FRENCH TWIST: 11th Annual International Film Series
Presented by Belmont World Film
March 12 - April 16, 2012
Belmont World Film adopts a French accent this year featuring six films from French-speaking countries, beginning with one of this year’s Oscar nominees for best foreign film, Canada’s MONSIEUR LAZHAR, and two films from Iran and Japan, respectively. Entitled “French Twist,” the series take place at 7:30 PM on six Mondays at the Studio Cinema (376 Trapelo Road, Belmont) and on two successive Thursdays: March 22 and 29. All films are New England premieres and together they are part of the Francophone Celebration of New England sponsored by the French Consulate and Quebec Delegation of Boston.
The films not only offer a survey of French speaking countries, but also address topics that are at the top of people’s minds: immigration, unemployment, Iran, the rights of the mentally disabled, and government informants and espionage. Moreover, several feature riveting performances by familiar French actors in unfamiliar roles.
The line-up includes:
Monday, 3/12: MONSIEUR LAZHAR, Canada, rated PG-13
One of this year’s Oscar nominees for best foreign film, directed by Canadian Philippe Falardeau. After his family is killed, an Algerian immigrant flees to Canada and is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who is found dead at the school. Preceded by an optional reception hosted by the Quebec Delegation of Boston.
Performance by: The Halalisa Singers, a notable world music ensemble in the Greater Boston area (Halalisa is the Zulu word for celebration).
Monday, 3/19: SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO, France, no rating
Directed by Robert Guédiguian (Army of Crime) and starring Jean-Pierre Darroussin (the upcoming THE WELL-DIGGER'S DAUGHTER). Based on the Victor Hugo poem How Good Are the Poor, this morality play, set in Marseille’s gritty waterfront, concerns a group of families who find ties of loyalty stretched to the maximum when layoffs affect select factory workers.
Monday, 3/22: DOG SWEAT, USA/Iran, no rating
Directed by Hossein Keshavarz and shot surreptitiously at great risk on the streets of Iran, the film intertwines the lives of six young Iranians as they struggle to satisfy their private desires in the face of conservative Islamic society. A salute to Nowruz, or “New Year,” the Persian celebration of the spring equinox.
Monday, 3/26: CAFÉ DE FLORE, Canada/France, no rating
A mystical and fantastical odyssey on love from director Jean-Marc Vallée (THE YOUNG VICTORIA, C.R.A.Z.Y.) that features love story between a man and woman in Canada, and between a mother (Johnny Depp’s Vanessa Paradis) and her son in Paris—and the connectedness of life.
Thursday, 3/29: JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI, USA (sneak preview; seating limited to 100)
A documentary about 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono (the only sushi chef ever to receive 3 Michelin stars), his business in the basement of a Tokyo office building, and his relationship with his sons and eventual heirs. Features an optional sushi dinner prior to the screening. Part of the 100th anniversary of Tokyo's gift of cherry trees to Washington, DC.
Speaker: Ted Bestor, a Harvard University professor & chair of the Department of Anthropology who writes on contemporary Tokyo, the Tsukiji fish market, and the culture of sushi, and Peter Grilli, President of the Japan Society of Boston.
Monday, 4/2: THE MOLE, Poland/France, no rating
A father and son run a business importing used clothes from France to Poland. When the son discovers his father's photo in a tabloid newspaper with the accusation that he was a secret informer—instead of the Solidarity hero he always looked up to—the son begins to have doubts.
Speaker: Igor Lukes, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Boston and Professor of History & International Relations at Boston University specializing in Central European history, Eastern European politics, and contemporary Russia.
Monday, 4/9: BEIRUT HOTEL, France/Sweden/Lebanon, no rating
Directed by Danielle Arbid and starring Charles Berling (RIDICULE). A romance between a voluptuous young married singer and a French attorney whose Syria-based company is accused of spying. Banned in Lebanon because of its mention of the assassination of one of Lebanon’s ex-prime ministers was considered a security breach.
Monday, 4/16: UNFORGIVABLE, Italy/France, no rating
Directed by Andre Techiné (WILD REEDS, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN) and starring Chanel model and actress Carole Bouquet (the James Bond film FOR YOUR EYES ONLY) and André Dussolier (MICMACS). An intricate tale of the complex relationships and history between friends, lovers and family as a couple’s lives unwind against the romantic backdrop of Venice.