Fall French film series returns at Penn State

University Park, Pa. --- "Recent Films from France and the Francophone World," offered by Penn State's Department of French and Francophone Studies will feature three films during the fall semester, all shown in 35 mm format with English subtitles at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Thursdays in 113 Carnegie Building, University Park campus. The showings are free to the public. They include:

-- Sept. 18: Molière by Laurent Tirard (2007),  Somewhat in the manner of Shakespeare in Love, Laurent Tirard’s film explores this undocumented period of the playwright’s life with a fiction in which the Molière finds inspiration to write his play Tartuffe.  The film combines several elements of different Moliere comedies, telling a story of the young dramatist being rescued from jail by a wealthy merchant who pays off Moliere’s debt in exchange for his skills as an actor.

-- Oct. 16: “L’Origine de la tendresse”  and other tales (2005),  a series of short French films with a variety of styles and genres, including fiction, documentary and animation. The series reflects the diversity of contemporary French filmmakers and the people of France: the malaise of la vie quotidienne for a wealthy married couple, flirtatious youth in the Paris Metro system, the reunion of an Algerian immigrant with her husband, a look at the French elections, foundry workers in Brest and a quiet museum attendant.

-- Nov. 20:  Casque d’Or (Golden Marie) by Jacques Becker (1952),  a classic of French cinema and the most renowned film set in the Paris of La Belle Époque which Becker paints in rich detail. The world of petty criminals and prostitutes is the backdrop for this classical tragedy: the carpenter Manda (Serge Reggiani) is in love with Marie (Simone Signoret), but their love is doomed by her jealous lover, the gangster Leca (Claude Dauphin). Becker’s minimalist aesthetic shuns melodrama and heightens the realism of this period piece.

The series is sponsored in partnership with Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities, as part of the 2008-09 Moments of Change initiative focused on the turn of the 20th century (1889-1914). For more information on Moments of Change, please visit http://www.research.psu.edu/iah (click on "Programs and Initiatives").

For more information, contact the department at (814) 865-1492.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009