Films, films and more films luminously tint May’s waning days, bringing us into June, where the animated shades of summer express their own distinctive images. The presenters of this interesting assortment of films are a visionary group of organizations whose efforts have greatly added to the diverse cultural panache of France in New York City. They include the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) and the cultural department of the French Embassy.
The cultural department of the French Embassy, at 972 Fifth Ave., welcomes the first day of June with an invitation-only cocktail reception to launch the opening of its fifth Films on the Green Festival. Following the 6 p.m. reception, “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” will be screened at Cedar Hill in Central Park (between Fifth Avenue and 79th Street) at 8:30 p.m. This is a free event.
A few blocks south, at the Florence Gould Hall/Tinker Auditorium of the FIAF, 55 E. 59th St. (between Madison and Park avenues), Cinema Tuesdays continues during June with a film tribute to the great, iconic actress Romy Schneider. The four films that will be shown are in French with English subtitles. Each will be screened at 12:30, 4 and 7:30 p.m.
On June 5, “The Swimming Pool” (1969), directed by Jacques Deray, stars Schneider and Alain Delon. The film, described as a “sensual meditation on envy, power and lust” is about a couple whose relationship is thrown into confusion when an old flame and his nubile daughter pay them a visit.
On June 12, “Womanlight” (1979), directed by Costa-Gavras, with Yves Montand, Fromolo Valli, Lila Kedrova and Schneider, focuses on a conversation between strangers Michel and Lydia, who are both in mourning. Though each is still grieving their loss, they slowly start to build a relationship.
On June 19, “A Woman at her Window” (1976), directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre, features Victor Lanoux, Philippe Noiret, Umberto Orsini and Schneider as Margot. The chapters of Schneider’s heroine’s life serve as a profoundly personal tale as well as a story of Europe during World War II.
On June 26, “The Train” (1973), directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre, with a cast of Jean-Louis Trintignant, Maurice Biraud, Paul Amiot and Schneider, takes place after the German occupation of France. Julien, a married man, and his family board a train to leave the country, but he gets separated from them, finding himself instead in the company of a young Jewish woman.
Tickets for FIAF members are free and are distributed on the day of the event. Advanced member tickets can be purchased for $2. Tickets for nonmembers are $10 for adults and $7 for students with ID and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 982-2787 or at the box office at 55 E. 59th St.
Now let’s take another look at the French experience. Enter the ADIFF and its intriguing program “The French Connection: A Film Series About ‘The Other France.’” The program runs June 1-3 at Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th St.
The films in this cycle focus on stories of people of color in France, which is today, according to ADIFF, a “multiracial and multicultural” society, “a melting pot where African and Caribbean people and their descendants have lived for centuries–whether they arrived as immigrants or were born in colonies of the French Empire.”
The first screening, on Friday, June 1 at 6 p.m., is of the documentary film “Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work,” which unveils the mission of the Martinican-born psychiatrist who became a spokesman for the Algerian revolution against French colonialism.
It is followed at 7:30 p.m. by “Sotigui Kouyate: A Modern Griot,” a portrait of one of Africa’s greatest actors and musicians, a modern griot who orchestrated his life and career in Paris.
The thriller “Night of Destiny” opens the Saturday, June 2 program at 4:30 p.m. The film is about a 65-year-old Algerian Muslim living in France who witnesses a murder and hides out in a mosque.
The 6:30 p.m. film, “Living in Paradise,” which is set in France during the Algerian war, unveils the conflict between an Algerian immigrant couple who drift apart after one embraces a political movement to resist French oppression. At 8:30 p.m., “Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man’s World” takes a look at one of the most famous popular performing artists who was the toast of Paris during the mid-1920s.
Sunday’s screenings include “The Glass Ceiling” at 2 p.m., about a French-Algerian filmmaker who is hoping to start a conversation about affirmative action, a policy that does not presently exist in France. At 4 p.m. “35 Shots of Rhum,” by the award-winning director Claire Denis, is the moving story of a father and daughter whose close-knit, tender relationship is disrupted by a handsome young suitor.
At 6 p.m., “Bloody Roots” (the first film of a double feature) is the story of a Guadeloupian woman who lives alone in a project in a Paris suburb, who decides to bring her sick mother in Guadeloupe to live with her. In “Return Back Home,” upon completion of his studies in Paris, a young man from Guadeloupe decides to return home. With this decision, many questions arise.
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