placed in a detention center. So with the constant threat of deportation hanging over her head, Tania begins her fight for her dignity and the search for her son. This film offers a rare glimpse at the life and the despair within the walls of Europe's immigrant detention centers. Anne Coessens (Tania) gives an outstanding performance.

Liberté (Korkoro)
France | 2010 | 111 mn
CAST Marc Lavoine, Marie-Josée Croze, James Thierree
This is a revealing look at a forgotten aspect of WWII: the mass arrest of Gypsies in occupied France. Inspired by a true story of a Gypsy family making its annual stop in a small French town. The town's mayor and schoolteacher try to help when the family is threatened by a new law forbidding their nomadic lifestyle. Documentary evidence of Gypsies is scarce. For his research, Gatlif spoke with eyewitnesses and cobbled together the story from fragments of their testimony. A deeply moving film with a great cast.

Maman est chez le coiffeur (Mommy's at the Hairdresser)
Québec| 2008 | 97 mn
CAST Marianne Fortier, Laurent Lucas, Elie Dupuis
Summer 1966, Québec. A seemingly perfect family until Mom takes a job in London, leaving her husband and three children stunned. They start by pretending Mom is still here. It is up to teenage Élise to try to sort out the mess Mom left behind and recapture a semblance of life for her family. A coming of age story and a beautiful film. One reviewer noted it "gets under the skin, good feelings and bad."

Orpailleur (Galimpeiro)
France | 2010 | 90 mn
CAST Tony Mpoudja, Julien Courbey, Sara Martins
Set in contemporary French Guyana, this thriller marks the debut of Guyanese-born director Marc Barrat. When Rod returns from France after an 18 year absence, he is forced to confront a terrible family secret that will lead him into the dangerous world of illegal gold diggers in the northern Amazon basin. Note the strong performance of Jimmy Jean-Louis.

Le petit Nicolas (Little Nicolas)
DIRECTED BY Laurent Tirard
France | 2010 | 90 mn
CAST Maxime Godard, Valérie Lemercier, Kad Merad, Sandrine Kiberlain
The adventures of Le Petit Nicolas are classics of French children's literature. This is the first live-version adaptation of the classic and remains faithful to the 1959 original. Told in the first person, the film follows the perfect world of Nicolas, his school chums and his happy parents. His perfect world collapses when he overhears his parents talking and surmises that his mother is pregnant. He will need all the help he can get from his school friends to make sure he remains the center of his parents' lives.

DIRECTED BY François Ozon
France | 2010 | 110 mn
CAST Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard
Director Ozon reunites with Catherine Deneuve for a kitchy look at French society in the Seventies based on an original play from the time. Playing with social clichés about the role of women in the business bourgeoisie, this farce delivers great performances by some of France's greatest actors, while affectionately skewering French popular culture.

La rafle (The Round-up)
France | 2010 | 115 mn
CAST Jean Réno, Mélanie Laurent, Gad Edmaleh
A harrowing retelling of the events of July 16, 1942, when 13,000 French Jews were rounded up by their own country's police and locked inside a velodrome in Paris before being taken to concentration camps. Told through the eyes of a group of young children, La Rafle has been hailed as an important step in France's acknowledgment of its complicity in the crimes of the Occupation. It was only in 1995 that the French Government under President Chirac confronted its past and the role of the police under France's Vichy government..
View trailer (in French)

about our guests

Vichy France in the Lens of the Camera, A roundtable, free and open to the public

Julia Elsky is a Ph.D. candidate in French at Yale University. Her primary interests include Eastern European émigré writers in France, representations of Vichy, translation, as well as the relationship between literature and art. She is currently writing a dissertation on francophone Eastern European writers in Vichy France, many of whom were involved in the French Resistance.

Lynne Joyrich is Associate Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University where she has taught film and television studies, as well as gender and sexuality studies, since 1999. She is the author of Re-viewing Reception: Television, Gender, and Postmodern Culture (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996) and of a number of articles and book chapters on film, television, feminist, queer, and cultural studies in various journals and anthologies (such as Cinema Journal, Critical Inquiry, differences, Discourse, and Camera Obscura; and New Media, Old Media: Interrogating the Digital Revolution, Film and Theory: An Anthology, Media Studies: A Reader, Postmodern After-Images: A Reader in Film, Television and Video, Pedagogy: The Question of Impersonation, Private Screenings: Television and the Female Consumer, Modernity and Mass Culture, and Logics of Television: Essays in Cultural Criticism). She is also a co-editor and member of the editorial collective of the media and cultural studies journal Camera Obscura.

Ruth Koizim has taught French to students at every level, from true beginners through advanced students embarking upon their first serious exposure to literature in French. She is currently a Senior Lector in French at Yale University, where she teaches and co-chairs the Intermediate and Advanced French Language course sequence, coordinates proficiency and placement test and advises students about study abroad and other types of immersion experiences in Francophone countries. Her professional interests include language acquisition theory and language-teaching methodologies, images of the German Occupation period in literature and film, Elsa Triolet and other 20th century women writers.

Mary Lewis is Professor of History at Harvard. Her book, The Boundaries of the Republic: Migrant Rights and the Limits of Universalism in France, 1918-1940 (Stanford, 2007), was named co-winner of the 2008 J. Willard Hurst Prize for the best book in socio-legal history, awarded by the Law and Society Association and was translated into French in 2010 by Les Editions Agone. She is working on a book entitled Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, under contract with the University of California Press.

Shoggy Waryn (roundtable moderator) is a sSenior Lecturer in French Studies at Brown University. He holds a Ph.D. in film studies from the University of Iowa. He teaches French language and culture, French film history and film analysis.