Tourneés 2007 French Film Festival

La Petite Jérusalem (Little Jerusalem) jerusalem_th

15 January, 7:30 p.m.
by Karin Albou, 96 minutes / 2005
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Two sisters – Tunisian Jews living in a suburb of Paris – navigate tradition and desire. Laura, 19, a serious student of philosophy, tries to live a life of thought, elevating herself above passion and traditional religion. She finds herself attracted to a Moslem man with whom she works. Mathilde, older, is married with four children; she discovers that her husband has a lover. Should she divorce him? Despair sends both women search for wisdom – from an attendant at the mikvah and from their mother. Can either find wisdom or happiness?

“Her [Karin Albou’s] camera prowls, nimble and alert, attentive to the heft and texture of things.  Close attention is paid to sound design,
– Nathan Lee, The New York Times

L’Intrus (The Intruder)intruder_th

22 January, 7:30 p.m.
Claire Denis, 130 minutes / 2004

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Louis Trebor, a mysterious loner, lives alone with dogs in the forest near the French-Swiss border. He has heart problems, seeks a transplant, and then goes in search of a son sired years before in Tahiti. Told elliptically, with few words, we see Louis as possibly heartless, ignoring a son who lives nearby who is himself an attentive father to two young children, one named for Louis. He leaves his bed one night – and his lover – to kill an intruder; he dreams, usually of violence. Will his body accept his heart? Will his son accept his offer? This is Claire Denis’ 8th feature length film; she also directed Chocolat and Beau Travail.

“An immersion in pure cinema!  Beautiful and terrifying in their intensity, the images will make you gasp.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times


29 January, 7:30 p.m.
by Delphine Gleize, With Jacques Gamblin, Chiara Mastroianni
130 minutes / 2002
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After a bull is killed in a bullfight, its body parts are transported across Spain, France, Italy and Belgium. The bull’s parts fall into the wide variety of people, including: an Italian actress selling the bones in a supermarket promotion, a Spanish woman who dines on its steaks, a little girl in France who imagines a world where animals are much larger than humans, and a taxidermist whose wife is simultaneously giving birth to quintuplets.

“Ms. Gleize, through a series of oblique, half-comic scenes and meticulous, rhyming visual compositions, offers up an elegant, discursive essay on carnality and carnivorousness – on sex, death, meat and the ravening hunger for companionship.”
– A.O. Scott, New York Times


12 February, 7:30 p.m.
by Anne Fontaine, 105 minutes / 2003
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In Paris, the executive Bernard (Gérard Depardieu) and his wife, the gynecologist Catherine (Fanny Ardant), form a bored upper class middle aged bourgeois couple. They have been married for many years and their life does not have sexual desire anymore. One day, Catherine listens to the message box of his cell phone and she believes Bernard is unfaithful to her. Catherine hires the beautiful prostitute Marlene (Emmanuelle Béart) to pretend to be a young woman called Nathalie, seduce and investigate the sex life of Bernard and report to her his secrets and performance between walls. Catherine discloses a surprising revelation in the end.

A woman’s take on a classic love triangle, Nathalie is a film about desire, fantasy, manipulation, and suspense.


Versailles, Rive Gauche (Versailles, Left Bank) versailles_th

12 February, 9:30 p.m.
by Bruno Podalydès, 45 minutes / 1992
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Rarely has a comedy contained so much laughter in a so restrained lapse of time and a so cramped place. The Podalydès brothers (Denis in front of the camera, Bruno behind it) teamed up to produce a little treasure. Indisputably, it is a reliable model of French comedy made with little means but with much brilliance and panache. The one single gag of the film finds itself in the beginning of the work. It could have been fallen in the bad taste but it’s not in the habits of Bruno Podalydès to shot this kind of thing. He prefers to film it with a sense of decency and reserve. However, this gag will launch a series of unpredictable sudden new developments galore which will follow on from each other through a mad and implacable logic

And where Podalydès is very good at is to turn the possible weaknesses of his work into strengths. Indeed, some jerry-built sequences will be followed by masterful comical sudden new developments.

Pas de repos pour les braves (No Rest for the Brave) braves_th

by Alain Guiraudie, 104 minutes / 2003
Cannes Film Festival
19 February, 7 p.m.
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In a nutshell “No Rest” tells the story of a boy – Basille (also with an alter-ego called Hector) a 16 year old who believes he’s approaching the penultimate sleep – one more night with his eyes closed and he will die. So, sleep deprived, he is forever in a state of semi-consciousness living more in a dream state than the real world. It becomes increasingly difficult (if not downright impossible) to figure out what is real and what isn’t. Does Basille really kill an entire village? Is he having an affair with a 60 year old man? Does he really drive around in an airplane he can’t get off the ground? What is the significance of “little red balls?” Is there really an improper “season” for eating “foie gras”? If one allows themselves to fall into this world, the difference between reality and dreaming ultimately doesn’t matter.

“The movie seems to unfold in a parallel universe, a rural France where sleepy hollows are named for far-flung metropolises, spelled to conform with French pronunciation as if in an Oulipian game (Buenauzerez, Riaux de Jannerot)… That said, “No Rest” remains grounded in a particular social and economic reality.”
Dennis Lim, The Village Voice

Je ne suis pas à pour être aimé (I’m not here to be loved) pasa_th

by Stéphane Brizé, 93 minutes / 2005
19 February, 9 p.m.
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Jean-Claude is 51 and weary. Since his divorce he has been leading a lonely, cheerless life. His job does not help him. Indeed, as a “huissier de justice” his everyday task consists in bringing despair into the homes of those who can’t pay their rent, announcing eviction and/or property seizure. His depressing Sunday afternoons are invariably spent in the retirement home of his old father, a sour, never-satisfied pain in the neck. A glimmer of hope could come from the dance studio across his office. This is a place specializing in tango lessons. One day, Jean-Claude decides to enroll. There, he meets charming young Françoise and both click. The trouble is that Françoise is about to marry.


The Festival is sponsored in part by FACE: French American Cultural Exchange Arts Education Innovation and the FFRI: France-Florida Research Institute (University of Florida), the Consulat general de France (Miami), the Ministere des affaires etrangeres and the Alliance Française. The festival was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture, The Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.

Promotional Material: Low-Res Poster (PDF)