Six thought-provoking films, including the 1959 classic, “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” will be featured when Salve Regina University presents its French Film Festival April 3-14 in Newport.
All films and special festival events are open to the public and will be presented on the campus of Salve Regina University. Films will be screened in Bazarsky Lecture Hall in O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue, and an opening night wine and cheese reception will be held after the first night’s screening in McAuley Hall, which is directly adjacent to O’Hare.
Festival passes for admittance to all films and events during the week are available for $35; Sunday films with receptions are $15; and weeknight films are $10. Tickets and festival passes are available at www.salve.edu/french-film-festival or at the door. Call (401) 341-2197 for more information or e-mail general questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following films will be featured during the festival:
3 Coeurs/3 Hearts
4 p.m. on Sunday, April 3
After Paris-based tax auditor Marc (Benoit Poelvoorde) misses his train home, he spends the night in a small town in southern France, where he meets by chance the melancholic Sylvie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Immediately drawn to each other, they never exchange names or numbers, instead agreeing to meet by a fountain at the Jardin des Tuileries in the French capital. This romantic plan is thwarted, however, when Marc, en route to the destination, suffers severe chest pains and is rushed to the hospital. Dejected, Sylvie returns to her unhappy marriage and soon leaves for the U.S. Marc, meanwhile, meets and falls in love with another woman, Sophie (Chiara Mastroianni) – who, unbeknownst to him, just happens to be Sylvie’s beloved sister.
Bande de Filles/Girlhood
7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5
Celine Sciamma’s third feature focuses on Marieme (Karidja Toure), a 16-year-old who assumes responsibility for her two younger sisters while their mother works the night shift; the teenager must also frequently absorb the wrath of her tyrannical older brother. School provides no haven from these hardships: Having already repeated a grade twice, Marieme is told that vocational training is her only option. She falls in with a triad of tough girls, abandoning her braids for straightened hair, her hoodie for a leather jacket – and learning the pleasures of raising hell at malls in Les Halles and impromptu dance-offs on the Metro. Patiently and astutely, “Girlhood” follows Marieme as she moves toward adulthood in an atmosphere that repeatedly reminds her of her severely limited options.
7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7
In his magnificent fourth feature film, Abderrahmane Sissako demonstrates his remarkable ability to condemn religious fanaticism and intolerance with subtlety and restraint. “Timbuktu” concerns the jihadist siege of the Malian city of the title in 2012. A ragtag band of Islamic fundamentalists hailing from France, Saudi Arabia and Libya, among other nations, announce their increasingly absurd list of prohibitions – no music, no sports, no socializing – via megaphone to Timbuktu’s denizens, several of whom refuse to follow these strictures, no matter the consequence.
Deux Jours, Une Nuit/Two Days, One Night
3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10
Acclaimed directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne join forces with one of the most talented performers working today, Marion Cotillard. The actress plays Sandra, an employee at a solar-panel factory in an industrial town in Belgium, who learns that management is offering each of her colleagues a 1,000-euro bonus if they vote to make her redundant. Sandra faces the daunting task of meeting with each of her 16 coworkers over the span of a weekend to convince them why they should forgo the cash and let her resume her position at the company. Each of these encounters reveals the Dardenne brothers’ signature compassion for characters torn asunder by the demands of late capitalism.
La Religieuse/The Nun
7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12
In Guillaume Nicloux’s adaptation of Denis Diderot’s 18th-century novel, Pauline Etienne plays Suzanne Simonin, a devout 16-year-old who, lacking a dowry and a vocation, is forced by her aristocratic, though financially troubled, parents to enter a convent. Although her time in the nunnery was originally supposed to last just a few months, Suzanne soon finds herself imprisoned in the abbey when her mother makes the startling announcement to her daughter that she is, in fact, an illegitimate child and must therefore expiate the family’s sins by staying in the convent indefinitely. A scathing examination of religious hypocrisy and a profound treatise on freedom, Nicloux’s adaptation also stars the great Isabelle Huppert and Louise Bourgoin.
Hiroshima Mon Amour
7 p.m. on Thursday, April 14
One of the most influential movies ever made, Alain Resnais’s masterwork from 1959 would not only shape the Nouvelle Vague benchmarks made in its wake but also liberate filmmakers from linear storytelling. “[I]n my film time is shattered,” Resnais once said. Indeed, “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” which was scripted by Marguerite Duras, consists of multiple flashbacks, a device that destabilizes chronology. Spanning approximately 36 hours, the movie centers around the time-toggling conversations of two characters, identified only as the French actress known only as She (Emmanuelle Riva) and Japanese architect known as He (Eiji Okada). While the two reflect on the horrors of wartime – She on living in a Nazi-occupied country, He on the incineration of more than 100,000 of his compatriots – they begin to debate the unreliability of memory itself. The past and the present commingle in “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” a film that pointed the way to the future.