<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Tournees French Film Festival - 2005

University of Illinois and Parkland College present
Tournées French Film Festival (2005)
At Boardman’s Art Theatre
126 W. Church St. Champaign, IL
October 7-13, 2005


Dir: Eléonore Faucher
France, 2004, 88 min
Stars: Lola Neymark, Ariane Ascaride

Since she moved out of her parents’ farm, seventeen-year-old Claire Moutiers is doing quite well. A cashier’s job helps her pay the bills and leaves her enough time to pursue her passion: embroidery. She exchanges the cabbage heads she steals from her parents’ garden with the precious rabbit skins she needs for her art. Her new life is jeopardized when she learns that she is pregnant. She wants to conceal the pregnancy from her family and co-workers which is a difficult thing to do in a small town. Claire quits her job and intends to give birth in secret. She learns that her best friend’s brother recently had a motorcycle accident that killed the son of Mrs. Melikian, a designer of haute couture embroideries. Mrs. Melikian hires Claire on a temporary basis and she is quick to discover that Claire is pregnant. However, the two women develop an unspoken understanding and Claire can depend on her to keep her secret. Day by day, stitch by stitch, Claire’s belly grows and the friendship between the two women strengthens, creating a filial bond between them. Claire becomes a more skilled embroiderer and prepares for the arrival of her baby. With Claire at her side, Mrs. Melikian comes to terms with her loss. The direction, photography, sound and music contribute to the lyricism and dream-like quality of Eléonor Faucher’s first feature film.

“”Sequins” is one of those films that deals with the relationship between two people with utmost delicacy, like a precious material to be handled carefully.” --Florence Columbani, Le Monde

Plays: Saturday 10/8, 5pm; Monday 10/10, 7pm; Tuesday 10/11, 4:30pm; Wednesday 10/12, 7pm

L'Esquive/Games of Love and Chance
Dir: Abdellatif Kechiche
France, 2003, 117 min
With: Osman Elkharraz, Sara Forestier, Sabrina Ouazani, Nanou Benhamou, Hafet Ben-Ahmed & Aurélie Ganito

Set in a bleak suburban housing project, Games of Love and Chance follows a group of teenagers, poor and immigrant for the most part. Many are involved in a class production of Marivaux’s 18th-century classic “Les jeux de l’amour et du hasard.” The rehearsals, both in and out of the classroom, are often the stage for their daily interactions. Krimo, whose dad is in prison, leaves his long-time girlfriend to pursue Lydia, a petulant girl who plays the lead role. Although he has no theater experience and the performance is days away, his infatuation leads him to take the part of Arlequin to play opposite Lydia – making a fool of himself in the process. Arguments among the group quickly surface as Krimo’s sudden love interest turns into a source of gossip and tension. His ex-girlfriend accuses Lydia of luring him away while Krimo’s friend begs Lydia to tell Krimo if she is interested in him. Although Games of Love and Chance reveals a lot about France’s multiethnic youth culture, the film is almost more about the French language than anything else with the juxtaposition between the teenagers’ multi-ethnic slang and the polished rhetoric of the 18th century.

“Using non-professional actors who are astonishingly fresh and vigorous, [Abdellatif Kechiche] manages to mesh reality and hope together. “Games of Love and Chance” describes the world as it is and dreams as they should be.”--Pierre Murat, Télérama

Plays: Friday 10/7, 9:45pm; Saturday 10/8, 7pm; Sunday 10/9, 4:15pm, 9:30pm; Monday 10/10, 4:30pm

Dir: Ousmane Sembene
Senegal, 2004, 134 min
With: Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maïmouna Diarra, Salimata Traoré, Dominique Zeïda, Mah Compaoré, Aminata Dao

In Mooladé, Ousmane Sembene continues to provoke his audience and reiterates the strong feminist consciousness that marked his previous film, Faat Kiné. This time, he takes on the explosive issue of female circumcision, a practice still common in Africa. Set in a small African village, four young girls face a ritual purification that involves genital mutilation. They flee to the house of Collé Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong-willed woman who once managed to shield her teenage daughter from circumcision. Collé invokes the time-honored custom of “mooladé” (sanctuary) to protect the fugitives, creating a conflict in the community and forcing every villager to take sides. Tensions quickly mount between village traditionalists (male and female) and Collé, endangering the prospective marriage of her own daughter to the heir of the tribal throne. Sembene sets the action amidst a colorful, vibrant tapestry of village life and expands the narrative well beyond the bounds of straightforward, socially-conscious realism, employing an imaginative array of emblematic metaphors, mythic overtones and musical numbers. Mooladé is the second of a trilogy of films about heroism in daily life and, to use Sembene’s own words, about the ‘underground struggle’ of people which is often overlooked by their governments and the rest of world.

“While he does not minimize pain and cruelty, neither does Mr. Sembene traffic in harshness or despair. And while this film is troubling, it is also infused with a remarkable buoyancy of spirit… a rousingly political film.” --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Plays: Friday 10/7, 7pm; Sunday 10/9, 1:30pm; Monday 10/10, 9pm; Thursday 10/13, 4:15pm

Notre Musique
Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
France-Switzerland, 2004, 80 min
With: Sarah Adler, Nade Dieu, Rony Kramer, Ferlyn Brass, Simon Eine, Jean-Christophe Bouvet

Part poetry, part journalism, part philosophy, Jean-Luc Godard’s Notre Musique is a timeless meditation on war as seen through the prisms of cinema, text and image. Largely set at a literary conference in Sarajevo, the film draws heavily from the Bosnian war, but also on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the brutal treatment of Native Americans, and the legacy of the Nazis. Godard works from Dante’s template and splits his vision into three panels: “Hell,” “Purgatory” and “Heaven.” In the film, real-life literary figures (including Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish and Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo) intermingle with actors, and documentary meshes with fiction. The film also follows the parallel stories of two Israeli Jewish women: Judith is drawn to the light, Olga is drawn toward darkness. Through evocative language and images, Godard explores a series of conflicting forces: life and death, light and dark, reality and imagination, criminals and victims, positive and negative, good and bad. These opposing movements are eternal. They are the two faces of truth. They are our music.

“… Jean-Luc Godard once again poses a number of provocative questions about art, politics, and the nexus point between them in this drama in three acts.” --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Plays: Saturday 10/8, 3pm; Tuesday 10/11, 7pm; Wednesday 10/12, 9pm; Thursday 10/13, 7pm

Qui a tué Bambi/Who Killed Bambi?
Dir: Gilles Marchand
France, 2003, 128 min
Starring: Sophie Quinton

Isabelle is a student nurse in the surgical unit of a large hospital. One night, in the empty hospital corridors, Isabelle meets Dr. Philipp, a good-looking, yet mysterious man. Isabelle becomes fascinated by him, but is it love or is it fear? Deep down Isabelle knows there is something terribly wrong with him. She is quite right to be worried. Dr. Philipp visits with the young female patients during the day and he takes advantage of them at night. The strong-willed Isabelle starts her own investigation but the distinction between reality and fiction begins to blur. Her daily training as a nurse has the same dreamlike and disturbing quality as her frequent malaise. The tension runs high, Isabelle is under stress as she learns the delicate skills of nursing and assists surgeons in the operating wing for the first time. Dr. Philipp’s late-night wanderings in the empty hospital corridors are chilling and make one wonder how far he is prepared to go in his actions. With a highly stylized image, and a mixture of sound effects and music, Gilles Marchand conveys a dark and unsettling atmosphere throughout the production.

“The place is so vacuum-sealed and desolate that it feels as surreal as a maximum-security prison; its silence alone could kill you.” --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Plays: Saturday 10/8, 9:30pm; Sunday 10/9, 7pm; Tuesday 10/11, 9pm; Wednesday 10/12, 4:30pm; Thursday 10/13, 9pm

Tickets: available at Boardman’s box office or on-line at www.boardmansarttheatre.com

All films are subtitled in English. For additional information on films, visit Boardman’s on-line or pick up The Hub on October 6, 2005.

The festival is being made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC).

Tournées is an annual grant program designed to support the screening of contemporary French cinema on American college and university campuses

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