Emory Free Film Series Explores French Cinema's Global Perspective

January 10, 2014

ATLANTA--Emory Cinematheque, a free weekly series of 35mm film screenings, returns Wed., Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. with the 1937 war film "Le Grande Illusion" (1937), directed by Jean Renoir.

The series' theme for the spring 2014 semester is "Global French Cinema." Curated by Charlie Michael, an assistant professor in Emory's Department of French and Italian, "Global French Cinema" explores the global current that permeates the history of French film and is comprised of a mix of canonical examples of French cinema and contemporary titles with specifically "global" themes and influences.

"The idea I had for the series [and accompanying Emory College class] is to discuss the ways in which French cinema -- so often conceived as a "national" history of directors and art movements -- has actually had global elements for its entire history," says Michael.

The series includes:

Jan. 22: La grande illusion / Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)

Released on the eve of World War II, this legendary film about Allied aviators in German prisoner-of-war camps was instantly hailed as a masterpiece.

CANCELLED: Jan. 29: Les enfants du paradis / Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945)

Carné's beloved French film, begun under German-occupation and completed after the Vichy government's fall, centers around a courtesan and her four lovers.

*Please note: This screening has been cancelled due to severe weather in the Atlanta area. Please check arts.emory.edu or filmstudies.emory.edu for updated information on a rescheduled screening of this film.

Feb. 5: Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)

An unemployed executive and his babysitter head off to the Mediterranean on a crime spree. Ranked one of the 50 greatest films of all time by the Sight and Sound critics' poll. 

Feb. 12: La noire de... / Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene, 1966), with 

Borom Sarret (Sembene, 1964)

The first feature film from a sub-Saharan director won Sembene France¿s Prix Jean Vigo as well as the much-repeated title "Father of African Film." 

Feb. 19: La nuit américaine / Day for Night  (François Truffaut, 1973)

Nouvelle vague (New Wave) director Truffaut directs himself directing a pedestrian effort entitled "Meet Pamela" in this homage to the process of filmmaking.

Feb. 26: Mauvais Sang / "Bad Blood" aka The Night is Young (Leos Carax, 1986)

Starring award-winning actress Juliette Binoche, Carax's visually inventive film follows a young outsider hired to steal a serum to cure a disease afflicting young people who ¿love without love.

Mar. 19: Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996)

A satire of French cinema about a past-his-prime filmmaker determined to remake Louis Feuillade¿s classic silent film serial "Les Vampires," starring Hong Kong action star Maggie Cheung as herself. 

Mar. 26: La graine et le mulet / The Secret of the Grain (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007)

Director Kechiche captivated audiences and critics and won four French Césars with this film about a 60-year-old Tunisian immigrant.

Apr. 9: Les glaneurs et la glaneuse / The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2001)

The notable French New Wave director took a digital camera and a small crew into the French countryside to film those who continue the ancient tradition of scavenging.

Apr. 16: Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)

A pair of twins, learning from their dead mother¿s will that their father is alive, travel to the Middle East where they try to unravel the mystery of their mother's life.

Apr. 23: OSS 117: Caire, le nid d¿espions / OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (Michel Hazanavicius, 2006)

A retro-styled parody of sixties-era spy films directed by Michel Hazanavicius, who went on to direct the 2011 Academy Award winning film "The Artist."

The screenings take place on Emory's campus in White Hall 205 and are free and open to the public.

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Emory Cinematheque, a collaboration between Emory College and the Department of Film and Media Studies, is one of the few film series bringing 35 mm repertory programming to the Southeast. In addition, the film department hosts special screenings and lectures by international filmmakers, scholars, and critics. filmstudies.emory.edu