Vive la France! Its Spring French Film Festival Time Again
MELBOURNE, FLA. — In April Francophiles will once again crowd into Florida Tech’s Gleason Performing Arts Center for a showing of recent French films. The
university won its third annual Tournées Festival Grant from the French American Cultural Exchange for a showcase of contemporary, critically acclaimed
French cinema. Support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture also make the annual festival possible.
Admission is free. Films will be shown in the original French language with English subtitles. This and all films will be followed by discussions led by
Florida Tech humanities faculty.
The festival begins Friday, April 11, with 8 Femmes (8 Women) at 7 p.m. 8 Femmes (2002), a murder-mystery musical, is a spoof of 1950s melodramas featuring
star turns by three generations of France’s finest actresses. Among these icons are Fanny Ardant, Emmanuele Béart, Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve and
Isabelle Huppert. Gathered for the holidays in a snowbound mansion, family members discover the man of the house murdered in his bed. Clearly the murderer
is among them, but who is it? The film won a Best Actress Award for the ensemble cast at the European Film Awards.
Screenings will continue on Wednesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. with Indigénes (Days of Glory). This drama-historical film of 2007 shows a little-known side to
the 1944-’45 liberation of Italy; Provence; the Alps; Rhone Valley; and Vosges, Alsace. About 150,000
recruits from Africa fought to liberate France, a country they had never seen before. Days of Glory relates this forgotten story through four of these
courageous men. The film took Best Screenplay, Lumiére Awards; Best Writing, César Awards; and Best Actor for male ensemble cast at the Cannes Film
The drama Gabrielle will show on Sunday, April 20, at 4 p.m. Based on Joseph Conrad’s classic novel, The Return, Gabrielle tells the story of the stormy
breakup of a wealthy, socially prominent couple’s loveless marriage during La Belle Epoch, from the husband’s and wife’s point of view. Starring Isabelle
Huppert and Pascal Greggory, the 2006 film took César Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design, and a Best Actress Lumiére Award for
Next up is Fauteuil d’Orchestre (Avenue Montaigne) on Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. In this 2006 comedy, the naïve and beautiful Jessica, from provincial
France, finds a job at a café in one of the wealthy sections of Paris. She becomes intertwined in the lives and personal dramas of her rich and famous
customers, which emphasizes the social and financial gap between her and the patrons. But, because of her innocence, she forges a rewarding and profound
link with them. The film won a Best Supporting Actress César Award.
The festival finale on April 30, at 7 p.m., is L’Ivresse du Pouvoir (Comedy of Power), a drama directed by Claude Chabrol. Starring Isabelle Huppert, who
plays a magistrate, or lawyer, preparing for a major court case, the film asks the questions, “Until what point can one continue to become more powerful
without clashing with a power greater than one’s own?” and “Until when can human nature resist the intoxication of power?” The film was inspired by the Elf
Aquitane scandal that rocked France in the 1990s. At the time, the scandal exposed extensive corruption in France’s giant state-owned gas company.
Carla Funk, director of the Fine Arts Program, Florida Tech Department of Humanities and Communication, and Gordon Patterson, professor of humanities,
successfully applied for the grant, which pays for rental fees and rights to screen the films. For more information, contact Funk at (321) 674-6129.