February 27, 2012
French film festival begins its two-week run at Homewood
Tuesday marks the start of the third annual Tournees Festival of Contemporary French Cinema at Johns Hopkins. The free event will be held on the Homewood campus, and all films will be in French with English subtitles.
The Tournees Festival was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the French Ministry of Culture, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation and highbrow entertainment. The sponsors are Johns Hopkins’ departments of German and Romance Languages and Literatures, and Anthropology, and its Program in Film and Media Studies; and Centre Pluridisciplinaire Louis Marin.
The lineup is as follows:
• Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., 50 Gilman Hall. The Illusionist (L’Illusioniste); 80 minutes. The festival begins with an animated film by Sylvain Chomet (director of the Academy Award–nominated The Triplets of Belleville) that tells the story of an old illusionist in decline who meets a young girl who will change his life. The film will be presented by Karen Yasinsky, an award-winning animated filmmaker and Film and Media Studies faculty member.
• Wednesday, Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m., 26 Mudd Hall. A Prophet (Un prophete); 149 minutes. Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet tells the story of Malik, a 19-year-old French Arab who enters prison as an uneducated naif and is thrust into a rigidly defined social system rife with corruption, cronyism and racism. The film will be presented by Anand Pandian of the Department of Anthropology.
• Thursday, March 1, 7:30 p.m., 110 Hodson Hall. White Material; 101 minutes. Set in an unnamed African country during an unspecified time, Claire Denis’ White Material centers on Maria Vial, a coffee-plantation owner who is blindly determined to continue her business while civil war rages on around her. The film unfolds as a fever dream, casting a haunting, enigmatic look at the horrors of colonialism’s legacy. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Matt Porterfield, an award-winning director who teaches in Film and Media Studies; Anne Eakin Moss, a visiting assistant professor in the Humanities Center and in Film and Media Studies; and Laura Mason, of Film and Media Studies and the Department of History.
• Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Merrick Barn, The John Astin Theatre. Love Songs; 95 minutes. Love Songs, a sensuous and original musical by Christophe Honore, is set in contemporary Paris and follows the triangular love affair of Ismael, Julie and Alice. The film will be presented by faculty member and Hollywood actor John Astin.
• Monday, March 5, 7:30 p.m., 50 Gilman Hall. Potiche; 103 minutes. The second week of the festival opens with Francois Ozon’s brilliant period comedy Potiche—“trophy wife”—starring French screen legends Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu in the story of the emancipation of a submissive 1970s housewife. The film will be presented by film specialist and social historian Laura Mason, of Film and Media Studies and the Department of History.
• Thursday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., 50 Gilman Hall. Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux); 120 minutes. The festival concludes with the story of the dilemma of French Catholic monks facing the rise of fundamentalist violence in an Algerian village. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with faculty members William Egginton, chair of German and Romance Languages and Literatures and author of the recent book In Defense of Religious Moderation; and Kristin Cook-Gailloud, director of the French Language Program.
For more details, go to the festival website at sites.google.com/site/jhutournees.