Vive la France: Celebrate diversity in the French-speaking world

September 18, 2008

 Beginning in September and extending into November, Penn State Fayette is celebrating French culture around the world with a film festival, musical performances, an art show, and literary readings. The events, all open to the public, are designed to be a seasonlong celebration.

Susan Crampton-Frenchik, coordinator of Penn State Fayette's International and Intercultural Programs Office, says, "The very broad scope of this fall's cultural series is a first for the campus. There are many opportunities for students and the community to come together to learn, have fun and share the French and Francophone experience."

The Tournees French Film Festival features six films, all free in Swimmer Hall in the campus' Williams Building. Penn State Fayette's Head Librarian John Riddle, who heads up the film festival, explained the films were specially selected as part of the larger theme of Vive la France. "Five of the six films are the best of contemporary French films. And we wanted to do something different, so we will open the series with a classic French film, 'The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)' from 1956, and will close the series with 'The Flight of the Red Balloon (Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge),' a 2007 tribute to the original.”

Crampton-Frenchik explained, "Fayette County was named for Marquis de Lafayette, so this series gives us all many occasions to celebrate the culture of Fayette County's namesake. French culture is found in many parts of the world, including Louisiana, Canada, Haiti, West Africa, Tahiti and elsewhere. Using music and art, there are many aspects of French culture that are easily shared through these interactive events."

Riddle added, "The film festival, now in its sixth year, is really growing with this expansion into multimedia events -- film, music and visual arts. The festival’s evolution into this kind of multi-faceted series is a wonderful opportunity for the whole community."

For some Penn State Fayette students, the Vive la France celebration will culminate in March 2009 with a student trip to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. "Students participating on this upcoming trip will have the opportunity to expand their linguistic and cultural horizons," said Crampton-Frenchik.

Funding for the Tournees Film Festival is provided by the French American Cultural Exchange.

Additional sponsorship is by the Penn State Fayette Library, the Diversity Task Force and the Chancellor's Office.

Details about the Vive la France cultural series are as follows:

 Tournees French Film Festival events

-- Sept. 30: Opening night eeception and screening of "The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)," 5 to 7 p.m., Cultural Center, Williams Building. The event is free to the public. RSVP to (724) 430-4101. "The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)" is a 1956 French film by director Albert Lamorisse. This classic tribute to the power of love and friendship depicts the unique relationship between a young Parisian boy and a red balloon.

-- Oct. 7: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon)," 6 p.m., Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon)" is a 2007 French film by director Julian Schnabel. This poignant film depicts fashion editor Jean-Dominique Bauby's struggle to communicate after suffering a devastating cerebro-vascular accident. This film celebrates Bauby's strength of character and his remarkable imagination.

-- Oct. 8: "La Vie en Rose," 6 p.m., Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public. "La Vie en Rose" is a 2007 Belgium film by director Olivier Dahan. Marion Cotillard won the 2007 Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Edith Piaf, the famous French singer whose chaotic life was filled with equal measures of joy and tragedy.

-- Oct. 15: "Persepolis," 6 p.m., Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public. "Persepolis" is a 2007 French/Iranian film by directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. This story, based on the graphic novel of the same name, traces Marji's courageous journey to adulthood as she confronts regime change and war in Iran.


Oct. 21:"Paris, I love You (Paris, je t'aime)" 6 p.m., Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public. "Paris, I love You (Paris, je t'aime)" is a 2006 French film by directors (among others) Olivier Assayas, Sylvain Chomet, and Ethan and Joel Cohen. Twenty filmmakers provide unique perspectives of the various lifestyles and atmospheres of the neighborhoods of Paris. This exceptional collective film celebrates Paris in all its incarnations.


Oct. 28:"The Flight of the Red Balloon (Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge)," 6 p.m., Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public. 

"The Flight of the Red Balloon (Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge)," is a 2007 French film by director Hou Hsiao Hsien. In this modern tribute to "Le Ballon Rouge," a young Taiwanese university student and a familiar red balloon offer a new perspective to a struggling French family.

Vive la France events


-- Sept. 24-25: Coal and Coke Music Festival: French and Francophone Literature Readings and the Indomitable Human Spirit, 1 p.m. each day, Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette Library Building , free to the public.



-- Oct. 21: Music Beyond Mountains: A performance of music and culture of Haiti, noon, Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public.


Oct. 28: Rock Rimbaud: Arthur Rimbaud and Jim Morrison, noon, Swimmer Hall, Williams Building, free to the public.

-- Nov. 3-7: Vive la France student art show, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Cultural Center, Williams Building, free to the public.

--Nov. 6: Grand Bon Rien: A performance of traditional Cajun music, 6:30 p.m., Swimmer Hall, Williams Building. Closing reception immediately following performance. Performance: Penn State Fayette students free; nonstudents $5. Reception: free of charge, RSVP to (724) 430-4101.



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Last Updated May 06, 2010