The April in Paris Film Festival was created by Principal Lecturer in Language and Culture Studies Karen Humphreys and Professor Emerita Sonia Lee of Trinity College’s Department of Language and Culture Studies, working in conjunction with Christine McMorris and Cinestudio directors Peter McMorris and James Hanley. The event coincides with a half-credit course at Trinity based on the films featured in the festival. The course focuses on a theme, genre, or director, and enhances students’ knowledge and understanding of cinema and French culture. This spring, Humphreys and Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of Language and Culture Studies Sara Kippur are team-teaching the festival course.
This event is shown as part of the The Tournées Festival, a program of the FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange) in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
Ties That Bind Is The Theme Of Cinestudio’s 2018 April In Paris Film Festival in the Hartford Courant
The Festival opens with pianist Patrick Miller of the Hartt School, who will provide accompaniment to Marcel L’Herbier’s classic silent film, based on the novel by Luigi Pirandello. Russian émigré Ivan Mosjoukine stars as a miserable librarian whose luck changes when he wins a fortune in Monte Carlo and is mistakenly reported as dead. Leaving behind the ties of family and home, he forges a new identity – but finds his own character is impossible to escape.
The great humanist of French cinema, Jean Renoir, paints his view of a socialist society where the ties between working people cannot be broken by the avarice of the elite. A browbeaten clerk (René Lefèvre) in a publishing company gets the chance to create his own stories – and fall in love – until the company owner “returns from the dead.”
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A view of family and religion emerges in Nicloux’s acclaimed film, based on the 18th century novel by Diderot. A young woman (Belgian actor Pauline Etienne) is forced by her parents – and then by a strict Abbess – to take her vows as a nun. Her fight for personal freedom, for Diderot, represents a rebellion of French men and women against the power of the Church.
An important and unforgettable film that focuses on the effects of racism on a young woman from a poor village in Senegal, who travels to France to work for “Monsieur and Madame,” a couple that exploits and devalues her. Mbissine Thérèse Diop gives a poignant performance in the first feature film by the great Ousmane Sembene.
This fascinating documentary tells the story of Helene, who did not read or speak until she turned 21, when she began to write poetry with the aid of laminated letters. Explores the profound bond between a mother and daughter as they navigate the trials of severe autism.
Soria Zeroual stars as Fatima, a 44-year-old North African woman who works as a cleaner in Lyon, where she lives with her two teenage daughters. While recuperating from a fall at work, she writes letters to her daughters in Arabic, pouring out her hopes and fears in a way she never could do in French. Winner, Best Picture, Cesar Awards.
Black humor reigns in the final weeks of France’s Sun King, Louis XIV, in a eccentric, charismatic performance by Jean-Pierre Leaud – who got his start on screen as a young boy in Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows. While Louis XIV considered his power to be ordained by God, no one in his glittering court seems to be able to cure his very human illness.
The newest film by critically acclaimed director Léa Pool is a story of a troubled 14-year-old in Montréal (Sophie Nélisse), who is angry with her mother for kicking out her Algerian stepfather. When Baz (Jean-Simon Leduc), who is in his late 20s, offers friendship, she mistakes his kindness for love.
Paris is a coal smoke clogged dystopia in a world where scientists keep disappearing into a black cloud – including the parents of April, a teenager whose closest bond is to Darwin, her talking cat. Marion Cotillard voices April in this steam punk fantasy based on the work of Jacques Tardi, the veteran French cartoonist. Winner, Cristal Award for Best Film at the Annecy Animation Festival.