NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina’s French Film Festival, which attracted more than 2,000 spectators last year, returns for its seventh season in Newport on March 18-29, when a selection of six new and diverse French films will be screened.
Open to the public, the festival begins with a reception on Sunday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the historic Jane Pickens Theater, 49 Touro St. After the reception, which will feature a wine tasting presented by Spring Street Spirits, French café music by accordionist Renata Adams, and Salve Regina student ushers dressed as cigarette girls, the feature film, “The Names of Love” will be screened at 7 p.m.
All other films during the festival will be presented on the Salve Regina campus in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in the O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue. All films contain English subtitles.
Tickets are available at www.tinyurl.com/salvecasino or by calling 401-341-2250. A festival pass for $25 includes six films, two receptions, and a closing night coffee. All other tickets must be purchased at the door. Weeknight films are $5 and Sunday screenings with receptions are $10. Salve Regina students are admitted free with valid university identification.
Following is the film schedule:
The Names of Love (romantic comedy)
Sunday, March 18, 7 p.m., Jane Pickens Theater
This quirky comedy and winner of three César awards, including best actress and best original screenplay, mixes laugh-out-loud scenes with some serious issues that result in a thoughtful but charming film. Left-wing Baya seduces right-wing men in order to convert them. During her escapades she encounters a man nearly the complete opposite of herself. Meet Arthur Martin, double Baya’s age and a straight-laced expert on the diseases of birds. He is swept up into Baya’s whirlwind of misadventures where there is a never a dull moment. (Description from Ariel Guertin, 2012 festival intern.)
Rapt (kidnapping drama)
Tuesday, March 20, 7 p.m., O’Hare Academic Center
One morning, the rich and powerful industrialist Stanislas Graff is kidnapped outside his home by a commando group. Completely cut off from the rest of the world, and only aware of what the kidnappers tell him, Stanislas cannot understand why his friends and family are taking their time to pay the demanded ransom. Outside, his world breaks down as the details of his double life emerge. All of his most intimate secrets . . . are revealed to his family, the police, and the public. Everyone discovers a man far different than the one they had imagined. (Description from Kino Lorber Films.)
The Princess of Montpensier (historical drama)
Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m., O’Hare Academic Center
Set against a background of the savage Catholic/Protestant wars in the 16th century, Marie de Mézières, a beautiful young aristocrat, and the rakish Henri de Guise, fall in love, but Marie's father has promised her hand in marriage to the Prince of Montpensier. When he is called away to battle, her husband leaves her in the care of Count Chabannes, an aging nobleman with a disdain for warfare. As he experiences his own forbidden desire for Marie, Chabannes must also protect her from the dangerously corrupt court dominated by Catherine de Medici. Director Tavernier translates Madame de Lafayette's 1622 novella into a bracingly intelligent and moving evocation of the terrible conflict between duty and passion. Though the themes are classic, Tavernier, with the cinematographer Bruno de Keyzer's vivid landscapes and Philippe Sarde's pulsing score, makes them feel passionately, urgently contemporary. (Description from IFC Films.)
Le Havre (comedy/drama)
Sunday, March 25, 2 p.m. matinee screening, O’Hare Academic Center
In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa into the path of Marcel Marx, a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoe shiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight. (Description from Janus Films.)
A reception, sponsored by Alliance Française of Newport and Sodexo Campus Services, will follow the film.
A Screaming Man (drama set in Africa)
Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m., O’Hare Academic Center
In this quiet and tender but heart-wrenching drama from Chad, a French colony in Africa until 1960, a family struggles with the political and personal problems of postcolonial life. Adam (Champ) and his teenage son Abdel work comfortably as hotel pool attendants; they appear content teaching children to swim and lazily cleaning up in the evening. Amidst job lay-offs and the imminently approaching civil war, however, tension and envy threatens the close father/son bond. The film won the Cannes Festival Jury-Prize and the Lumière Award for Best French-Language Film Outside of France. (Description from Ariel Guertin, 2012 festival intern.)
The Women on the 6th Floor (comedy)
Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m., O’Hare Academic Center
Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis lives a bourgeois existence absorbed in his work, cohabitating peacefully with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne while their children are away at boarding school. The couple’s world is turned upside-down when they hire a Spanish maid María. Through María, Jean-Louis is introduced to an alternative reality just a few floors up on the building’s sixth floor, the servants’ quarters. He befriends a group of sassy Spanish maids, refugees of the Franco regime, who teach him there’s more to life than stocks and bonds, and whose influence on the house will ultimately transform everyone’s life. (Description from Strand Releasing.)
Complimentary coffee on closing night.
Community support of Salve Regina’s French Film Festival is provided by French Source Ltd., a wholesale distributor of fine, French-made gifts and accessories; Alliance Française of Newport; Spring Street Spirits; and The French Confection, a French patisserie in Middletown. For more information visit: http://www.salve.edu/frenchfilm/ or call 401-341-2289.