Sunday, 3 March 2013

(6) 24th Cork French Film Festival

While listening to a French singer Edith Piaf and enjoying a nice glass of a French wine I will offer you a brief insight of what to expect and must-sees in the 24th Cork French Film Festival.

" call past and future to the rescue of the present..." /La Jetée/

The phrase from Chris Marker's film La Jetée (The Jetty) is this years Cork French Film Festival's motto. It is the festival's 24th edition and it is happening from March 3 to March 10. Next week the city of Cork is in for a nice treat of cinema. You can view the festivals programme here.
The festival's theme is black and white cinema, moreover it will pay a special tribute to Chris Marker (1921-2012), a French writer, photographer, director, professor, editor and a digital multimedia artist, who died last summer on his 91st birthday. This Cork French Film Festival will offer a special exhibition based on Marker's science fiction film La Jetée (1962), which won Prix Jean Vigo for the short film. The exhibition will be launched on Thursday, March 7.

Quai des Brumes (1938)"To me, a swimmer is already a drowned man"
Quai des Brumes.
The opening film of the festival is Quai des Brumes (Port of Shadows) (1938), directed by Marcel Carné. The film has won 4 awards, between them also NBR award for the best foreign film. The film is based on the novel with the same title published in 1927, written by Pierre Dumarchey (1882-1970), who is one of France's most celebrated 20th century writers. However, it is Jacques Prévert's wonderful dialogues that brings the film to life. Quai des Brumes stars Jean Gabin and Michèle Morgan, who at the time was only 17, however she exudes cinematic glamour. Coco Chanel's designed stylish, but yet modest and classic costumes, and Maurice Jaubert's haunting compositions makes Quai des Brumes a delightful collaborative artistry.
The film tells a dark and depressive story, where an army deserter, Jean, and a 17 year old girl, Nelly, both run away from their pasts, in order to try and start over. In this dark and harsh world, after the World War I and before World War II, where there is still a room for romance.
Need more reasons why you shouldn't miss it in the festival, read here.

Alphaville (1965) - "You'll become something worse than dead. You'll become a legend."
Alphaville directed by Jean Luc-Godard, who had only spent 7 years in filmmaking (his first film was Operation Concrete (1958)) and he had already established himself as one of the leading directors of the French New Wave. The film is a combination of film noir and science fiction in a Godard's style.
The film is set in the future and although Alphaville is a futuristic city on another planet, Godard shot the film in real locations in Paris. However, the futuristic sense is given to the film by the monotone voice of the Alpha 60 computer.
Lemmy Caution, a secret inter-galactic agent is sent to Alphaville to find Henri Dickson, another agent with whom they have lost a contact. After arriving in Alphaville, Lemmy soon understands that everyone here is obsessed with their sexual desires. Even more, all the citizens are under the control of the Alpha 60 computer, and the creator of Alpha 60 Professor von Braun is seen as a god in Alphaville. However, Lemmy notices that von Braun's daughter, Natacha is different.
Alphaville stars Anna Karina as Natacha and Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution. It is often referred to as one of the least conventional films, Godard breaks all the rules and creates his own ode to free will.
A definite must see in the festival to not only Godard fans, but anyone who enjoys to see 'not your usual evening film', it will be shown on Monday, March 4.

These two films would be mine must sees in the 24th Cork French Film Festival, however I would kindly ask you to also go and see a classical Truffaut film Shoot the Piano Player (1960), screened Wednesday, March 6, Le Doulos (1962), starring a handsome bad guy from Godard's Breathless (1960) Jean-Paul Belmondo, screened Sunday, March 10. And if you haven't had a chance yet, go and see the black and white, partly silent and partly talkie The Artist (2011), screened on Sunday, March 10. As well as, if you don't mind to spend the whole Sunday in the cinema theater don't miss out on Vanessa Paradis in Girl on the Bridge (1999).

Despite these and all the other films that will be screened in CFFF, the culmination of the festival will be on Saturday, March 9, when you have an exceptional possibility to see the screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. The screening will take place in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral and it will be accompanied with live music, composed by Irene Buckley. This CFFF production is now touring the world and was sold out in Glasgow's Film Festival. Cork's screening will have a special guest James McVinnie, an organist who has collaborated with composers such as Richard Reer Parry of Arcade Fire.
But more on that you will be able to read next week, as it is in my intentions to attend this remarkable screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc.

Information about screening times and special events are taken from Cork French Film Festival's programme.

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