Southern Methodist University presents:
17th French Film Festival 2013
Presented in collaboration with the French Department.
All showings are at 7 pm & admission is FREE, in the theatre of Hughes Trigg Student Center.
DATE: March 20, 2013
Les Femmes Du 6Ème Étage
The Women on the 6th Floor
By: Philippe Le Guay with Fabrice Luchini
2010 / 104 minutes
Jean-Louis, husband of a brittle, insecure woman from the provinces and father of two boarding-school brats. The self-centered businessman starts to discover his altruistic side after he's made aware of the inferior plumbing and other, graver, hardships endured by the half-dozen Spanish maids, refugees from Franco's regime, who live above him. Among the sextet is recent arrival Maria, who stirs deep compassion in Jean-Louis, her new employer, with her stories of working 15 hours a day as a teenager at a tobacco factory back home.
DATE: March 23, 2013
Nobody Else But You
By: Gerald Hustache-Mathieu with Jean-Paul Rouve and Sophie Quinton
2011 / 102 minutes
"Rousseau" is a Parisian bestselling crime novelist, working on a new novel but desperately looking for a good story. "Candice Lecoeur" is a young, attractive, and vibrant woman who thinks she is the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. But Candice is living far away from the city. Born in a remote area of France, she manages to become a model for the small cheese factory based in the area. She becomes a star, but only a local one. The two will meet but only after Candice has been found dead. Cause of death: suicide by sleeping pills. Rousseau is the only one who doesn't buy it and who wants to know the true cause of her death. In his search for the truth, he will be confronted with many difficulties: becoming a detective-novelist and getting respect from the locals, and going beyond what some people want to keep secret forever.
DATE: March 26, 2013
By: Philippe Falardeau with Mohamed Fellag
2011 / 95 minutes
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors.
DATE: April 2, 2013
By: Mona Achache with Josiane Balasko
2009 / 98 minutes
A scrawny, bespectacled, and highly intelligent 11-year-old Paloma is disgusted by the futility of her bourgeois existence and plans to kill herself on her next birthday-- a scheme announced directly into the Hi-8 camcorder she's borrowed form her government-minister dad. When not recording her glum observations, the pre-teen films Renee Michel, the concierge of the luxury Left Bank apartment building where Paloma and her family live. Mme Michel's bibliophilia and knowledge of Japanese cinema are interests she keeps to herself, for, as she says, "no one wants a pretentious janitor." Yet when a new resident, the elegant Mr. Ozu, beings to woo her, Mme Michel lets down her guard, forming deep bonds not only with him but also Paloma. Veteran actor-writer-director Balasko, in frumped-up costuming and makeup, gives a remarkable performance. Viewers will not soon forget the image of her sitting at her kitchen table, reading Tolstoy and nibbling on dark chocolate with a cat in her lap.
DATE: April 6, 2013
By: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache with Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy
2012 / 112 minutes
In Paris, the aristocratic and intellectual Philippe is a quadriplegic millionaire that is interviewing candidates for the position of his caretaker with his red-haired secretary Magalie. Out of the blue, the rude African Driss cuts the line of candidates and brings a document from the Social Security and asks Philippe to sign it to prove he is seeking a job position to receive his unemployment insurance. Philippe challenges Driss and offers a period of adaptation of one week to him to gain experience helping him. Then Driss would decide whether or not he would like to stay with him. Driss accepts the bet and moves to the mansion, changing the boring life of Philippe and his employees.
DATE: April 9, 2013
La Guerre est Declaree
Declaration of War
By: Valerie Donzelli with Jeremie Elkaim
2011 / 100 minutes
Courageously mining harrowing autobiographical episodes, director Valeri Donzelli and her co-writer, co-star, and ex-partner Jeremie Elkaim imaginatively relay the story of their own tumultuous romance-- and the terrifying, real-life diagnosis that their son received when was was only 18 months old. Donzelli and Elkaim play characters cheekily named Romeo and Juliette; their relationship is, indeed, star-crossed. They instantly fall madly in love, move in together, and have a child, Adam, whose incessant crying leads to multiple pediatrician visits. When tests finally reveal that Adam has a brain tumor, the young family's life becomes an endless nightmare of hospital stays, operations, and grim uncertainty. While never letting viewers forget the horror of her child's illness, Donzelli creatively plays with form, adding musical numbers, multiple omniscient narrators, and other nods to the French New Wave. By freeing herself form the rigid, realist template of "disease of the week" movies, Donzelli allows more room to explore the surfeit of emotion-- fear, rage, relief-- that both drives Romeo and Juliette apart and, paradoxically, bring them closer together during Adam's treatment.