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French Film Festival


French Film Festival Continues Through May 28

The fourth annual Tournées festival returns to UC Riverside with films screening on Thursday evenings.

(April 15, 2009)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The annual Tournées French Film Festival continues at the University of California, Riverside on Thursday evenings through May 28.

The theme of the fourth annual festival is “La Comédie Humaine” (“The Human Comedy”), which refers to the 19th century French writer Honoré de Balzac’s cycle of novels by that name, which in turn referred to Dante, said Michelle Bloom, associate professor of comparative literature and French.

“What’s really exciting about this year’s festival is the modern or postmodern take on the ‘Human Comedy’ that our filmmakers and films represent,” Bloom said. The films are global and multicultural, she said.

All films will be shown in 35mm with English subtitles at 8 p.m. on Thursdays at the University Village Cinemas in University Village, 1201 University Ave., Riverside. Tickets cost $7 for adults, and $5 for students and seniors with ID.

“This festival represents the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with French cinema and its creative, profound and artistic productions,” said Maria Arellano, student assistant for the film festival.

The Tournées Festival was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture.

Remaining films are:

May 21 – “The Wild Side,” a sexually explicit and provocative film about a threesome and transgender, co-sponsored by the Department of Media and Cultural Studies. Directed by Sébastien Lifshitz, the film is about a transsexual who leaves Paris to take care of her dying mother and takes her two male lovers with her. BBC film critic Rich Cline described the award-winning film as “striking to look at, disturbing and provocative to think about.”

May 28 – “The Grocer’s Son” (“Le fils de l’épicier”) is a sneak preview of a film about family and “province,” which has been successful in France and will debut on next year’s Tournées list. The film, directed by Eric Guirado, is set in Provence and tells the story of a son who returns to his rural hometown to take over for his sick grocer father.

Previously screened were:

April 30 – “Blame it on Fidel” (“La faute à Fidel”), with an introduction by Marta Hernandez-Salvan, assistant professor of Hispanic studies, and co-sponsored by the UCR Department of Hispanic Studies. Directed by Julie Gavras, the film takes place in France and tells the story of Franco’s Spain through the eyes of 9-year-old Anna. When her uncle is killed in Spain by police loyal to Franco, her parents’ political views undergo a radical change, leaving Anna to make sense of her rapidly changing world.

May 7 – “Live and Become” (“Va, vis et deviens”), a drama inspired by the 1984 Operation Moses airlift of Falasha Jews from Ethiopia to Israel. The film, directed by Radu Mihaileanu, tells the story of Shlomo, an Ethiopian boy who is neither a Jew nor an orphan, whose mother tells him to “go, live and become.” The film examines his search for identity and happiness.

May 14 – “The Last Mistress” (“Une vieille maîtresse”), with an introduction by Heidi Brevik-Zender, assistant professor of French. The costume drama contains adult material, including sexuality-oriented nudity and some stylized violence. The film, directed by Catherine Breillat, is the story of what happens to two longtime lovers in 19th century Paris when one of them becomes engaged.

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