RVA French Film Festival

Every spring Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond get together and organize a huge French film festival. This year they screened over 15 full-length feature films and a dozen or so short films. Impressive! For each feature film they bring over either the director or a principal actor to talk about the film a bit before it starts, then do a question/answer session afterwards.

A pass for the festival is a little pricey at $115 ($65 for students), but you can also buy individual tickets 30 minutes before the film starts for $15. Another bonus is that the festival is held at the historic Byrd Theatre in Carytown. This was our first time seeing a movie there – gorgeous! The only downside is the seats must be original because, well, let’s just say you can feel the springs.

James and I decided to see Attila Marcel, and while it wasn’t our favorite French movie ever, it was actually quite good. Attila Marcel the story of a man in his 30s, Paul, who witnessed his parents death at the age of 2, and then became mute. He lives in Paris with his two aunts and meets an eccentric neighbor who helps him remember his parents and what happened to them. It sounds a bit sad, but the overall theme of the movie is quite happy. The main character, Guillaume Gouix, is also in the super popular (and terrifying) French TV series, Les Revenants. (If you’re into thriller/scifi things, I’ve heard they’re doing a similar series in the US called Resurrection.)

I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!

Movie reviews: Bowling & Café de Flore

In an effort to keep up with our French, James and I have recently watched a couple French movies that I’d love to share with you!

bowlingfilm

Bowling is about the closing of a maternity ward at the small-town hospital of Carhaix, Brittany and the bowling league that some of the women who work in the maternity ward are also a part of. It sounds like an odd combo, but the movie was actually cute and really sweet. Plus there are a lot of great shots of the Breton countryside! It’s definitely a chick-flick and fairly predictable, but all-in-all a fun time.

(Bonus: we learned the saying “Les chiens ne font pas des chats” which is the equivalent of “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Fun!)

CafeDeFlore2011Poster

Café de Flore was, well…., interesting. Not really at all what I expected – I originally picked it solely because of Vanessa Paradis. It follows two families, one living in Montreal during present-day and the other living in Paris during the 1960s. It felt really long, and honestly, we almost stopped it half-way through. I kept hoping it would stick with the story during the 1960s. The ending was a bit surprising (don’t read wikipedia or you’ll ruin it!), but ultimately made sense (sort of). I can’t say that I would watch it again…

We’re also planning on watching Le Havre and Nos plus belles vacances sometime very soon!