Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia French Film Festival returns this winter to the Tate Center Movie Theater. The festival presents recent award-winning French films, all shown on 35mm prints each Monday in February (Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28) at 8 p.m.Admission is $2.
Each film will be introduced by French film specialist Richard Neupert, coordinator of the film studies program in the UGA department of theatre and film studies. This year’s line-up emphasizes top acting performances in movies by some of France’s most critically successful and popular directors.
The Festival will begin with the World War II historical melodrama A Secret by Claude Miller, based on a true story about a man who discovers secrets about his Jewish family, the War and his origins. According to Neupert, “It is the trio of actresses-Julie Depardieu, Ludivine Sagnier and Cecile de France-who make this movie sparkle and burn.”
Next is an autobiographical film The Beaches of Agnes by Agnes Varda, who Neupert refers to as “…certainly the most important woman filmmaker in all of film history.” For her 80th birthday, Varda made a very personal, lyrical film about her life and movies as a present to herself and the world. The movie includes scores of important guest appearances, from Catherine Deneuve to Harrison Ford.
Third in the series is an offering by veteran director Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman…), Roman de gare (loosely translated: Airplane Novel), a narrative about a popular woman novelist (played by Fanny Ardant) and her ghost-writer (Dominique Pinon, from Amelie and Micmacs). However, Neupert notes, “The deceptively beautiful characters and settings are complicated by jarring plot twists.”
Finally, Summer Hours by Olivier Assayas (director of last year’s Carlos) offers what Neupert describes as “…a touching portrait…” of the contemporary French family, whose values and traditions are in flux. The film features Juliette Binoche and was a winner of the Best Foreign Film from the New York Film Critics.
The UGA French Film Festival is made possible by funding from UGA’s film studies program, the department of romance languages, UGA en France, and the French Language Communities. Further support comes from Ciné-club UGA and Cinematic Arts.
UGA French Film Festival Line-up:
Feb. 7: UN SECRET (Claude Miller, 2007)
Feb. 14: LES PLAGES D’AGNES (Agnes Varda, 2008)
Feb. 21: ROMAN DE GARE (Claude Lelouch, 2007)
Feb. 28: L’HEURE D’ETE (Olivier Assayas, 2008)