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College to host Contemporary French Film Festival

Photo: "Blue Is the Warmest Color."

The Connecticut College Department of French will screen five movies and host a discussion of each during the Contemporary French Film Festival, Nov. 3-7.

"The French film industry is the third largest in the world, after the U.S. and India, drawing filmmakers not only from France but also from Francophone Africa, as well as from throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America,” said James Austin, associate professor of French. “Film is a crucial way the French and Francophone world define themselves and work through their cultural issues. The movies of this year's Contemporary French Film Festival all speak to the current concerns, preoccupations and interests of these societies and milieus, and as such provide an exceptionally clear window through which to see and understand them. They are also all real aesthetic achievements and just a pleasure to watch."

The films, subtitled in English, are free and open to the public. All festival events take place in Room 210 of Blaustein Humanities Center. 

Opening Reception
Monday, Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.

A teenage Andrée Heuschling models for impressionist painter Auguste Renoir, inspiring his last years, while arousing the interest of his son, future film director Jean Renoir. Lushly filmed in the painterly landscapes of the French Riviera. Directed by Gilles Bourdos, 2013. Introduced by Robert Baldwin, associate professor of art history.

“Ernest & Celestine”
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.

Celestine, a mouse in the underground city, befriends Ernest, a bear from above, much to the chagrin of their respective mouse and bear societies. A charming, delicately-animated film based on Gabrielle Vincent’s illustrated series. Winner of the 2013 César Award for Best Animated Film. Directed by Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, 2012. Introduced by Austin.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color”
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.

High-school junior Adèle meets out art-school student Emma, and their ensuing passion paints a portrait of human feeling shaded with subtle class differences. This story about the depths of a relationship is based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh, “Le bleu est une couleur chaude.” Winner of the Golden Palm at Cannes in 2013. (Please note: This film contains explicit sex scenes.) Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013. Introduced by Jen Manion, associate professor of history and director of the LGBTQ Resource Center.

“Stranger by the Lake”
Thursday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

Nude sunbathing and cruising meet homicide in this film in which Franck, frequenting a lakeside beach by the woods, becomes caught between his attraction to and his distrust of Michel, as he develops a friendship with Henri. Filmed in a minimalist, elemental style recalling that of Bresson, the film won the Queer Palm at Cannes in 2013, and a 2014 César for Most Promising Actor. (Please note: This film contains explicit sex scenes.) Directed by Alain Guiraudie, 2013. Introduced by Ross Morin, assistant professor of film studies.

Friday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m.

With his excellent moves, dancer Souleymane Démé (Grigris) wows the nightclub scene in N’Djamena, Chad, despite his paralyzed leg. Determined to pay his stepfather’s hospital bills, Grigris becomes involved with a gas-smuggling ring, while falling in love with Mimi. Directed by Mahamat Saleh Haroun, 2013. Introduced by David Dorfman, professor of dance.

Closing Reception
Friday, Nov. 7, after the screening of “Grigris”

The Contemporary French Film Festival was made possible with support from the Department of Film Studies, the President’s Fund for Faculty-Student Engagement, Information Services and the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts. For more information, contact Austin at

October 29, 2014