NEWPORT, R.I. – After four successful seasons of French cinema and entertainment, Salve Regina University’s Tournées Festival, made possible with the support of the French and American Cultural Exchange, will be returning to Newport for its fifth and final year. The festival will include six recent prize-winning French films of diverse genres plus two wine receptions. All films and events are free and open to the public.
Opening night will be held Sunday, March 14 at 6:30 at the Jane Pickens Theatre.
All other featured films will be held at the Barzarsky Lecture Hall, located in the O’Hare Academic Center, Ochre Point Avenue, on Salve Regina’s campus.
The featured film schedule includes:
Sunday, March 14 at 7 p.m.
Summer Hours/L’Heure d’été”
In this multiple award-winning film, the divergent paths of three forty-something siblings collide when their mother, heiress to her uncle’s exceptional art collection, dies suddenly. Left to come to terms with themselves and their differences— Adrienne (Juliette Binoche), a successful designer in New York; Fréderick (Charles Berling), an economist and university professor in Paris; and Jérémie (Jérémie Renier), a dynamic businessman in China-- confront the end of their childhood, their shared memories, background and unique vision of the future. Incisively written, acclaimed director Olivier Assayas’ new film moves effortlessly through its narrative with all the grace of Jean Renoir at the height of his powers.
Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.
“The Class/Entre les murs”
The winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes was Laurent Cantet’s unsparing, unsentimental film about a teacher and his students at a diverse Parisian junior high school. The film was based on the best-selling book by real-life teacher François Bégaudeau, who also wrote the screenplay and stars in the movie as himself with his own spirited students. The result is a hybrid documentary/narrative work that is wholly convincing. The Class raises deep, disturbing questions about the motives and prospects of its characters. As Frané000ois attempts to teach the French language to his multi-ethnic students, many of whom hail from former colonized countries, he offers both the opportunity and the threat of modern cultural assimilation. No one is above reproach in this difficult and important new film.
Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m.
“Il y a longtemps que je t’aime/I’ve Loved You So Long”
In this award-winning film, Juliette (Kristen Scott Thomas), a frail, haunted woman, has just been released after 15 years in prison. With nowhere to go, she moves in with her loving but estranged sister, tries to re-acclimate into small-town civilian life, and struggles to find her place in society. The locals, however, can't help but talk. Screenwriter and first-time director, Paul Claudel, who is also a novelist and professor of literature, has re-imagined the melodramatic conventions of the women-in-prison creating an understated, gripping drama of struggle and salvation.
Sunday, March 21, at 2 p.m.
“Le Fils de l’é111picier/The Grocer’s Son”
This charming, low-keyed film, which was a surprise box office hit in France, captures the texture of a vanishing world. After his father has a fatal heart attack, it’s up to jaded Antoine Sforza, a young man who has distanced himself from his roots, to take over the family business. Leaving behind his dead-end job as a waiter in Paris, he grudgingly moves home to the south of France to run a small mobile grocery store. His family’s food truck is integral to the daily shopping of the feisty elderly French neighbors who inhabit the local countryside and emerge from their homes to purchase his vegetables. Gradually Antoine warms up to his experience and discovers life and love along the way. Directed and co-written by Eric Guirado.
Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
“Les Plages d’Agné222s/The Beaches of Agné333s”
On the eve of her 80th birthday, Agné444s Varda, a legend of the French New Wave, decided to make The Beaches of Agnes, a delightful, surprising, playful autobiographical documentary. In the film, she guides us through her extraordinary 55-year career and poignantly reminisces about her husband, the filmmaker Jacques Demy (best known for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). Richly illustrating her life with film clips, still photographs, and archival footage, Varda remains a constant, lively presence, remarking of her on-screen persona, “I’m playing the role of a little old lady, plump and talkative.” “It’s a remarkable history, rich in comedy and occasionally heartbreaking, filled with wise reflections and strange digressions about the wonders of life.” Manohla Dargis. The New York Times.
Thursday, March 25 at 7 p.m.
“La Fille coupé555e en deux/The Girl Cut in Two”
Master filmmaker Claude Chabrol’s trademark black humor is on full display as a powerful spectacle unfolds with ruthless sexual gamesmanship and crushing social machinery. When Gabrielle, a flirtatious television weather reporter, meets a famous elderly novelist at a book signing event in her mother’s shop and at an interview for her TV station, she sets her sights on him. Their brief amorous affair soon grows to become a dark fixation which drives Gabrielle’s handsome, spoiled young suitor, Paul, the heir to a pharmaceutical company, to madness. The story, inspired by the murder of architect Stanford White in 1906, begins as a playful, sexy triangle that turns darkly foreboding and dangerous, until it builds to a fever pitch with disastrous and melodramatic results.
The opening night reception before the screening of Summer Hours includes wine provided by Newport Vineyards as well as live French-inspired music. A post-film reception co-sponsored by Alliance Frané666aise will be held on March 21st following the matinee screening of The Grocer’s Son.
The Tourné777es Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC). Additional community support provided by French Source Ltd., a wholesale distributor of fine, French-made gifts and decorative accessories, Newport Vineyards, and Alliance Frané888aise de Newport.