Brigid Walshe `19
French cinema has been creating quite a buzz in the film industry recently with French actress Isabelle Huppert winning a Golden Globe for her performance in Elle, a performance she received an Academy Award nomination for. After all, France is the birthplace of cinema, and now it is bringing some of its best films from the past couple of years to Providence this week.
This past weekend marked the start of the annual Providence French Film Festival, which celebrates dozens of critically acclaimed French films from the past couple of years. The festival, now in its 22nd year, is presented by Brown University and takes place at the Cable Car Cinema on South Main Street. The festival is a huge success year after year, and continues to grow more.
How the festival works is that the coordinators select films, and usually these are films that have premiered over the past couple of years and at well-known film festivals, such as Cannes Film Festival, among others. This year, there are 14 films, with each film being shown once or twice.
Cable Car Cinema is also no ordinary cinema. The intimate space also serves as a café, serving sandwiches and drinks. One can go in there to do work during the day and see a movie at night.
The festival provides its patrons with an opportunity to experience French film culture, one with a rich history and legacy. France’s film industry has made a name for itself as a cultural phenomenon and continues to grow today. Films, including many being shown this year, address current important social and cultural issues that are relevant to anyone who watches them, French or not.
The lineup for the films this year is pretty strong, with almost of all the films receiving positive reviews from critics. Among the films is Cézanne et Moi, which tells the touching story of two childhood friends who reconnect later in their lives. This film was also submitted to the Academy as one of France’s foreign films to be considered in the Best Foreign Film category for the Academy Awards, but unfortunately, didn’t make the cut. There is also The Son of Joseph (Le Fils de Joesph), which follows the character of Vincent as he searches for his father.
This year’s festival ends March 2nd, so there is still time to head downtown to check out any of these amazing 14 films. Tickets are $9 for general admission and $7 for student admission for each show, and remember, vive le cinema francais.